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A look at Amazon in the news in 2016

AWS took steps to further shake up enterprise cloud, including new data centers, a Kubernetes competitor and the release of EFS. Here's what ranked on SearchAWS in 2016.

AWS turned 10 years old in 2016, moving into its second decade of providing cloud infrastructure, services and tools for enterprises. And the public cloud provider continues to be a primary driver of revenue at Amazon, accounting for more than one-third of its valuation and worth of $150 billion -- by some estimates. But success breeds pressure, and AWS needs to constantly meet the differing, evolving needs of developers, administrators, sys ops and other IT professionals.

New products or service delays were met with great interest among AWS users in 2016, pushing them to quickly evaluate the effects on their IT operations. SearchAWS pulled together the top five stories of Amazon in the news that were the most popular among readers in 2016.

5. AWS data center locations grow to meet regulations

One aspect of the public cloud war is the race to expand global presence. Amazon, Google and Microsoft all expanded their data center footprints in 2016; and each cloud provider harbors plans for further expansion in 2017 -- all with an international customer base in mind.

So, when AWS opened five new data center regions, readers paid attention. The new data centers put Amazon in the news in early 2016, right on the heels of the previous year's discussion into data sovereignty and regulations. Senior news writer Beth Pariseau evaluated both aspects of the expansions, detailing where AWS users could store data and the ramifications of that.

4. Get AWS know-how, not a rubber stamp

The cloud job market is booming, but sorting through all the noise can be difficult for seasoned IT pros or recent grads crafting a compelling résumé. AWS encompasses a variety of storage, data, computing, security and networking services, and job seekers need to decide -- among other things -- whether to specialize in one category or become proficient across the board of IT services.

Often, AWS certifications are considered the cornerstone for an AWS professional. But some IT professionals believe know-how trumps test-taking abilities when it comes to cloud jobs. Certifications set a low bar; job seekers must have book and street smarts when it comes to existing and emerging technologies.

3. Is Blox the missing piece of AWS' container puzzle?

Google's open source container management system, Kubernetes, ascended in popularity in 2016. And both Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure support the service, which allows developers to automate deployment, scale and schedule containers across different cloud environments.

Some developers clamored for more extensive AWS support of Kubernetes heading into re:Invent, but Amazon pivoted. The cloud giant unveiled its own open source container service named AWS Blox, which some saw as an attempt to oust Kubernetes. While Amazon was in the news spotlight again, skeptics question just how open source Blox really is. 

2. Ten years of cloud: Where AWS goes from here

AWS turned 10 years old in March, as its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Simple Storage Service (S3) offerings surpassed the decade mark. Part of AWS' strength in the cloud market is owed to its longevity, and those two bedrock services helped Amazon grow to the size it is today.

But where does AWS go from here? News writer Trevor Jones explored its past and future competition, enterprise focus and growth opportunities, identifying serverless computing, containers and data center expansion as key factors in AWS' evolution.

1. Amazon EFS finally released from beta limbo

AWS finally released Elastic File System in 2016, which was to users who previously had to maintain a system across EC2 instances or settle for S3. But the release came after a 15-month delay while the service was only available in beta.

SearchAWS explored the extended EFS delay, detailing its lack of native Windows support before its release and questioned the service's performance capabilities compared to other native tools alternatives. This was our most popular story on Amazon in the news in 2016.

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