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AWS Outposts: The Cloud Can’t Do It All

Amazon Web Services’ Outposts product, slated to be launched in the latter half of 2019, is an explicit play at the enablement of hybrid cloud. The Outpost is an on-premises data center, fully supported and managed by AWS.

Although hardware is included, the Outpost is in fact a service offering, which allows customers to use AWS services such as EC2, EBS, and VPC – all managed through the web interface of the AWS console.

The Outpost enables IT groups to use a single DevOps pipeline for applications that will run on prem and those that will run in the AWS region, hence the tagline “build once, deploy anywhere.”

Our Take

The Outpost is an interesting offering. AWS has spent a great deal of effort developing a product that will add additional overhead and complexity to its service offering, all toward the aim of giving customers the ability to run AWS services on prem, for a true hybrid cloud experience.

By its very existence, the Outpost product shows that cloud isn’t the end-all-be-all that cloud service providers have often touted it as. One of the main use cases for the Outpost is for high-performance workloads that simply must run on prem, such as high-frequency trading platforms or video content production.

Rather than rushing to move everything to the cloud, enterprise IT groups are left with the challenging task of assessing where their workloads truly belong. And while the Outpost allows for the use of the AWS console to manage workloads and removes the necessity to manage the underlying hardware, clients who leverage the Outpost for core workloads will still need to manage capacity for themselves.

Technology keeps advancing, but IT isn’t getting any easier, and the cloud won’t solve all your problems – even according to AWS.

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