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AWS continues to expand its portfolio and partnerships to attract more customers to its public cloud. But after a big push into AI, with devices such as Amazon Echo and services like Amazon AI, what new AWS markets are on the horizon?
The internet of things (IoT), containers and data lifecycle management provide opportunities for expansion into new AWS markets, and re:Invent 2017 could provide clues as to the cloud provider's future plans. These technologies, as well as existing services such as Greengrass, could entice enterprises that need to deliver applications and services to consumers quickly and locally.
SearchAWS asked its experts to share their insights and predictions on what new AWS markets and workloads the cloud provider will target at re:Invent 2017. Here's what they said.
AWS is ever-expanding into the enterprise, but it's also starting to reach into humanitarian efforts. For example, AWS is working on integration with Amazon Lex for special needs kids. I expect to hear something about Puerto Rico and perhaps something else about helping build a 21st century city.
Everyone will also be talking about the new city that Amazon targets for a new headquarters. The Seattle office is mostly for Amazon corporate, and it will be really cool to see AWS get its own HQ.
There are also government-related certifications Amazon has worked on, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and financial compliances. We might see some more info on security and other compliance-based requirements that Amazon helps to solve.
AWS wants to expand into those vertical markets still outside the public cloud. This means healthcare, manufacturing and retail will be targets for new AWS markets, even if those businesses don't like to spend a lot of money on IT. AWS will have use cases and example companies at re:Invent 2017 with success stories to tell.
As far as AWS workloads go, anything data-related will be highlighted. Mixing AI and data will be a core theme, and the ability to handle data that goes beyond the practical limitations of a typical data center will be AWS' focus.
I think we'll see AWS make a big announcement at re:Invent 2017 about running containers in production. Kubernetes has basically become the gold standard for container orchestration, and people have been complaining about EC2 Container Service for a while now. Also, mounting pressure from competitors like Azure and Google who support Kubernetes and AWS joining the Cloud Native Computing Foundation make me think we'll get some sort of support for Kubernetes in AWS.
Recent AWS announcements indicate two main trends. AWS has made a dogged effort to bring enterprise-grade applications onto its platform, specifically targeting Oracle and Active Directory workloads. But the main trend focuses on managing the whole data lifecycle: generation, aggregation, processing, storage and analysis. I'm expecting new features or functionality for Redshift, Glue and other services.
AWS already makes it possible to run IoT-related workloads on private hardware through Greengrass. This opens the door for a compute-related announcement. The next step could be running AWS-related workloads closer to larger enterprise data stores for machine learning, business intelligence and data cleansing applications. These kinds of applications require considerable bandwidth and can work faster when they're staged closer to the data sources. They can take advantage of AWS' work on application optimization for field-programmable gate array- and GPU-based instances.
While I think the enterprise will be a major focus, one aspect of re:Invent 2017 that should receive particular attention is IoT. Although AWS has a robust IoT service, expect to see additions to Greengrass that enable you to embed Lambda functions into devices to include support for more hardware platforms. A bombshell announcement would be an Intel partnership. Intel has a strong IoT strategy that encompasses both device and gateway hardware. An AWS-Intel partnership could integrate the Intel IoT family of products with Lambda and the AWS IoT back end.
AWS also expanded into general-purpose office software, with WorkSpaces as a virtual desktop infrastructure offering, WorkDocs as a document sharing service and, last year, with the Chime collaboration service. AWS and Microsoft compete in cloud services, so it's conceivable that AWS would introduce a SaaS office productivity suite similar to Google's G Suite to siphon Microsoft Office users and appeal to cloud natives. Salesforce went down this path by acquiring Quip last year, so AWS could bootstrap this by buying Zoho, which has a large and mature suite of office, customer relationship management and small business applications. If you're in Las Vegas looking for a long shot bet, that's my pick.
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