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AWS month in review: More improvements for hybrid cloud

In recent years, AWS has grown less dogmatic with regards to hybrid cloud architecture. AWS users already have some capabilities to build AWS hybrid cloud architectures with tools such as AWS Direct Connect, Snowballs, and most notably VMware Cloud on AWS. AWS Outposts, unveiled at re:Invent 2018, is perhaps the exclamation point of AWS’ long transition toward a more hybrid cloud future, with on-premises compute and storage racks made of AWS hardware. And AWS furthered this thread when it acquired the Israeli-based cloud migration company CloudEndure in January.

In February 2019, AWS’ hybrid cloud plans took another step forward with tweaks to some services that simplify the migration and integration of on-premises environments.

AWS’ Server Migration Service, which admins use to automate, schedule, and track the replication of on-premise applications and server volumes to AWS cloud,  now enables them to directly import and migrate applications discovered by AWS Migration Hub without the need to recreate server and applications groupings. This will reduce the time to import on-premises applications to AWS cloud and reduce migration errors.

Meanwhile, AWS added the Infrequent Access storage class in Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) as a less expensive option for both on-premises and AWS files and resources that are sporadically used. This is a cheaper way to store larger amounts of data that you don’t use every day. Unlike standard EFS, EFS Infrequent Access carries an additional cost for every access request. Users won’t need to move or delete their data from AWS to manage costs anymore.

Finally, AWS has added architecture reviews for both hybrid cloud and on-premises workloads to its Well-Architected Tool portfolio. Based on the AWS Well-Architected Framework and developed by experienced AWS architects, the AWS Well-Architected Tool recommends adjustments to make workloads more scalable and efficient. To review workloads for their AWS hybrid cloud architecture, users select both the AWS and non-AWS Region (or regions) when they define their workload in the tool.

AWS bolsters bare metal, GuardDuty

AWS has added five EC2 bare metal instances — M5, M5d, R5, R5d and z1D — designed for all-purpose workloads, such as web and application servers, gaming servers, caching fleets and app development environments. The R5 instances target high performance databases, real-time big data analytics and other memory-intensive enterprise applications.

AWS has also added three threat detections for its security monitoring service Amazon GuardDuty:  two for penetration testing and one for policy violation.

AWS Solutions opens up shop

AWS continues to put its Well-Architected Framework to use. AWS Solutions is a portfolio of deployment designs and implementations vetted to guide users through common problems and enable them to build faster. Examples include guides for AWS Landing Zone, AWS Instance Scheduler, and live streaming on AWS, among others.

More CloudFormation integrations

AWS CloudFormation now supports Amazon FSx, AWS OpsWorks and WebSocket APIs in API gateway. The interest in Infrastructure as code (IaC) is only growing with tools like Terraform and CloudFormation. But AWS needs to continue to expand its native integrations with CloudFormation to make it a more viable option for IaC.

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