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Outages, partnerships claim top AWS news slots

Amazon's infamous S3 outage grabbed IT pros' attention in the first half of 2017, while stories about Kubernetes containers and open source partnerships kept them clicking.

Not all press is good press. AWS learned this in late February when an Amazon Simple Storage Service outage affected thousands of customers throughout the country. But the multihour outage wasn't the only AWS news of 2017.

Several product releases and trends -- particularly those geared toward business apps -- caught the attention of SearchAWS readers. As the calendar turns to the second half of the year, get caught up on the big AWS news from the first half of 2017.

Outage makes national news

Just after noon on Tuesday, Feb. 28, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) experienced a major service disruption in the U.S. East-1 region. As one of the oldest and largest regions in the AWS portfolio, the outage quickly affected customers around the country, causing websites to fail and costing businesses millions of dollars. Normal S3 operations didn't resume for hours, as the cloud provider scrambled to identify and rectify the problem.

Several product releases and trends -- particularly those geared toward business apps -- caught the attention of SearchAWS readers.

It took over four hours for S3 to resume close to normal operating speeds but longer for the full service to resume operational function for users. While some debated whether the S3 issue could be classified as an outage or a disruption, few debated the severity of one of AWS' most significant service interruptions ever, and it was the most popular AWS news story of early 2017.

Outage shifts focus to DR

In the aftermath of the outage, AWS disaster recovery (DR) and redundancy strategies entered the spotlight. The human error that caused the S3 disruption affected more than half of the top internet retail services and resulted in millions of dollars in lost sales. Enterprises that put an emphasis on redundancy escaped unscathed, while those with little to no DR protection took the largest performance -- and, therefore, financial -- hit.

The outage didn't affect companies that spread data across regions as heavily. To prep for the future, companies must make thorough replication plans to sufficiently protect workloads. But complexity and cost barriers can prevent many from following through. That dichotomy was at the heart of news writer Trevor Jones' S3 disruption follow-up, which examined attitudes toward DR.

AWS hints at support for Kubernetes

The AWS Quick Starts program showcases partner technology in a simple-to-deploy presentation. Quick Starts, which work with AWS best practices, lower learning barriers for technologies in categories such as DevOps, storage, big data and security. But one particular Quick Starts program reverberates among the container community.

Heptio and AWS unveiled a Quick Start that could signal the first major move toward Kubernetes support on AWS. It's a preliminary step better suited for development workflows, but SearchAWS readers and the container community, which has been quick to adopt Kubernetes, saw it as encouraging AWS news. Senior news writer Beth Pariseau wrote about potential Amazon EC2 Container Service support for Kubernetes on AWS and a potential scheduler option in the near future.

Connect to cloud call centers

AWS moved into business apps with Amazon Connect in early 2017. The contact center service, based on in-house technology at Amazon's call center, integrates with other AWS tools to provide additional capabilities for call data. That functionality, along with lower overhead costs, could empower Connect in the call center marketplace.

SearchAWS explored the new service, which supports only basic self-service interactions at the moment. Amazon Connect is one of several recent services that pushes AWS into the business apps space, showing that the cloud provider could reach new markets where its service portfolio gives it an edge.

Red Hat, AWS partner up

AWS' hybrid cloud strategy got a push thanks to a new Red Hat partnership in early May. The alliance centers on OpenShift integration with AWS, enabling customers to manage public cloud resources on premises. The shift marked a major move away from AWS' public cloud-only message and opened the door for more hybrid cloud opportunities.

As AWS pushes the boundaries of hybrid development through its partnerships with Red Hat and VMware, moving workloads from public cloud to on premises comes to the forefront. AWS could improve on-premises workloads with advances in scalability and data management. The cloud provider's hope is that customers test it out before deciding to dive into public cloud.

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