Category Archives: re:invent

Amazon continues Internet of Things push with AWS IoT

Intel AWS IoT starter kitThe new AWS platform is designed to allow IoT devices to connect to the AWS cloud as well as a managed cloud service to assist with processing the data.

AWS IoT has been launched in beta, which usually means it’s not quite ready yet, but it needs people to try it out in order to iron out lingering bugs. In essence it appears to be Amazon’s play to put itself in the thick of the IoT land-grab, as the repository of all the data constantly being generated by the billions of sensors expected to comprise the IoT.

In many ways Amazon’s many previous launches and announcements at this year’s AWS re:Invent seems to have been leading up to this, as they’ve all been about making easier to transfer data into the AWS cloud. Specifically Amazon Kenisis Firehose, which is designed to make it easier to upload wireless streaming data to the AWS cloud, seems to have been launched with IoT in mind.

“The promise of the Internet of Things is to make everyday products smarter for consumers, and for businesses to enable better, data-driven offerings that weren’t possible before,” said Marco Argenti, VP of Mobile and IoT at AWS.

“World-leading organizations like Philips, NASA JPL, and Sonos already use AWS services to support the back-end of their IoT applications. Now, AWS IoT enables a whole ecosystem of manufacturers, service providers, and application developers to easily connect their products to the cloud at scale, take action on the data they collect, and create a new class of applications that interact with the physical world.”

Device connections are handled by a device gateway, which provides tools for predetermining responses to data received. AWS IoT also creates a virtual version of each device in the cloud so it can be interacted with even in times of intermittent connectivity. A dedicated SDK aims to make it easier for developers to do clever things with IoT devices and a bunch of semiconductor companies have already got on-board by embedding the SDK into IoT chips, including Broadcom, Intel, Marvell, Mediatek, Microchip, Qualcomm and TI. There are also a bunch of IoT starter kits which can, of course, be bought on Amazon.

“At Philips we aim to empower people to take greater control of their health with digital solutions that support healthy living and improved care coordination,” said Jeroen Tas, CEO Healthcare Informatics, Solutions and Services at Philips. “Our HealthSuite digital platform and its device cloud are already managing more than seven million connected, medical-grade and consumer devices, sensors, and mobile apps.

“With the addition of AWS IoT, we will greatly accelerate the pursuit of our vision. It will be easier to acquire, process, and act upon data from heterogeneous devices in real-time. Our products, and the care they support, are enabled to grow smarter and more personalized over time.”

On top of moves like the Dash Button IoT consumables automated ordering service, this move cements Amazon’s ambition to be a major IoT player, with AWS at the core. If it delivers on the promise of making IoT easier for companies and developers all the other tech giants currently involved in the IoT land grab may need to raise their game.

Amazon Web Services makes aggressive customer acquisition play

Amazon reinvent 2015At its Amazon re:Invent event Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a number of products and initiatives designed to make it easier for potential customers to move their business to the AWS Cloud.

AWS Snowball is a portable storage appliance designed to be an alternative to trying to upload data over networks, claiming to be able to move 100 TB of data to AWS in less than a week. Amazon is betting that companies are neither willing to prioritise their existing bandwidth, nor devote the time to do this over the network. In addition the company launched Amazon Kinesis Firehose, which is designed to make it easier to upload wireless streaming data to the AWS cloud.

“It has never been easier or more cost-effective for companies to collect, store, analyze, and share data than it is today with the AWS Cloud,” said Bill Vass, VP of AWS Storage Services. “As customers have realized that their data contains key insights that can lead to competitive advantage, they’re looking to get as much data into AWS as quickly as possible. AWS Snowball and Amazon Kinesis Firehose give customers two more important tools to get their data into AWS.”

On top of these new products Amazon announced two new database services – AWS Database Migration Service and Amazon RDS for MariaDB – designed to make it easier for enterprises to bring their production databases to AWS, which seems to take aim at Oracle customers especially.

“With more than a hundred thousand active customers, and six database engines from which to choose, Amazon RDS has become the new normal for running relational databases in the cloud,” said Hal Berenson, VP of Relational Database Services, AWS. “With the AWS Database Migration Service, and its associated Schema Conversion Tool, customers can choose either to move the same database engine from on-premises to AWS, or change from one of the proprietary engines they’re running on-premises to one of the several open source engines available in Amazon RDS.”

Continuing the theme of taking on the big enterprise IT incumbents Amazon launched QuickSight, a cloud business intelligence service that would appear to compete directly with the likes of IBM, while aiming to undercut them with a low-price as-a-service model.

“After several years of development, we’re excited to bring Amazon QuickSight to our customers – a fast and easy-to-use BI service that addresses these needs at an affordable price,” said Raju Gulabani, VP of Database Services at AWS. “At the heart of Amazon QuickSight is the brand new SPICE in-memory calculation engine, which uses the power of the AWS Cloud to make queries run lightning fast on large datasets. We’re looking forward to our customers and partners being able to SPICE up their analytics.”

Lastly Amazon announced a new business group in partnership with Accenture that is also designed to make it easier for companies to move their business to the cloud. The Accenture AWS Business Group is a joint effort between the two and is another example of Accenture putting the cloud at the centre of its strategy.

“Accenture is already a market leader in cloud and the formation of the Accenture AWS Business Group is a key part of our Accenture Cloud First agenda,” said Omar Abbosh, Chief Strategy Officer of Accenture. “Cloud is increasingly becoming a starting point with our clients for their enterprise solutions. Whether our clients need to innovate faster, create new services, or maximize value from their investments, the Accenture AWS Business Group will help them get there faster, with lower risk and with solutions optimized for AWS.”