AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Revisiting re:Invent 2014…from an APN Partner Perspective

About a month has passed since the excitement of re:Invent, and with that time comes the opportunity for a new perspective.  End customer benefits and service details have been well documented in previous posts on the AWS Blog and product pages, but APN Partners may have a different way of approaching new services.  APN Technology Partners are often thinking about what they can build on top of a new service or how it might be integrated into their current offering.  APN Consulting Partners, from boutique MSPs to global systems integrators (GSIs), may be thinking about how they can best add these services to their current portfolio and help their customers get the most value out of the new services.

What follows is a brief recap of select re:Invent announcements with more of an APN spin.  Think of it as additional brainstorming for APN Partners as you continue to grow your business with AWS.

AWS Lambda:  Run Your Code in the Cloud

A new way to build and run applications in the cloud, Lambda will automatically run code in response to AWS events.  Currently, those events include modifications to objects uploaded to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) buckets, messages arriving in Amazon Kinesis streams, or table updates in Amazon DynamoDB.  Lambda is a zero-administration compute platform.  Users don’t have to provision compute resources, install operating systems, or manage scaling and fault tolerance.  You simply create an AWS Lambda function, give it permission to access specific AWS resources, and then connect the function to your AWS resources.

As an APN Partner, how might I think about AWS Lambda?

Response-based computing is different.  What new, innovative applications or services could you build on top of a response-based computing platform?

Could AWS Lambda help you spend less money on infrastructure and administration?  Could you re-direct those resources to create new offerings or grow your existing customer base?

Can you simplify your existing application?  Does AWS Lambda automate provisioning, capacity, scaling, or fault-tolerance functions that you’re managing on your own?

What is AWS Lambda’s Availability?

AWS Lambda is available today in preview form in the US East (Northern Virginia), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland) Regions. If you would like to get started, register now.

Amazon Aurora:  Commercial-Grade MySQL for Amazon RDS

Amazon Aurora is a MySQL-compatible database engine for Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), designed to be a more cost-effective, reliable RDMBS.  Built for the AWS Cloud, Amazon Aurora combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. With features like automatic recovery, nearly synchronous read replicas, and automatic storage management built in, Amazon Aurora helps you spend less time administering and tuning and more time building applications.

As an APN Partner, how might I think about Amazon Aurora?

If your customers run their applications on MySQL, could you migrate their applications to Amazon Aurora?  Could you offer migration services that would reduce your customers’ database costs while improving application performance and reliability?

If your firm supports MySQL databases, how does Amazon Aurora’s scalability and reliability automation change your support approach?  What new value could you bring your customers without spending as much time on the scaling, recovery, and availability features Amazon Aurora brings automatically?

If you build software solutions on MySQL, can you leverage Amazon Aurora to improve the reliability, performance and availability of your applications?

If you build software on another RDBMS platform, is Amazon Aurora a way to lower costs and improve your margins while improving performance or reliability?  With a low-cost entry point and pay-as-you-go pricing, it’s inexpensive to give Amazon Aurora a test drive.

What is Amazon Aurora’s availability?

We are launching Amazon Aurora in preview form in the US East (Northern Virginia) Region. If you are interested in joining the preview, simply click here and fill in the form.

AWS Service Catalog:  Enable Your Customers

AWS Service Catalog is a service that allows administrators to create and manage approved catalogs of resources that end users can then access via a personalized portal.  Administrators create portfolios (a collection of AWS product stacks), set product constraints, control access via users and groups, or even share portfolios with other AWS accounts!  You can control which users have access to which applications or AWS resources to enable compliance with your business policies, while users can easily browse and launch approved products without IT assistance.

As an APN Partner, how might I think about AWS Service Catalog?

If you manage AWS resources on behalf of your customers, do you have any opportunities to allow your customers to launch their own resources?  Would self-service free up your internal IT resources for other valuable tasks?

Does your company manage multiple AWS accounts?  Could you leverage the ability to share portfolios across AWS accounts?

Using Service Catalog APIs, could you integrate AWS service catalogs into your customer portal?

Can you help your customers improve their governance execution by leveraging controls and constraints available in AWS Service Catalog?

What is AWS Service Catalog’s availability?

AWS Service Catalog does not yet have a launch date yet.  You can visit the AWS Service Catalog page and register for notifications and updates.

AWS Key Management Service (KMS):  No-Hassle Encryption Key Management

AWS KMS eases the administrative burden of encryption key management by centralizing and automating routine operations (create, rotate, enable, and disable), while logging all operations on keys to AWS CloudTrail.  With just a couple of clicks, users can now encrypt data at rest for Amazon S3, Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), and Amazon Redshift using keys controlled by KMS.  When properly used, AWS KMS not only reduces administrative overhead, but can also help address concerns about moving sensitive data to the Cloud.

As an APN Partner, how might I think about AWS KMS?

Are your customers following best cloud security practices?  Is there room in your customers’ key management practices for improvement, automation, or better auditing through AWS CloudTrail?

Are your customers looking for an alternative to expensive Hardware Security Modules (HSM)?  Could you guide your customers through an HSM to AWS KMS migration to reduce their costs and simplify their infrastructure without compromising security?

If your customers are subject to regulatory considerations, how could you use the AWS KMS/AWS CloudTrail integration to support an audit?

What is AWS KMS’s availability?

This new service is available now in all public AWS Regions (visit the AWS Key Management Service (KMS) page to get started).

AWS CodeDeploy, AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodePipeline:  Code Management Tools for AWS

Leveraging years of agile software delivery experience, we’ve released AWS CodeDeploy, as well as announced AWS CodeCommit and AWS CodePipeline.  These services are designed to help individual developers, teams of developers, and system administrators store, integrate, and deploy their code in the AWS Cloud:

  • AWS CodeDeploy – Coordinates software updates to fleets of Amazon EC2 instances while maximizing fleet availability.  It can accommodate fleets size ranges from one instance to tens of thousands of instances.
  • AWS CodeCommit – A fully-managed, private source code repository service that hosts Git repositories and works with all Git-based tools. You no longer need to worry about hosting, scaling, or maintaining your own source code control infrastructure.
  • AWS CodePipeline – A continuous integration service that automates the process of building and testing updates in the AWS Cloud. AWS CodePipeline works with third-party tools but is also a complete, self-contained end-to-end solution.

As an APN Partner, how might I think about AWS CodeDeploy, CodeCommit, and CodePipeline?

For companies that build development tools, are there opportunities to enhance or build tools on top of these new AWS Services?  Can you create a tailored process for your customers by integrating existing tools with these new services?

Can you improve your customers’ development process by implementing one or more of these tools for them?

When are these tools available?

AWS CodeDeploy is available today.  Please stay tuned for more information on AWS CodeCommit and AWS CodePipeline.

AWS Config:  Configuration Visualization

AWS Config is an AWS configuration management service that transparently monitors and records information about your AWS service configuration.  For example, it records the launch of an Amazon EC2 instance including the AMI used, tags, and other configuration information.  If an Amazon EBS volume is attached, AWS Config will record that event as well as making note of the relationship between the Amazon EBS volume and Amazon EC2 instance.  Through a consistent, read-only API, administrators now have granular access to their AWS resources in use as well as a history of how those resources have changed over time.

As an APN Partner, how might I think about AWS Config?

Do you assist customers with compliance audits?  Can you leverage the change log data to streamline or automate some of that process?

Are there opportunities for you to show your customers how to use this service instead of using custom code to interpret AWS configuration or dependency information?

Can the information provided by AWS Config be leveraged in reports, billing calculations, or customer portals?  Do your customers have business needs that AWS Config’s data could address?

What is AWS Config’s availability?

AWS Config is available in limited preview form and you can start using it today in the US East (Northern Virginia) Region.  We plan to make it available in all public AWS Regions.

Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS):  Cluster Management for Docker

Amazon ECS allows developers to run Docker containers across a managed cluster Amazon EC2 instances without the hassle of creating or managing a cluster.  Amazon ECS is built around a scalable, fault-tolerant, multi-tenant base that takes care of all of the details of cluster management on your behalf.  Users may launch instances in a cluster, define some tasks, and start them, all through an API-driven interface.  Since Amazon ECS runs the same Docker daemon that you would run on-premises, you can easily move your on-premises workloads to the AWS Cloud, and back.

As an APN Partner, how might I think about Amazon ECS?

Does Amazon ECS represent an opportunity to realize the benefits of container computing without the burden of cluster management?

Could you leverage the state information provided by Amazon ECS and build a scheduler or adapt an existing open source scheduler to use the service’s APIs?

Could you leverage Docker and Amazon ECS to more easily migrate your customers’ on-premises workloads to the AWS Cloud?

What is Amazon ECS’s availability?

The service is available today in limited preview.  If you are interested in signing up, click here to join the waiting list.