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Cloud users crave faster AWS cloud storage, ELB upgrades

IT pros at last week's Amazon user conference welcomed a raft of new cloud services, but were left wanting more. Here's what AWS customers hope to see next.

Amazon made waves last week with a bevy of new services, but customers also hope to see updates to existing services in the coming months, particularly in cloud storage and networking.

Attendees at Amazon re:Invent in Las Vegas last week said they'd like to see cloud storage enhancements to  the Elastic Block Store (EBS).

"In addition to Reserved Instances, I'd like to see Reserved EBS," said Effie Bradley, chief technology architect for the Texas Digital Library, a consortium of higher education institutions that provides shared services in support of research and teaching.

Faster object storage as part of Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) was also on attendees' minds at the conference as the company launched an Elastic Compute Cloud instance with 2 TB of memory. Amazon offers multiple solid state drive (SSD) options with EBS, but some would like to see S3 souped-up with more speed, too.

"You've given us the Lamborghini of Web servers, now give me the Lamborghini of storage," said Hadi Irvani, founder of PeachDish, a meal-kit delivery service in Atlanta.

Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) also came up frequently when attendees were asked what was on their wish lists. Irvani said he'd like to see a multi-region capability for ELB.

The new Web Application Firewall (WAF) for CloudFront was a very welcome step, according to Aater Suleman, CEO of Flux7, an Amazon consulting partner based in Austin, Texas. But elsewhere in the networking world, ELB could use some new features too, Suleman said, such as dedicated IP addresses, and the ability to accommodate multiple SSL certificates per load balancer

This is "a real sticking point," Suleman said. Larger environments often find themselves with an unmanageable number of load balancers as a result.

"A hundred load balancers don't do it," he said.

Some users hope future versions of WAF will expand resource limits. In the first iteration, users are limited to 50 rules per AWS account, and 1,000 IP address ranges per IP match condition – essentially an 'allow list' for specific IP addresses.

"That's fine for some organizations, but we have thousands," said Alexi Papaleonardos, senior security operations engineer for Sony Network Entertainment International based in Los Angeles.

"But I wouldn't be surprised if a year from now we have 'trusted WAF rules'," Papaleonardos said.

Other attendees said an application Performance Management tool along the lines of what New Relic offers should also be in Amazon's sights.

Finally, some attendees expected to hear about updates to the Aurora database, such as cross-region replication and encryption key management through the AWS Key Management Service.

Amazon declined to comment for this story.

Beth Pariseau is senior news writer for SearchAWS. Write to her at [email protected] or follow @PariseauTT on Twitter.

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