Smaller Form Factor AWS Outposts- Soon Available in 2021
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
Over the last two years we have seen a number of interesting developments within the Data Center technology vertical. We see workloads moving to public cloud, and at the same time we see workloads coming back on premise via the implementation of next generation technologies which enable customers to achieve what they only could do in the public cloud just two years ago, but allow them to do it in house, on premise, and enabling a deep level of control which some customers demand.
One thing is certain, the future is hybrid, and will incorporate a wide range of services, clouds and technologies both on premise and in the public clouds. As technology becomes more and more of a commodity, the focus the switches over to companies that specialise in very specific tasks or services.
One of the more interesting products / services out there is AWS Outposts, where you basically order a rack of servers and DC networking and it is delivered to you and installed in your datacenter. Reasons for doing this could be that you need to run some ultra low latency applications close to the use case, or perhaps you must run your data in house for data governance reasons. The main concept behind the solution is that with Outposts you extend your on-premise environment directly into AWS, by letting them have a physical footprint in your datacenter.
You can find out more about Outposts in the following post from AWS: https://aws.amazon.com/outposts
Outposts is available as a 42U rack that can scale from 1 rack to 96 racks to create pools of compute and storage capacity.
The full rack option might be a little too big for smaller customer environments, so AWS recently announced that they are releasing a compact 1U and 2U form factor version of the platform, which is more ideal for small environments. This is coming is early 2021.
You can read more about this here https://aws.amazon.com/outposts/1u-2u/
I have recently become a big fan of the Pure Storage line of next generation storage arrays. One interesting use case / integrations is that you can connect your Pure Storage arrays to an AWS Outposts system. This could be part of developing a MultiCloud strategy.
VMware also has a joint offering, allowing you to run VMware Cloud Foundation on Outposts:
You can find more info on this here: https://cloud.vmware.com/community/2018/11/28/vmware-cloud-aws-outposts-cloud-managed-sddc-data-center/
Clumio, Cohesity, Commvault, CTERA, WekaIO have also announced AWS Outposts integrations as well.
I can visualize several use cases for this technology, paired with other solutions currently running in on-premise datacenters. I will be posting more articles when I am able to get a system in house, hopefully early in 2021 :)