AWS Outposts Brings Flexibility On-Premises

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently announced the availability of AWS Outposts in Malaysia. To understand more about AWS Outposts, DSA caught up with Paul Chen, Head of Solutions Architect, ASEAN at AWS. Paul shared with us the capabilities of AWS Outposts and how organisations in Malaysia have been looking forward to this.
According to Paul, organisations around the world have been demanding for an infrastructure that can bring native AWS services, infrastructure and operating models to any data centre, co-location space or on-premises facility. And this is exactly what AWS has delivered to them.
Depending on the industry, Paul explained that some businesses need to have applications that remain on-premises. These business-critical applications are sensitive to latency, and variability in latency need to run on-premises to respond to events with extremely small millisecond latency to ensure smooth and predictable operations
“Some customers have adopted cloud to run centralised operations, but they find the need to run compute graphics or storage-intensive workloads on-premises to execute localise workflows. For example, workloads running on factory floors or automated operations in manufacturing. In the healthcare industry, real-time patient diagnosis requires intensive computations and analysis with quick turn-around time. Media streaming and gaming customers are also part of this.”
Paul added with computing power now shifting to the Edge, exponential data generated brings data integrity concerns. These customers have data-intensive workloads that collect and harness terabytes of data a day and require a transmission on the cloud that can be expensive and wasteful at times. Customers want to have better control of their data by leveraging cloud services such as AI and ML frameworks, but also have the ability to process the data on-premises.
Organisations today want the same experiences across on-premises and the cloud. These include:

  • Same reliable, secure and high-performance infrastructure;

  • Same operational consistency;

  • Same services and APIs;

  • Same tools for automation, deployments and security control; and

  • Same pace of innovation as in the cloud

AWS Outposts is the answer.

AWS Outposts delivers fully managed, and configurable compute and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware that allow customers to run AWS compute, storage, database and other services on-premises, while seamlessly connecting to AWS’s broad array of services in the cloud. Customers can use the same AWS APIs, control plane, tools, and hardware on-premises as in the AWS cloud to deliver a truly consistent hybrid experience with AWS Outposts.  
With AWS Outposts, customers can choose from a range of compute, storage, and graphics-optimised (Amazon EC2) instances, both with and without local storage options, and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume options. Customers can then easily run a broad range of AWS services locally, including Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), and Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR), and can connect directly to regional services like Amazon S3 buckets or Amazon DynamoDB through private connections.
“It’s basically the same type of hardware we have deployed onto AWS Regions that is now offered on-premises for customers. This means it offers a truly consistent hybrid experience for our customers.”
Paul also pointed out that the racks can be customised based on organisation needs. To find out more about the specifics of AWS Outposts, watch Paul’s explanation here.
Who should use AWS Outposts
In Malaysia, there are organisations that have workloads with low latencies. For the manufacturing side in Malaysia, a lot of these companies want to consider processing localised data to innovate and analyse and get better efficiency in real-time to improve the assembly lines, for example.
Other use case verticals include:

  • Low latency telco operations for virtual network functions;

  • High-frequency trading, exchange platforms and core banking for financial services;

  • Manufacturing, sensor control and robotics in industrial automation;

  • Lossless signal ingestion, live event and game streaming;

  • Patient diagnostics and life support systems in healthcare; and

  • Routing, fleet management and recommendations for transportations.

One example highlighted by Paul was the Philip Health Suite Digital Platform. Having started their cloud journey with AWS about five years ago, they deployed all their applications to the cloud in 2014. Still, they found a couple of challenges, including the availability of information in split seconds for medical practitioners. With AWS Outposts, they were able to develop applications and deploy them on the same infrastructure on-premises similar to the cloud and manage it with the same tools. 
AWS Outposts availability
AWS Outposts is available in two variants:

  • Native AWS – Allow customers to use the same APIs just like on the cloud for their applications but on-premises.

  • VMware Cloud on AWS – Customers who made a large investment in VMware software want to use these same tools to manage their infrastructure on AWS. It is in limited preview at this point of time and will be available soon.

Paul adds that customers who are interested in AWS Outposts, they have to select their compute storage and capacity in their order while AWS will deliver and install Outposts. To launch it, customers have to use standard AWW APIs or management console to launch and run AWS resources locally.

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