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InfoQ Homepage News AWS Offers Two New Outposts SKUs Suitable for Space Constrained Locations

AWS Offers Two New Outposts SKUs Suitable for Space Constrained Locations

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AWS Outposts provides customers with on-premises compute and storage monitored and managed by AWS and controlled by the same, familiar AWS APIs. Last year at re:Invent in Vegas, AWS announced two new smaller AWS Outposts form factors suitable for locations such as branch offices, retail stores, hospitals, health clinics, and cell sites that are space-constrained and need access to low-latency compute capacity.

Earlier, AWS Outposts enabled customers to run workloads on-premises while seamlessly connecting to a wide range of AWS services in the cloud in a form factor that scales from one rack (roughly the size of a refrigerator) to dozens of racks, with a capacity equivalent to hundreds or thousands of servers. The company now offers smaller form factors with a 1U (a 1 ¾-inch tall one rack unit server) and a 2U (a 3 ½-inch tall two rack unit server) version that requires significantly less power and network connectivity than the complete 42-rack unit AWS Outposts.

With the smaller form factors, customers can run AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Services (EKS), Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) on-premises. Moreover, after connecting AWS Outposts to their network, AWS will remotely manage the infrastructure in the same way that hardware running in an AWS Region is managed, including pushing automated security patches and monitoring hardware health.

The 1 and 2U can have one of the three AWS Outposts servers, all powered by AWS Nitro System and with a choice of x86 or Arm/Graviton2 processors. 

 
Source: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-aws-outposts-servers-in-two-form-factors/

In an AWS News blog post on the two new Outposts form factors, Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS, wrote:

Outposts servers incorporate many powerful Nitro features, including high-speed networking and enhanced security. The security model is locked-down and prevents administrative access, preventing tampering or human error. Additionally, data at rest is protected by a NIST-compliant physical security key.

In addition, a respondent on a recent AWS Outposts Hacker News thread explained a specific use-case for Outposts:

This is for businesses that have regulatory requirements that they store data in-state. State governments don't like it when specific data is kept out of state. They like the idea that they can just dispatch their own police to seize the required records from the server rather than asking for the cooperation of another government and its own police force. I know specifically, it is popular in the regulated gambling and insurance industries.

Besides AWS, other public cloud providers Google and Microsoft, also offer similar hybrid cloud services like Outposts. Microsoft, for example, provides Azure Stack, which enables the extension of their cloud platform to on-premise, while Google offers Anthos, which includes support for multi-cloud.

Lastly, pricing and availability details of the 1 and 2U form factors are available on the pricing page.

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