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Amazon Announces General Availability of Its Outposts Hybrid Solution

Amazon announced its Outposts product, the AWS stack in your datacenter, ordered through its cloud console, in late 2018. In December 2019, the service, which promises a fluid experience between Amazon’s cloud and customers’ on-premises environments, is a big step towards the competitive cloud future.

It’s not surprising that Amazon wants more organizations to move to the cloud. It’s a cloud provider; that’s its business. The public cloud, with its infinite scalability and elasticity, is the answer. If it’s not, it should be!

It turns out, however, that this is not a universal truth. Some workloads don’t belong in the cloud. HCI providers like Nutanix promise portability and control, and Microsoft has been hawking its Azure Stack hybrid solution for a few years now. Amazon’s VMware Cloud on AWS was an early indication that the brass in Seattle noticed this trend, but it is a VMware solution as much as an AWS solution, and it didn’t scratch that proprietary itch.

With Outposts, Amazon is bringing the cloud directly to its customers. If you love AWS but have a compelling reason to keep a workload on premises, this might be the solution for you.

Our Take

The bigger question here is “do Outposts make sense?” It depends. But keep in mind that, while Outposts offer some of the benefits of an on-premises deployment (compliance, latency), there are drawbacks as well – it’s not clear how quickly Amazon can provision new equipment. If elasticity is a key consideration, outposts may not be the solution.

As with all service models, the value of Amazon’s on-premises cloud service is going to be greater for some users than for others. For those who are attracted to a cloud architecture, but need to consider latency and data residency, Outposts might be the solution. For others, it might be too expensive.

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