Media Coverage


News from 2011

Jan 03, 2011

InfoWorld: VM Import could be a game changer for hybrid clouds

Article Excerpt: The ability to replicate VMs between private data centers and public clouds could make the hybrid cloud a reality. Amazon Web Services’ new VM Import feature could be a game changer for hybrid cloud deployments. The product allows IT departments to move virtual machine images from their internal data centers to the cloud, as needed. Many applications can benefit from this neat little trick. The low-hanging fruit is disaster recovery, as well as any migration to the cloud required to bring more capacity online by allocating additional VMs.

The process is pretty simple. “To import images, IT departments use Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) API tools to point to a virtual machine image in their existing environment. Next, they specify the amount of compute capacity they need and where they want to run the image in Amazon’s cloud platform. VM Import will then automatically transfer the image file, migrate the image, and create the instance in Amazon’s cloud,” says Amazon.com.

Jan 04, 2011

The Guardian: Charities move to the cloud

Article Excerpt: Charities could save money and time by switching their IT operations to cloud computing, says Lasa’s ICT Champion. Like the Big Society, many charities will have heard of ‘the cloud’ or ‘cloud computing’ but may not realise it’s a money-saving and time-saving opportunity.

Flexibility: Using services such as Amazon’s EC2 or The Charity Cloud means you can buy computing power as you need it. Comic Relief moved its IT systems to the cloud after recognising that for 95% of the year it uses only 5% of its capacity.

The cloud can offer a whole suite of tools such as event management, accounting software, file storage and graphics, and many are free or inexpensive.
Jan 10, 2011

InformationWeek: Treasury Sites Jump To Amazon Cloud

Article Excerpt: The Department of Treasury has tapped Amazon Web Services’ cloud computing infrastructure to host a revamped Web site for the agency as well as migrate four existing sites to Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Federal agencies that have already embraced the cloud include NASA, which recently moved the daily activity-planning software for its Mars Rover to Amazon’s cloud, and the Army, which will use a cloud hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to consolidate its e-mail systems.

Jan 11, 2011

The Washington Post: Treasury moves to the cloud

Article Excerpt: The U.S. Department of the Treasury is moving four existing sites into the Amazon Web Services cloud and will work with the company to host a new agency Web site.

A Tuesday report from Information Week said Treasury will be the first cabinet-level agency to use Amazon Web Services to host a Web site.

The U.S. government is trying to move a lot of its information into cloud-based computing, and a recent policy initiative from U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra gave all federal agencies three months to pick three services to shift to Web-based computing.

Jan 21, 2011

GigaOm: Meet Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon’s PaaS Play

Article Excerpt: Amazon Web Services, which popularized cloud computing with its Elastic Compute Cloud and Simple Storage Service, has moved up the stack from infrastructure to providing Amazon Elastic Beanstalk, its Platform-as-a-Service play. However, Amazon is layering its PaaS offering on top of its other services in a way that’s easily reversed, which means developers can take the easy way out of developing on Beanstalk, or they can peel back the platform to manually provision and tweak their underlying VMs if they want.

Amazon’s next move will be expanding beyond Java, something it could do via partnerships with other providers or on its own. Brian White, a developer with AWS, said PHP and Ruby are high on Amazon’s list, but declined to specify how partnerships with other providers might look. When asked about competing with other PaaS providers who host their platforms on AWS infrastructure, Selipsky suggested that perhaps those might become partners for supporting other languages.

Jan 21, 2011

InformationWeek: Amazon EC2 Gains An Elastic Beanstalk

Article Excerpt: Amazon Web Services Wednesday added a new service to its Elastic Compute Cloud—the Elastic Beanstalk. The service allows an application in EC2 to automatically scale up to meet demand without any human intervention.

The service is a free add-on for Amazon customers. They merely check off Elastic Beanstalk as a desired service and it will be automatically applied to the designated application—provided the application is written in Java. In the future other languages are likely to be covered as well, with two candidates being PHP and Ruby, depending on demand, said Adam Selipsky, VP of cloud computing evangelism.

At the same time, developers retain the right to override Elastic Beanstalk, go into the EC2’s control console and set a different-size instance as the basis for scaling their application. After a developer intervenes and interacts with the AutoScaling mechanism, Elastic Beanstalk takes over again and then applies that new instance size as the basis for its scale-up decisions. The change may occur with Beanstalk decommissioning the outmoded virtual machine, while commissioning the new ones.

Jan 21, 2011

PC World: Amazon's Beanstalk Aims to Make Web Services Easier to Use

Article Excerpt: AWS Elastic Beanstalk is now available for use by Java developers. To get started, a developer uploads a Java application to Elastic Beanstalk, which automatically handles the deployment details like provisioning compute capacity, load balancing between servers, autoscaling up and down, and monitoring the health of the application.

Once a customer uploads the Java app, it will be up and running online in a matter of minutes, [said Adam Selipsky, vice president of Amazon Web Services]. “If they so choose, they never have to worry again about the underlying infrastructure that is making that app live to the world.”

However, Beanstalk also allows users to fine-tune the underlying services, helping to set AWS apart from some other offerings on the market, Selipsky said. “A lot of the platform-as-a-service offerings reduce the amount of programming you have to do but they make choices for you and force you to live with all the decisions predetermined by the vendor,” he said.

Jan 21, 2011

ZDNet: AWS introduces Beanstalk for developer-friendly cloud

Article Excerpt: In addition, the tool automates load balancing and scaling once the application is live, Amazon Web Services (AWS) said on Wednesday. Offered free of charge, it is aimed at developers who have built an application, but do not want or have the resources to deal with standard day-to-day maintenance in the cloud.

Elastic Beanstalk will heighten AWS’s competition with Google App Engine, Google’s cloud platform-as-a-service product. Google App Engine supports programs written in Python and Java and, like AWS with the Elastic Beanstalk addition, automates scaling and other maintenance tasks.

Jan 26, 2011

Business Insider: What Amazon's New Simple Email Service Really Means To The Email Industry

Article Excerpt: A bit of background: most know Amazon as the world's biggest online store, but years of running one of the largest websites ever has allowed them to create massive, scalable infrastructure that is available for anyone to use. Services like S3 (Simple Storage Service) and EC2 (Elastic Computing Cloud) power a ton of websites.

Simple Email Service works pretty much the same way as the rest of the Amazon infrastructure: use a simple API, pay only for what you use (in this case, how much email you send), grow as you scale. And like most of the rest of the Amazon services, the rates are really, really cheap: only ten cents per thousand emails sent. That's maybe 20% the cost of similar existing services.

Jan 26, 2011

PC World: How Amazon's New Bulk E-mail Service Works

Article Excerpt: Amazon has launched Simple Email Service (SES), a new component of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform designed to help businesses send bulk e-mails. No, not spam. They aren't too keen on the "S" word over at Amazon and, in fact, many safeguards are in place to prevent abuse.

Being a huge online business, Amazon's no stranger to sending bulk e-mails, and this appears to have inspired SES. Indeed, it's in Amazon's interest to prevent the system from being abused because that could lead to blockage of its own e-mails, not just those of its customers.
Feb 15, 2011

Wall Street Journal: Battle for Cloud Services Heats Up

Article Excerpt: Given the amount of noise surrounding cloud computing it's easy to forget just how new the concept is. Amazon.com began offering services in 2006 and since then, according to technology consultant 451 Group, it has "almost single-handedly moved cloud computing to the center of the IT innovation agenda.

William Fellows, principal analyst of the 451 Group, says: "In terms of market share Amazon is Coke and there isn't yet a Pepsi."

The type of cloud model pioneered by Amazon has become known as "infrastructure as a service." It describes a procedure whereby a customer rents rather than buys the raw hardware for computer processing and data storage, along with the Internet bandwidth to deliver it. The customer, not the provider, is responsible for the operating system and software to run on it.
Mar 04, 2011

BusinessWeek: The Cloud: Battle of the Tech Titans

Article Excerpt: "AWS makes it possible for anyone with an Internet connection and a credit card to access the same kind of world-class computing systems that Amazon uses to run its $34 billion-a-year retail operation. "This will be a very high-volume, relatively low-margin business," Jassy says.”

“AWS is growing like crazy. Although he won't cite exact numbers, Jassy claims "hundreds of thousands of customers" already use the service, and analysts at UBS (UBS) estimate Amazon will do about $750 million of business on AWS this year. In fact, a whole generation of Internet companies couldn't exist without it. Netflix's (NFLX) movie-streaming empire runs on it; Zynga, the social gaming company, uses it to handle sudden spikes in usage. AWS has become such a fact of life for Silicon Valley startups that venture capitalists actually hand out Amazon gift cards to entrepreneurs. Keeping up with the demand requires frantic expansion: Each day, Jassy's operation adds enough computing muscle to power one whole Amazon.com circa 2000, when it was a $2.8 billion business.”

Jul 15, 2011

Inc.: How You Can Use Amazon's Mechanical Turk for Business

Article Excerpt: Think back to the last time you had a task for which you would've loved to have had an army of workers. Perhaps you had to sort through thousands of articles looking for something specific, or you had to transcribe hours of audio recordings, or you had to check for duplicate records in a database of thousands of entries. Or perhaps you saw an opportunity in the market that would have required you to mobilize hundreds of people to help you in a short amount of time.

Until now, you've had three choices: hire temporary workers, which can be messy and inefficient, overburden your staff or, worse, let the opportunity slip away.

That's why Mechanical Turk, the web service from Amazon.com, one of the most trusted brands online, is so interesting to business owners. Mechanical Turk is an online marketplace for temporary workers. Using your Amazon account, you can hire workers to complete tasks that a computer can't do efficiently.

Aug 16, 2011

CNET: Amazon releases secure cloud for government

Article Excerpt: Cloud service provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced AWS GovCloud, a new AWS Region designed to allow U.S. government agencies and contractors to move more sensitive workloads into the cloud by addressing their specific regulatory and compliance requirements.

Amazon's move reflects the ongoing adoption of public cloud services by government entities, including the U.S. Treasury's Recovery Accountability and Transparency board, which hosts Recovery.gov and Treasury.gov on AWS, as well as NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which processes telemetry data and high-resolution images on an array of EC2 cluster compute instances.
Aug 16, 2011

InformationWeek: Amazon Launches Cloud Services For Government

Article Excerpt: AWS GovCloud will meet a host of strict regulatory requirements specific to government and include services such as Elastic Compute Cloud, Simple Storage Service, Elastic Block Store, and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud.

According to Amazon, the new offering, Amazon Web Services GovCloud, will meet a host of strict regulatory requirements specific to government. It's designed to meet moderate security control levels under the Federal Information Security Management Act and to meet FIPS 140-2, a federal cryptography standard.

Aug 16, 2011

ZDNet: Amazon intros AWS GovCloud for U.S. government agencies, contractors

Article Excerpt:


As the United States government proceeds to shutter 800 data centers and move further into the cloud, a new solution from Amazon could help fill some gaps.

Amazon’s senior vice president of Amazon Web Services Andy Jassy introduced the AWS GovCloud at the NASA IT Summit in San Francisco on Tuesday afternoon. The solution is specially designed for U.S. government agencies and contractors for uploading and moving sensitive data to the cloud.

Teresa Carlson, vice president of Amazon Web Services’ global public sector, said in a statement that over 100 government agencies are already taking advantage of AWS. Thus, it’s no surprise that Amazon is trying to beat its cloud competitors to the punch with a customized option as government agencies make major strides towards cloud adoption.
Aug 17, 2011

Government Computer News: Amazon unveils cloud tailored for government agencies

Article Excerpt: "AWS GovCloud is physically and logically accessible by U.S. citizens only, so government agencies can now manage more heavily regulated data in a secure environment while remaining compliant with strict federal requirements, the officials said."

"GovCloud offers the same high level of security as other AWS cloud services, including the Federal Information Security Management security controls, Federal Information Processing 140-2 compliant endpoints, SAS-70, International Standards Organization 27001, and Payment Card Data Security Standard Level 1. AWS also provides an environment that enables agencies to comply with Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act regulations."

Sep 20, 2011

Ars Technica: $1,279-per-hour, 30,000-core cluster built on Amazon EC2 cloud

Article Excerpt: Amazon EC2 and other cloud services are expanding the market for high-performance computing. Without access to a national lab or a supercomputer in your own data center, cloud computing lets businesses spin up temporary clusters at will and stop paying for them as soon as the computing needs are met.

A vendor called Cycle Computing is on a mission to demonstrate the potential of Amazon’s cloud by building increasingly large clusters on the Elastic Compute Cloud. Even with Amazon, building a cluster takes some work, but Cycle combines several technologies to ease the process and recently used them to create a 30,000-core cluster running CentOS Linux.

Oct 28, 2011

Zend Offers Developers a Smarter Way to Develop and Run Web Apps in the Cloud

Article Excerpt: At ZendCon 2011 in Santa Clara, CALIF – Zend Technologies announced phpcloud.com. For millions of developers looking to develop for the cloud, phpcloud.com will provide a uniquely productive developer experience and a robust application platform provided by Zend, the PHP Company, on the proven cloud infrastructure of Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Nov 07, 2011

Market Overview: Public IaaS Clouds (Forrester Research)

For many Infrastructure & Operations professionals, developing a cloud strategy is a top priority for 2011 and 2012. After strategically selecting certain workloads fit for public IaaS, it’s time for selecting your vendor. In this report, Forrester identifies ten key categories of differentiating capabilities for public IaaS clouds. According to Forrester, “Since the debut of IaaS, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has dominated the market with technically advanced solutions and an expansive third-party ecosystem.”
Dec 08, 2011

Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (Gartner Research)

Gartner positions Amazon Web Services in the Leaders Quadrant of the new Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service. Public cloud compute IaaS, in the context of this Magic Quadrant, is defined as "standardized, highly automated, massively multitenant offering, where compute resources, complemented by storage and network capabilities, are owned and hosted by a service provider and offered to the customer on demand.”


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