For many years, there wasn't much love lost between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and internal IT organizations, which tended to view AWS as the personification of everything that was wrong with cloud computing. Everyone from developers to entire lines of business have been routinely bypassing internal IT to stand up applications on AWS, regardless of security concerns or policy constraints.
At the AWS re:Invent 2013 Conference this week, it looks like a détente between internal IT organizations and AWS may finally be in the offing. By way of achieving that truce, this week Amazon launched AWS CloudTrail, which generate logs that provide customers with a history of API activity across their accounts.
From a compliance and security perspective, AWS CloudTrail has been one of the most requested features by enterprise IT organizations looking to embrace AWS. In fact, the existence of AWS CloudTrail brought forth immediate support from a range of enterprise IT management vendors, including Alert Logic, Boundary, and Splunk.
"CloudTrail is really long overdue. Unlike a lot of clouds where the API is bolted on, everything that happens in AWS moves through the API," Misha Govshteyn, chief strategy officer for Alert Logic, said at the conference.
"This is a real milestone for AWS. People have been asking for better visibility into AWS for a long time," said Scott Fingerhut, vice president of marketing for Boundary.
Increased visibility into AWS is only the beginning. Enterprise-focused announcements at the show even came from well-known mainframe players such as CA Technologies and Syncsort.
CA Technologies announced a partnership with Riverbed Technology in which System z mainframe shops can back up and archive data to AWS using the Riverbed Whitewater. "For the first time mainframe organizations can take advantage of the cloud economics for backup and recovery," Michael Madden, general manager for mainframe at CA, said at the conference.
Syncsort CEO Lonne Jaffe announced that its extract, transform, and load (ETL) technology is now available for moving data in and out of Hadoop running on AWS. Syncsort Ironcluster Hadoop ETL is a more cost-effective way to load and transform that data on AWS before extracting it for use within any number of enterprise applications, the company said. Essentially, AWS allows the ETL process to take place in reverse -- loading, transforming, and then extracting.
Also looking to leverage AWS as a data management resource, Avere Systems announced that its network-attached storage systems can now support the object store technology at the heart of the Amazon S3 cloud storage service.
"People are saying they don't want to build datacenters anymore," Rebecca Thompson, vice president of marketing for Avere, said at the conference. "Only 20 percent of data is ever active at one time, so it makes more sense to store the rest in the cloud."
Other vendors are rallying to make AWS more enterprise worthy. This month, ExtraHop launched an analytics tool to given enterprise IT organizations visibility into AWS. Erik Giesa, senior vice president of marketing and business development for ExtraHop, said the ExtraHop for AWS is the only IT management tool that gives IT organizations visibility into what is occurring on AWS all the way up through Layer 7 of the IT stack. "We deploy a microkernel on AWS that auto discovers and maps all your resources. We think that lack of visibility and control is what is holding back IT organizations from embracing the cloud."
At the application level, Axway announced that its management platform for APIs is now available on AWS.
Skytap is making its application development and test tools available on top of AWS as a complement to the VMware-based cloud platform it currently supports. "We're leveraging RESTful APIs to make that happen with the DevOps process," said Andy Wright, vice president of marketing for Skytap.
Of course, AWS is not an all-or-nothing public cloud proposition. Companies like Eucalyptus Systems make it easier to run private clouds that are compatible with the AWS public cloud. "We think it's a hybrid world," said Andy Knosp, vice president of products for Eucalyptus. "And 70 to 80 percent of those workloads are going to running in conjunction with AWS."
In the meantime, a lot of new application workloads are being developed on AWS. What is changing is that, once they are created, those application workloads are moving into production on AWS. Once that happens, of course, chances are the internal IT organization is going to be asked to find a way to manage those workload on the AWS cloud.
In fact, Andy Jassy, senior vice president for AWS, said the ultimate AWS goal is to move enterprise application workloads to the public cloud. "We will work to meet workloads in the enterprise where they are today. But we also think it's only a matter time before most of them move to the public cloud."