SEATTLE -- Today at AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company, announced general availability of AWS Outposts, fully managed and configurable compute and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware that allow customers to run compute and storage on-premises, while seamlessly connecting to AWS's broad array of services in the cloud. AWS Outposts bring native AWS services, infrastructure, and operating models to virtually any datacenter, co-location space, or on-premises facility. With AWS Outposts, customers can use the same AWS APIs, control plane, tools, and hardware on-premises as in the AWS cloud to deliver a truly consistent hybrid experience.
Over the past several years, AWS has delivered services like Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), AWS Direct Connect, and Amazon Storage Gateway to make it easier for customers who want to run their on-premises datacenters alongside AWS. In 2017, AWS collaborated with VMware to introduce VMware Cloud on AWS, giving companies who are virtualized on VMware (which is the vast majority of enterprises) the ability to use the same on-premises VMware tools that they had been using for years to manage their infrastructure on AWS. Still, some customers have certain workloads that will likely need to remain on-premises for several years, such as applications that are latency-sensitive and need to be in close proximity to on-premises assets. Examples of these use cases include supporting manufacturing process control systems, running robotics applications in close proximity to the equipment, developing high frequency stock trading platforms, or delivering network functions virtualization (NFV) services at the telco edge. These customers want to be able to run AWS compute and storage on-premises, and also easily and seamlessly integrate these on-premises workloads with the rest of their applications in the AWS cloud. That capability has not been possible until now because solutions have lacked the same APIs, the same tools, the same hardware, and the same functionality across on-premises and the cloud to deliver a truly consistent hybrid experience.
AWS Outposts solves these challenges by delivering racks of AWS compute and storage—the same hardware used in AWS public region datacenters—to bring AWS services, infrastructure, and operating models on-premises. With AWS Outposts customers can choose from a range of compute, storage, and graphics-optimized Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, both with and without local storage options, and Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volume options. Customers can then easily run a broad range of AWS services locally, including Amazon EC2, Amazon EBS, Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), and Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR), and can connect directly to regional services like Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) buckets or Amazon DynamoDB tables through private connections. Beginning in 2020, AWS plans to add the ability to run more AWS services locally on AWS Outposts, beginning with Amazon S3. AWS will deliver and install the racks to customers and handle all maintenance, including automatically updating and patching infrastructure and services as part of being connected to an AWS Region, so developers and IT professionals do not have to worry about procuring or maintaining AWS Outposts.
"When we started thinking about offering a truly consistent hybrid experience, what we heard is that customers really wanted it to be the same – the same APIs, the same control plane, the same tools, the same hardware, and the same functionality. It turns out this is hard to do, and that's the reason why existing options for on-premises solutions haven't gotten much traction today," said Matt Garman, Vice President, Compute Services, at AWS. "With AWS Outposts, customers can enjoy a truly consistent cloud environment using the native AWS services or VMware Cloud on AWS to operate a single enterprise IT environment across their on-premises locations and the cloud."
AWS Outposts comes in two variants—an AWS native variant (available today), which allows customers to use the exact same APIs and control plane on Outposts as they use in AWS Public Regions; and VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts (planned for availability in 2020), which enables customers to use the same VMware APIs and control plane on Outposts that they've used to run their on-premises infrastructure for years. AWS Outposts are an extension of a customer's Amazon Virtual Private Cloud VPC (Amazon VPC) in the closest AWS Region to each customer, and customers can seamlessly connect from their AWS Outposts to the rest of their applications or to any other AWS service in a Public AWS Region. To get started with AWS Outposts, customers simply need to log into the AWS Management Console to order capacity, choosing from a selection of pre-validated configurations composed of a range of EC2 instances (C5, M5, R5, I3en, and G4) and EBS storage capacity options that are best suited for their workloads. Once the AWS Outposts is plugged into power and network connections, customers can view their newly activated AWS Outpost in the AWS Management Console and use it to launch and manage EC2 instances, EBS volumes, and AWS resources in their Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), using the same AWS Management Console, Software Development Kit (SDK) or Command Line Interface (CLI) tools as they use in AWS today. AWS Outposts racks fit into various customer environments with a variety of plug and play options for power and network, and comes in the standard 80-inch tall 42U dimension. AWS Outposts are currently available in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), US East (Ohio), EU West (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Seoul), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo) regions, with more regions coming soon.