Latest Hybrid Cloud Services Put Public Cloud into the Data Center

Thursday, April 18th 2019

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AWS Outposts

In November 2018, AWS teamed up with VMware to make Outposts. This appliance-based service is housed within a company’s data center and AWS manages it remotely. The system features AWS-designed compute and storage racks that work with Amazon’s cloud services. Outposts supports Elastic Compute Cloud and Elastic Beanstalk, but the vendor plans to add additional services, like Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes and SageMaker.

The service comes in two variations, one AWS-native and a second based on its work with VMware, which previously included the hybrid service VMware Cloud on AWS. VMware has been a popular data center option and many of its customers have been looking for more hybrid cloud options.

“AWS has made it very easy and attractive for companies to order and deploy Outposts,” said Marco Alcala, CEO of Alcala Consulting. “The users plug it in and power it up, and it shows up on their VMware management control panel.”

The hybrid cloud service also offers deployment flexibility.

“Businesses can place the hardware either inside or outside of their firewall,” said John Webster, senior partner at the Evaluator Group. Organizations that have strict compliance requirements or security concerns may opt to stay inside the firewall.

In addition, application requirements can prompt interest.

“In some cases, companies have applications with low latency requirements, such as voice processing, video editing and robotics,” Alcala said. Because the hardware sits in the data center rather than the public cloud, latency problems decrease.

The service may also be attractive for disaster recovery on premises, but there are a few caveats with Outposts. First, it makes businesses that want to use the VMware variant more dependent on both vendors, as it relies on AWS proprietary hardware and software, as well as VMware management systems. Also, to maximize use of the service, enterprises need to build a staff that is conversant in not only VMware but also AWS.

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