Technology vendors love to partner. Some even create extended portmanteau-style names to express their conjoined status. Microsoft (Windows), Intel and Compaq were briefly known as WinTelPaq when all three were in the same room. In today’s mega-vendor age, with the cloud hyperscaler behemoths now so large, most firms simply opt for silver, gold or platinum status with the platform partner they most directly align with.
When it comes to Amazon Web Services, many of the company’s partners connect with the “parent cloud” because they have to be there; their core technology proposition is built to align to AWS, they’re a key go-to-market partner with the company, or they partner with Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. So, failure to also embrace AWS would be foolishly remiss.
While some AWS partners chose to hold back on their announcements and statements ahead of AWS re:Invent 2022 — presumably in an attempt to vie for share of voice during the event — a handful were vocal in the run-up to this year’s show, staged in Las Vegas between Nov. 28 and Dec. 2.
How to connect to AWS
Data platform company Redis signed a tighter AWS deal this month to put its Redis Enterprise Cloud real-time data processing capabilities more closely within the global reach of AWS services. In what the firm likes to call a strategic collaboration agreement, Redis covered some of the core facilitating mechanics needed to enable organizations to use its technology more easily or, at least, more readily on AWS.
Redis worked to build a collaboration agreement that will provide new product support, industry-specific solutions and go-to-market strategies when running its cloud product on AWS. When it comes to cloud, there’s an order to these things, so Redis specifies it has started with an initial focus on customers migrating on-premises, open-source or relational databases to the cloud.
According to Jason Forget, chief revenue officer and president at Redis, ultimately this focus will enable organizations in areas ranging from the financial services, gaming, retail, and healthcare and life sciences industries to create highly available geo-distributed applications that require sub-millisecond performance.
“While Redis has been working closely with AWS for years, we view this collaboration as a way to further customers’ desire to build and deploy at global scale with the local latency required by modern applications,” Forget said.
SEE: Don’t curb your enthusiasm: Trends and challenges in edge computing (TechRepublic)
AWS Marketplace simplifies purchasing for partners
In common with many partners, customers can purchase Redis Enterprise Cloud in the AWS Marketplace, a purchasing offering that provides a simplified and consolidated bill that combines their Redis Enterprise Cloud usage with their AWS consumption.
Speaking before the AWS keynote itself in a private press briefing, Couchbase’s vice president of products, Rahul Pradhan, got somewhat misty-eyed and said he was thinking about the long game.
“Everything introduced at AWS re:Invent 2022 will have far-reaching effects into 2023 and beyond,” Pradhan said. “The emergence of serverless technologies has transformed the way applications and software are built. This includes the application architectures and the DevOps toolchain, but it also impacts the economics of software development.”
Pradhan views the AWS stack as essentially fluid in terms of where growth will happen next and says serverless architecture will continue to see strong adoption across the field, with serverless compute offerings across various cloud providers becoming popular. He suggests this trend will continue across the total application stack with the availability and adoption of serverless data tiers by all major data vendors.
No cold start for edge
“Serverless edge computing platforms leveraging 5G/6G’s millisecond latencies, and AI optimizations will facilitate a cloud continuum across multicloud and edge locations,” said Pradhan. “It’s also clear that developers will drive increased edge adoption with emerging technologies, like WebAssembly (WASM).
“Such technologies provide portability, security and low resource overhead, along with the lack of a cold start problem that make it ideal for the edge.”
With database processing now available at the edge, businesses can now bring compute processing, analytics and other functions closer to their edge data. This eliminates costly network transfer costs of replicating data to the cloud, while processing and providing insights in real-time close to the data source.
“The adoption of distributed clouds with technologies that enable this with WASM and 5G/6G will accelerate the emergence of distributed databases. These solutions can reside and process data in real-time at the edge, while synchronizing data back across multiple cloud regions and providers,” proposed Pradhan.
Also vocal in preshow mode was San Jose-headquartered Panzura, a hybrid-architecture data management specialist. The company is known for its distinctive software architecture designed to allow even the most sensitive organizations to move critical workloads into the cloud, without fearing ransomware or internal threats.
Panzura has used the AWS show to launch a new data management solution for customers that work in mission or life critical data environments, such as public sector, healthcare and financial services. Because the service makes both the snapshots and the data immutable, ransomware attacks can’t damage files in the Panzura global file system.
Instead, attacks are shrugged off by quickly reverting to seconds-old data blocks to reassemble uninfected files. Through a new strategic agreement, this new solution, as well as all of Panzura’s other workloads, will run on AWS.
“We’ve never lost a file, and we share a common goal to make the world safe for data,” said Jill Stelfox, Panzura CEO. “Leveraging the scalability of AWS technology stack, we are building a system that will one day make the entire idea of ransomware obsolete.”
Gartner predicts that 85% of global organizations will embrace a cloud-first strategy by 2025 and can only fully execute their digital transformation strategies using cloud-native architectures and technologies. The wider messages here all seem to gravitate around the need to be able to handle unstructured data management in high-performance, high-intelligence, ransomware-resilient data environments.
“Security continues to be paramount for us, and expanding our cloud capabilities for those customers in industries where the bar for compliance and security is set particularly high has never been more relevant,” said Howard Wright, VP and global head of startups at AWS.
Cloud is safe now, right?
It is interesting to think that we’re still having the cloud security conversation. It was somewhere around two decades ago now that organizations were saying “What? Let our data reside outside our four walls, located in a data center? Seriously?” And that conversation still exists to a degree.
This might be because the whole technology industry still seems obsessed with security issues. Perhaps that’s not surprising given that the average cost of data breaches increased 2.6% from $4.24 million in 2021 to $4.35 million in 2022, according to IBM.
SEE: Hiring Kit: Cloud Engineer (TechRepublic Premium)
“I think one of the key things at AWS is that there will be a lot of reiterating how the cloud is the most secure solution for enterprises,” said Frank Contrepois, head of FinOps consulting at cloud services implementation company Strategic Blue. “By offloading part of the security risks to AWS, companies can save a considerable amount of money, there is also an opportunity cost of continuing to build and maintain security systems that can be offloaded.”
An AWS ambassador, Contrepois openly states that AWS “lives and dies by its security record” today. After all, it recently signed a $10 billion deal with the U.S. National Security Agency for its cloud services. The thinking now is that we will see more integrated security between AWS native and other security software from the AWS partner community, almost in a sort of fusion-like process.
“As companies use more cloud-native systems (e.g., Lambda for its resource administration advantages) the more they can delegate security,” explained Contrepois. “For its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service, AWS manages security from the data center floor, up to the point of virtualization.
“Then, from the operating system upwards, it is the customer’s responsibility. When using Lambda, the only aspect that stays in the customer security perimeter is the code; AWS takes care of everything below code. With the move of Lambda execution towards the edge, with CloudFront Lambda@Edge, it is possible to deliver incredibly fast responses to customers all over the world, leaving all the security concerns to AWS.”
Contrepois said that in this scenario, the code is now neither running in a customer’s computer, nor in the cloud; it is as close as possible to the customer while centrally managed from the cloud. For Contrepois, this is what he calls his perfect example to build an edge computing-related Internet of Things “superfast feedback loop.” Although it hasn’t been implemented yet, this is a function capable of changing the setting of any traffic red lights in real time to allow an ambulance to get to the hospital faster.
Another year, another cloud
Above the clouds then, literally and figuratively, what has changed over the last 12 months, how has the AWS partner community adapted to the ever-evolving family of AWS services, and did everyone attending in Las Vegas get a new hoodie and free water bottle?
In terms of what the last year has brought, AWS re:invent 2021 was AWS CEO Adam Selipsky’s first gathering since he took the reins in March 2021, so he’s still new. He has spent much of his tenure so far insisting that “cloud is just getting started,” and “it will take time” for organizations still not used to the abstracted world of virtual machines.
As we move immediately forward, Selipsky will inevitably continue to talk about global reach, automation, platform refinement and enhancement alongside higher-level abstractions across a range of horizontal services destined for different vertical industry use cases. This last point may help to answer how fundamental the partner and independent software vendor community is to AWS.
Indeed, as Silicon Angle’s John Furrier has noted here on LinkedIn quoting Matt McIlwain, founding partner at Madrona Venture Group, “While AWS and others will continue to offer substantive advances in the modern data stack, transformation will come from AWS and third-party applications that leverage foundation models and AI to disrupt legacy software sectors. And, more specifically, there will be a need for industry-focused solutions.”
As for the hoodies, Selipsky already has his, so let’s zip it up.
Elsewhere, there have been mixed fortunes for AWS, as it is quietly getting better at open source, while Forrester sees the firm under pressure in its 2023 cloud computing predictions.