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VMware-AWS service bubbles into new markets

With the VMware-AWS partnership, some customers were either reluctant or unable to use earlier versions of the service. Now, with the passage of time and corresponding product maturity, customers with tight compliance requirements might want to review the offering.

VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC) has made some recent advances. First, VMware said the service would soon be available in the AWS GovCloud region, which is typically restricted to public sector customers. The VMware-AWS service has been slow to expand globally – it is only available in four regions. The companies hope that it finds some takers among cash-strapped government agencies, which are typically slow to migrate to the cloud due to cost and regulatory concerns.

Speaking of regulatory concerns, VMC now offers a HIPAA-eligible hybrid cloud environment after passing a third-party evaluation. While HIPAA eligibility still depends on the manner with which an IT team manages cloud data and resources, healthcare providers could nonetheless see the VMware-AWS platform as a boon to their hybrid cloud operations.

Contain your enthusiasm

In other recent AWS news, Amazon released its answer to Google Kubernetes Engine, which came as welcome news to an eager base of container fanatics tired of standing up and managing the necessary infrastructure to support Kubernetes.

After it was introduced at re:Invent in December last year, Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS) became generally available in early June. EKS manages Kubernetes clusters for users and provides some potential benefits for AWS customers, such as high availability and support for load balancers and Identity and Access Management. EKS could make it easier to run microservices apps, perform batch processing or even migrate applications — that is, of course, if you’re willing to pay a bit more for the managed service.

Close your Windows

Amazon’s desktop as a service offering once only offered Windows options for operating systems (OSes). Now, as it does with so many of its other services, AWS has dangled a carrot to lure you away from Microsoft.

Amazon WorkSpaces added support for its Amazon Linux 2 OS, which the IaaS provider designed to handle a variety of cloud workloads. Amazon Linux WorkSpaces could help IT allot CPU and memory more efficiently, thus reducing costs. Based on the MATE Desktop Environment, Amazon Linux WorkSpaces purports to offer benefits for developers and ops alike, such as support for tools like Firefox, Evolution, Pidgin and Libre Office, as well as a better development environment and support for kiosk mode. Though, as some users pointed out, WorkSpaces still lacks a Linux client.

A wish fulfilled — finally

AWS Lambda also added support for Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) triggers — a longtime request from serverless developers. In the process, one of AWS’ older services, SQS, now works with one of its newer technologies, Lambda.

SQS messages can now sync with Lambda to trigger functions across distributed cloud systems. This integration eases processes like monitoring and error retries, which were previously made difficult by the aforementioned workarounds many developers introduced to trigger functions from messages. But developers should set Lambda concurrency controls to avoid hitting account limits, and the integration does not yet support FIFO queues.

The first ever cloud associates degree

As part of its Public Sector Summit in Washington D.C., AWS revealed a partnership with Northern Virginia Community College, which will offer a cloud computing specialization as part of its Information Systems Technology associates degree. Teresa Carlson, AWS’ vice president of the worldwide public sector, said it was the first ever cloud associate’s degree. As part of the course work, students receive access to the AWS Educate program.

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