Reactions from AWS re:Invent 2018 – News and Announcements

November 30, 2018, W. Curtis Preston, Chief Technologist

It has been an incredible week at AWS re:Invent with 45,000 enthusiasts descending on Las Vegas and it only created more excitement among the Druva team, as we talked with more businesses about their transition to the cloud. But when you’re caught up in the day to day on the show floor, it’s easy to overlook some of the major events that happened during the week, like some of AWS’s major announcements.

If you missed it, Amazon announced the release of a new service called Outposts and upgrades to Snowball Edge. Version 3 of Snowball Edge brings significant improvement in CPU power and memory, which means our customers using SBE to perform their initial seed to the cloud can do it even faster now.

Outposts brings the entire AWS stack – including VMware Cloud on AWS – in on-premises hardware. It’s going to be available as a single server or a rack of servers based on your needs. It’s hard to explain just how important of an announcement this is – it could be as big of a game changer as VMware Cloud on AWS, but in the opposite direction. Perhaps it might even be bigger.

The AWS stack is embraced by customers for a multitude of reasons, including its devops-friendly interface to easily define, create, and destroy super complicated environments via well-defined APIs, and the ability to run VMware workloads in AWS, allowing users to get everything they like about VMware in a service-based model.

Druva uses AWS because we program natively to their services like DynamoDB, S3, and Elastic Load Balancer and can automatically scale up and down the resources that we use throughout the day. This gives us and our customers as much power as we need when we need it – while only paying for what we’re using.

Now, customers can find all of that goodness inside a data center. There are lots of companies that wanted to use AWS but preferred to have their data on-site. With Outposts, it’s no longer one or the other – enterprises can get most of what is great about AWS while keeping it inside the four walls of their data center.

I had a lot of interesting conversations this week about Outposts. I talked to one person about whether or not this represents a threat to VMware. But we agreed that just like there is an ecosystem around AWS, there is an ecosystem around VMware. While at their heart, they are both hypervisors, each was built with a different purpose in mind, and the ecosystem partners around them reflect those purposes. The AWS ecosystem focuses more on things like devops, AI, and IOT. The VMware ecosystem focuses more on traditional IT operations. So there will still be plenty of good reasons for having some workloads on VMware and some workloads on AWS. But now you can run both workloads inside a system provided to you as a service.

The most impressive thing I heard was an attendee mentioned that he already had one customer come to him and say they wanted thousands of Outposts as soon as they can get them. “He doesn’t even know the pricing yet.”

I don’t think I’m the only one excited about Outposts.

As a cloud native vendor whose entire stack leverages native AWS services, we understand the popularity of AWS and re:Invent. If you’ve never been, make sure to check it out next year. (Tip from a pro, make hotel reservations now.)