Q: What are AWS Outposts?

A: AWS Outposts are fully managed and configurable compute and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware that you can use to operate a seamless hybrid cloud. AWS Outposts extend native AWS services to virtually any customer data center, co-location space, or on-premises facility. With Outposts, you can use AWS or VMware Cloud on AWS to operate a consistent enterprise IT environment across your data centers and the cloud.

Q: How do I get started?

A: To get started, you log into the AWS Management Console to configure and order your AWS Outposts, choosing from a wide range of EC2 instance types and EBS storage options to order the ideal number of instances with the desired storage for your applications. AWS ships Outposts directly to the desired location, where you can simply plug them into your local power and network. Once connected, you can view the newly added Outposts capacity in the AWS Management Console, and launch instances in these servers as part of your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Sign up here to receive additional information and updates on Outposts when it is available.

Q: What are the common use cases for AWS Outposts?

A: AWS Outposts bring AWS compute, storage, and networking infrastructure close to end-users and employees or near large pools of data on-premises. Outposts are ideal for workloads that remain on-premises due to low-latency and local data processing needs, such as telecom virtual network functions (VNFs), processing and editing live video streams, high frequency trading platforms, industrial automation, and legacy enterprise applications that depend on local databases.

Q: Which regions support Outpost?

A: We plan to support Outposts in all regions and will have more details on availability over the course of 2019.

Q: Can I reuse my existing servers in an Outpost?

A: No, Outposts leverage AWS designed infrastructure, and are only supported on custom-built AWS hardware that is optimized for secure, high-performance, and reliable operations.

Q: How do I use VMware Cloud on AWS with Outposts?

A: Customers can use their AWS Outpost capacity to create a VMware Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) as part of their fully managed VMware services and environments the same way they do on AWS today.

Technical specifications

Q: What instance types and sizes are available in an AWS Outposts?

A: You can choose from a wide selection of current generation EC2 instances (C5, M5, R5) and storage options (EBS volumes, local instance storage, local disk options) to create the ideal AWS Outposts configuration for your applications. You can start small with a single Outpost server and grow to quarter, half, or full Outposts racks as you scale your applications.

Q: Which AWS services do Outposts support?

A: Customers can provision Amazon EC2 instances and EBS volumes locally on an Outpost. At launch or in the months after, we plan to add services like RDS, ECS, EKS, SageMaker, EMR. Like today, customers can use Private Link gateway endpoints to privately connect their VPC resources to regional AWS services such as Amazon S3 and DynamoDB.

Q: Are there any pre-requisites for deploying an Outpost at my location?

A: Customers will require power, network, and space to deploy Outpost units on-site. Customers can establish secure connectivity with an AWS Availability Zone via AWS Direct Connect or via Virtual Private Network (VPN) over the internet. We recommend that customers establish a dedicated network connection between their on-premises network and one of the AWS Direct Connect locations, which provide consistent and low-latency connectivity to public AWS regions.

Q: How does AWS operate and maintain Outpost infrastructure?

A: Once plugged into power and networking connections on-site, AWS will monitor Outposts as part of the public region and automatically execute software upgrades and patches as part of its on-going regional operations. AWS will also publish Outpost health metrics and alert customer IT administrators about units marked for maintenance. Trained AWS personnel can then be dispatched to perform any necessary on-site hardware maintenance.

Q: What happens when my facility's network connection goes down?

A: While Outposts require reliable network connectivity to the nearest AWS region, local AWS compute and storage resources continue functioning if network connectivity to the AWS region is temporarily unavailable. However, common control functions like launching/stopping/terminating instances and attaching/detaching volumes will be unavailable when network connectivity is down.

Additional information

Q:  How can I learn more about AWS Outposts?

A: You can sign up to learn more about AWS Outposts here.