Amazon moves closer to the edge with new Local Zone and Outposts services

Amazon moves closer to the edge with new Local Zone and Outposts services

A pair of innovations in physical edge network infrastructure, dubbed AWS Local Zone and AWS Outposts, was announced at Amazon’s annual re:invent confab for developers in Las Vegas. The new offerings extend its portfolio of services closer to customers and allow them to run applications with local resources.

Local Zones bring AWS cloud services to the aggregation edge, with resources deployed closer to end-customers. AWS claims customers can reduce latency in their applications to single-digit milliseconds. Customers can run services including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon FSx, and Amazon Elastic Load Balancing in the Local Zone.

The first Local Zones location is now available by invitation to customers in the Los Angeles area. Netflix and a pair of visual effects studios are the first customers for the new Local Zone service, and more locations are expected in the future.

AWS Outposts repackages the company’s physical cloud infrastructure for deployment as a fully managed service inside in the customer’s datacenter, co-location space, or on-premise facility to serve workloads that require low latency access to local applications or systems, or have local data processing or storage needs.

This enables customers to connect seamlessly to services and tools that are available in the local AWS Region to run and manage workloads on the Outpost, rather than from the hyperscale data center. Support for Amazon EC2, EBC, ECS, EKS, EMR, and VPC, is available for Outpost and comes in native AWS and VMware Cloud on AWS flavors; deployments with RDS and S3 are coming soon.

AWS CEO Jassy talks about Outposts

During his keynote address, AWS CEO Andy Jassy described AWS Outposts as a way to replace the “clunky” connections that characterize hybrid environments by moving Amazon’s cloud on-premises.

“Local zones have compute and storage and database available to you. And we kind of went back to our roots as we were solving this problem,” Jassy explained to the re:invent audience. “We said, you know if you think about the history of AWS, we have built-in these highly-flexible, low-level building blocks that you can build a lot on top of.”

But not all companies have or want an on-premises data center. “As we were thinking about this type of problem with Local Zones,” Jassy continued, “we realized that Outposts was a really useful, low-level, flexible building block.”

The Outposts offering was unveiled last year at re:invent, and has now reached general availability in the U.S., throughout the EU, in Switzerland, Norway, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.

Amazon EMR (Elastic MapReduce) has also been made available for AWS Outposts to run open-source tools like Apache Hadoop or Spark on local network resources. EMR on Outposts can be used to augment on-premises processing capacity, and to process data locally for governance or compliance reasons, the company suggests.

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