Innovate faster and more effectively by bringing the cloud into your data center, colocation space or on-premises environment
The Road to Modernization
The pace of change in virtually every industry is quicker than it’s ever been. In response to these ever-evolving conditions, organizations are being forced to innovate faster. At the same time, the need to reduce costs is ever-present. By modernizing their technology foundations, businesses can drive down overhead while putting in place the enablers of agility, efficiency and growth.
Cloud technology helps achieve these needs, simplifying IT with fully managed infrastructure and increased IT efficiency and responsiveness to business needs. It also helps to amplify developer productivity with common APIs, management, tools, and a broad ecosystem of partner solutions.
Certain workloads can be moved to the cloud relatively easily — think production workloads like media & entertainment services, e-commerce applications and Customer Relationship Management systems. Others are more challenging. Latency, data processing or data residency requirements may demand that certain data or applications reside locally. Legacy software may not (yet) be cloud-ready.
Issues such as these explain why even the most forward-thinking organizations haven’t fully modernized using the cloud. What’s needed is cloud services capability, delivered on-premises. AWS brings this to where customers needs it through AWS Outposts.
The Problems of Incompatibility
On-premises data centers traditionally use a variety of infrastructure, tools, and APIs. This disparate assortment of hardware and software solutions results in complexity. In turn, this leads to greater management costs, the inability of staff to translate skills from one setting to another, and limits innovation and knowledge-sharing between environments.
Developers feel frustration when they have to use different services and APIs, depending on where they’re working. Disparities between environments mean they demand different tools for automation, deployment, or security controls. Applications require different code and processes, depending on where they’re being built. This drives inefficiency in the development process and requires team members to learn dissimilar skill sets for each environment.
IT administrators and operators remain frustrated by the complex procurement and provisioning cycles required by on-premises hardware. Procurement can involve coordinating numerous vendors and take months to get servers installed. Once installed, technicians constantly battle with the need to patch and upgrade equipment, and then face incompatibility issues across the various hardware and software components affected by those upgrades. These teams must also juggle application downtime during maintenance, so that upgrades can happen safely and minimize impact on business continuity and operations.
The business itself also faces challenges by maintaining traditional on-premises infrastructure. These legacy applications, clunky systems, and the people power required to maintain them, slows the pace of innovation.
AWS Outposts offers you the same AWS hardware infrastructure, services, APIs, and tools to build and run your applications on premises and in the cloud for a truly consistent hybrid experience.
AWS Outposts is fully managed and supported by AWS, from delivery to installation to monitoring and updating. This full service reduces the time, resources, operational risk, and maintenance downtime required for managing IT infrastructure. Your organization can order an Outposts configuration that offers the best mix of compute and storage capacity for your needs. Then AWS personnel deliver hardware to your site, connect it to power, and set up network connectivity to an AWS Region and local networks. Once installed, your team uses standard AWS APIs or the Management Console to launch Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances on Outposts. Your development team can build and run apps using native AWS services that run locally on Outposts or in the connected AWS Region.
Once installed, developers benefit from one set of tools that translates to any environment, and your operations team offloads hardware procurement and maintenance to AWS support. AWS Outposts essentially brings the ease of cloud to on-premises, using the same AWS-designed infrastructure as found in AWS data centers. Cloud and on-premises sites enabled by Outposts both use the same EC2 instance types with the same Intel® Xeon® technology, helping to ease customer migration strategies. AWS and Intel have a long history of developing custom cloud solutions. Amazon EC2 instances, based on next generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, enable developers to take advantage of the newest features to accelerate business innovation. The equipment used by an AWS Outposts configuration is fully managed, monitored, and operated by AWS, as though it were located in an AWS Region. To operate your Outposts capacity, you use a single pane of management in the cloud that provides the same APIs and tools you would use when operating in AWS Regions.
Getting Started with AWS Outposts
Based on the workloads identified to migrate to Outposts, the right compute and storage configuration can be chosen from a pre-validated catalog of options. Each configuration comes fully assembled with pre-validated SKUs that offer a mix of Amazon EC2 and Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes, and built-in networking. After you place an order, AWS delivers to your site within a few weeks during your preferred delivery window. AWS installs and configures Outposts to connect to the AWS Region and your local network. After installation, you can launch and run AWS resources locally.
There are several recommended best practices to follow that make migration and modernization easier. First, it’s essential for stakeholders and senior leaders within your organization to be aligned on the business objectives to be achieved by the migration. Once that is accomplished, your organization should set quantifiable measurable goals. Starting with clear objectives helps clarify the outcomes you want to achieve. It also helps to choose the right migration pattern. That can range from relatively simple, such as retiring legacy applications, to more complex, such as refactoring those applications to work in a cloud-native environment.
Some organizations do not feel at ease navigating the modernization pathway on their own. The AWS Partner Network (APN) Consulting Partners can provide expertise and training to help achieve the desired outcomes. Many also offer consulting services to help plan modernization of applications and deploy solutions. APN Technology Partners provide specific solutions that integrate with on-premises workloads using Outposts.
There is an Outposts Service Ready program for independent software vendor (ISV) solutions that have already validated their technology to run on Outposts.
“Working with Amazon Outposts fits better into some of those more critical care solutions. It allows us to extend all of the capabilities that we need to be available all the time on-prem and to make that fit seamlessly into the things that we’ve already developed to run in the cloud.”
Protecting Data Inside AWS Outposts
There are a number of data protection features incorporated into AWS Outposts:
- Security: AWS Outposts racks come with built-in tamper detection and an enclosed rack with a lockable door. The data stored on Outposts is encrypted and there is an encrypted network connection to the AWS Region. Plus there’s other security controls and auditing mechanisms that incorporate tools such as AWS CloudTrail and Amazon CloudWatch. Also, customer data is wrapped to a physical Nitro Secure key that customers can destroy, offering an added layer of data protection.
- Intel AES New Instructions (AES-NI): Intel AES-NI encryption instruction set improves upon the original Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm to provide faster data protection and greater security. All current generation EC2 instances support this processor feature.
- Durability: On AWS Outposts, Amazon S3 and Amazon EBS are designed for 99.99% durability. Durability protects against data corruption and ensures data integrity and consistency.
- Compliance: AWS infrastructure is certified for compliance with the following standards, so you can easily incorporate a backup solution that matches an existing compliance regimen.
Deciding What to Migrate to Outposts and How to Shift Workloads
There are various applications and workloads that make good candidates for migration to AWS Outposts. This list can help you prioritize your workloads as you choose what to migrate:
- Edge data processing where compute and storage needs to be close to on-premises devices
- Business applications such as CRM or ERP systems, or backup and restore applications that use EBS and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) on Outposts
- Relational database applications that use SQL are easy to set up, operate, and scale on Outposts.
- Monolithic applications can be split out into interconnected microservices architectures, using Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) on Outposts.
- High volume workloads can use Outposts, leveraging Amazon Application Load Balancer (ALB) to distribute incoming traffic across multiple targets on your Outposts.
Modernize Your Enterprise Today
AWS Outposts provides businesses with the same infrastructure and operating model on premises that they rely upon in the public cloud. Get further information on modernizing your enterprise by reading our full eBook.