AWS Moving Into Internet of Things Business With Kinesis Service

NEWS ANALYSIS: Amazon Web Services' Kinesis real-time processing cloud service will support applications that analyze the huge volumes of data generated by the Internet of things.

LAS VEGAS—Vendors hoping to cash in on the Internet of things buzz and wishing that Amazon Web Services would stay out of the "things" business take note: AWS intends to connect everything with a newly introduced Kinesis real-time processing service.

Kinesis is a cloud infrastructure for real-time processing and analysis of high-volume data streams that Amazon CTO Werner Vogels introduced Nov. 14 at the company's re:Invent developer conference here.

The added competitive news might be tough for vendors such as Cisco and IBM betting on the Internet of things as their next growth market. But the entrance of AWS into the IoT segment is good news for customers looking for pricing and capacity information to help build their IoT proposals.

"We will connect the physical world with AWS," said Vogels in introducing the Kinesis service. The Kinesis introduction continued the AWS theme of introducing services that connect with existing services to create development platforms where massive scaling, usage-based pricing and reliability are key requirements—in short, just about every new enterprise application CIOs would like to develop.

Kinesis introduces a pricing model based on units of Internet throughput called shards. According to Amazon, "a single shard of throughput will allow you to capture 1MB per second of data at up to 1,000 PUT transactions per second (the ingest rate) at up to 50k per PUT, and enable your processing applications to read data at up to 2 MB per second (the egress rate)."

In a pricing example provided by Amazon, "For $4.22 per day ($130.80 per month), customers have a managed, real-time infrastructure with an ingest throughput of 10MB/sec, continuously ingesting over 400 gigabytes of data per day, in a durable, elastic manner while simultaneously feeding 2 real-time streaming data processing applications." Additional pricing information is provided on the Kinesis Website.

While the Kinesis service is not intended solely for the Internet of things applications, the ability to pull in sensor data in real time and stream that data into an analytical engine makes it one of the first services to move the IoT discussion from theory to a priced service.

The demonstration of Kinesis was based on social sentiment analysis tied to a Twitter stream. The Kinesis service is one module of a real-time system that can be tied to other Amazon services such as the company's simple storage system (S3), Elastic Map Reduce or Redshift data warehouse. Developers can use those services to build specific applications.

During Vogels' keynote, he highlighted Netflix, AirBnB and DropCam as examples of customers building their infrastructures on AWS.

In addition to Kinesis, Vogels also introduced several other AWS services.

In the database area, the company announced the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for PostgreSQL. Postgres is the fourth database engine for RDS and joins MySQL, Oracle and Microsoft SQL deployments.

Postgres is an open-source database that has enjoyed increased popularity since Oracle acquired MySQL and the ensuing controversy regarding Oracle's commitment to advancing MySQL. The Amazon deployment provides up to 3TB of storage and 30,000 IOPS support.

Pricing and availability information is available on the AWS Postgres page. On the AWS blog the company noted, "PostgreSQL has become the preferred open source relational database for many enterprise developers and start-ups, powering leading geospatial and mobile applications."

AWS also introduced an additional series of EC2 instances for compute-intensive workloads. The instances are based on a 2.8GHz Intel Xeon E5-2680v2 (Ivy Bridge) processor and are designed for workloads that require additional CPU horsepower and solid-state drive storage. Additionally, the company added new backup services and high I/O-intensive services.

The bigger theme provided by both Vogels and, the day before, AWS head Andy Jassy is that Amazon is positioning itself as the infrastructure engine for startups and established enterprises anxious to build new applications based on big data, massive storage and capacity on demand.

Eric Lundquist is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Lundquist, who was editor-in-chief at eWEEK (previously PC WEEK) from 1996-2008, authored this article for eWEEK to share his thoughts on technology, products and services. No investment advice is offered in this article. All duties are disclaimed. Lundquist works separately for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this article and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.