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Amazon ratchets up enterprise cloud focus

Brandon Butler | Nov. 15, 2013
With a new VDI, and plenty of customer examples, Amazon says it's an enterprise cloud.

If there's one overarching theme of Amazon Web Services' second annual cloud user conference, it's that this company is aiming for enterprise.

At the kickoff keynotes for AWS re:Invent on Wednesday, Amazon's cloud chief Andy Jassy announced three new services in the company's already packed public cloud platform, two of which seem focused squarely on serving enterprises. Sprinkled throughout the conference have been not just hints, but overt declarations by company officials that Amazon's cloud is ready for enterprises.

The question remains though: Are such organizations ready to go all-in with Amazon's cloud?

Jassy kicked off his keynote announcing that there were 9,000 attendees in Las Vegas for re:Invent, one-third of which he says represent enterprises. When he put up slides showing who is using Amazon's public cloud, one large screen showed dozens of startups that use AWS's infrastructure, which in the beginning days seemed to be AWS's bread and butter customer base. Another screen showed a page full of enterprise customers. Logos from companies like Unilever, Shell, SAP, Pfizer, The Washington Post, Adobe, Nokia, Lionsgate, GE, Tata Motors and others were displayed. In Gartner's latest Magic Quadrant report on public cloud vendors, AWS was placed, far and away, in the leaders quadrant, Jassy seemingly bragged.

Stephen Orban, the global CTO of Dow Jones - which operates media companies like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post — spoke about how he hopes to migrate 75% of his company's applications to the public cloud over the next three years. He's looking to slash data centers from 40 to 6.

Jassy showed all of the compliance standards that Amazon's cloud has achieved, from the government Federal Information Security Act (FISMA), to health care's Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the payment card industry's data security standard. Looking to keep its foot on the gas pedal to drive even more enterprise adoption, AWS announced the following new products, aimed most specifically at the enterprise market:

-AWS CloudTrail
This service provides a log of user activity within Amazon's cloud that is then stored on the vendor's storage platform, S3 or Glacier. Almost a dozen AWS partners announced tools that will create alerts when abnormal activity is recorded in these logs, giving customers visibility into not just how their AWS cloud is being used, but providing a mechanism to protect it from intruders.

-Amazon Workspaces
AWS leapt into the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) market with the release of Amazon Workspaces, a hosted desktop server platform. VDI was seemingly one industry Amazon had not been in before, but has been dominated by enterprise-focused companies like Citrix and VMware with its recent purchase of desktop-as-a-service provider Desktone. Workspaces gives enterprise IT shops a central way to manage virtual desktops in a hosted public cloud using monthly pricing and providing integration with MS Active Directory.


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