AWS re:Invent 2019: Why Outposts, Local Zones, and Wavelength are game changing for enterprises

Mark Bowker at ESG reacts to keynotes delivered at AWS re:Invent 2019, focusing on how Amazon's interests in on-premises and edge solutions impact enterprise compute.

AWS re:Invent 2019: Why Outposts, Local Zones, and Wavelength are game changing for enterprises

At AWS re:Invent 2019 in Las Vegas, TechRepublic's James Sanders spoke with Mark Bowker, senior analyst at ESG, about Outposts, Local Zones, and Wavelength. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Mark Bowker: With all of the announcements coming out, the ones that stand out to me most are Outposts, Local Zones, and Wavelength. This all has to do with the ability, if a user can't get the capabilities in an AWS region, they're able to bring AWS Services in the data center more local to an application or a user or take advantage of the 5G network over time as it establishes. I think just the ability to address the remaining workloads or new scenarios, with things like 5G, are by far and away the things that stand out the most to me this time.

Attendees here have had a year to think about Outposts and how to apply it to their environment. I think you've seen a lot of questions, a lot of curiosity, a lot of interest about Outposts, and I think now it's just a matter of a little bit of wait-and-see of how users are going to bring Outposts on-prem. Are they going to take on that investment of hardware so they can get the advantages of that lower latency connection to on-prem? The advantage of having compliance and privacy needs being met on-prem.

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It's a little bit of, 'Let's wait and see how they're going to design.' I haven't necessarily seen people standing in line waiting to get Outposts stopping them from adopting AWS Services over the last year. It's going to be a matter of how they're going to design or look at new applications that they haven't moved or transitioned to AWS Services and the potential impact that Outposts will have.

I think Outposts is a threat to any of the on-prem providers because any AWS service threatens, potentially, an on-prem solution. As I move services, as I move applications, as I even migrate things like Windows to a cloud service, it certainly threatens on-prem infrastructure. I think what isn't really, fully understood is that existing on-prem infrastructure has a role. It's really meant to support an application that is multitiered; it is running a specific workload inside a data center.

AWS Services are different so that infrastructure looks different as well. I think there's going to be some potential threat there, but I think the bigger threat is just overall AWS cloud services in general.

Local Zones is interesting where if I have high latency to a region, is there a way to potentially get AWS capacity closer to an application or user? That's really what Local Zones is. They announced it in LA specifically for media and entertainment. As I'm shooting video, I could potentially do rendering at the edge before I ultimately ship something up to the region.

I think industries like that get interesting. Media and entertainment could be interesting; manufacturing could be interesting. I think quite honestly it just opens up more opportunities for these builders to say, 'I can take advantage of Local Zones to have lower latency to potentially do some edge computing, edge analytics, before I ultimately get things all the way up to the region.'

If I look at Wavelength, Wavelength is ultimately about inspiring builders to take advantage of the 5G network and looking at what the potential opportunity may be. If I look at, 'How can I build applications for low latency, high bandwidth, directly to an end user inside some of these initial 5G implementations?' That's where I think Wavelength is ultimately out to inspire that.

The partnership between AWS and Verizon is evidence that they want to have people building on their platform. Let's take AWS in the proximity on the 5G network to actually build that kind of next generation of applications for that new network. No matter what happens with standards and the evolution of 5G, things are going to get faster. There's going to be lower latency. There's going to be more bandwidth available. AWS and Verizon are setting up for that opportunity.

The other thing I'd highlight from re:Invent is the focus organizationally. There's a lot of focus on the cloud and all the technologies, but we've seen over and over again that without organizational alignment, without a real drive and message from the top--really at the executive level--these technologies take a longer time to adopt and even will get forced to the side. I think anybody at an event like re:Invent really needs to look at it from a, 'We need a hero inside the organization at the executive level that can really help drive these services and these new innovations that AWS is pulling to market.'

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