AWS OpsWorks + VPC: AWS accelerates the pace in the hybrid cloud

After the Amazon Web Services (AWS) have acquired the German company Peritor and its solution Scalarium last year and renamed it to AWS OpsWorks, the further integration into the AWS cloud infrastructure follows. The next step is the integration with the Virtual Private Cloud which is, given the current market development, a further punch in the direction of the pursuer.

AWS OpsWorks + AWS Virtual Private Cloud

AWS OpsWorks is a DevOps solution with which applications can be deployed, customized and managed. In short, it ensures the entire application lifecycle. This includes features such as a user-based SSH management, CloudWatch metrics for the current load and the memory consumption, automatic RAID volume configurations and other options for application deployment. In addition, OpsWorks can be expanded with Chef by using individual Chef recipes.

The new Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) support now enables these OpsWorks functions within an isolated private network. For example applications can be transfered from an own IT infrastructure into a VPC in the Amazon Cloud by a secure connection between the own datacenter and the Amazon cloud is established. Thus, Amazon EC2 instances within a VPC behave as if it would be running in the existing corporate network.

OpsWorks and VPC are just the beginning

Believing in the results of the Rackspace 2013 Hybrid Cloud survey, 60 percent of IT decision-makers have the hybrid cloud as the main goal in mind. Here 60 percent will or have withdrawn their applications and workloads in the public cloud. 41 percent left the public cloud partially. 19 percent want to leave the public cloud even completely. The reasons for the use of a hybrid cloud rather than a public cloud are higher security (52 percent), more control (42 percent) and better performance and higher reliability (37 percent). The top benefits, which hybrid cloud users report, including more control (59 percent), a higher security (54 percent), a higher reliability (48 percent), cost savings (46 percent) and better performance (44 percent).

AWS has recognized this trend early in March 2012, and started the first strategic steps. The integration of OpsWorks with VPC is basically just a sideshow. The real trump card holds AWS with the cooperation of Eucalyptus, which was signed last year. The aim is to improve the compatibility with the AWS APIs by AWS supplies Eucalyptus with further information. Furthermore, developers from both companies focus on creating solutions that enterprise customers to help migrate existing data between data centers and the AWS cloud. The customer will also get the opportunity to use the same management tools and their knowledge of both platforms. With version 3.3 Eucalyptus already could present first results of this cooperation.

It will be exciting how the future of Eucalyptus looks. Eventually, the open source company is bought or sold. The question is who makes the first move. My advice is still that AWS must seek an acquisition of Eucalyptus. From a strategic and technological point of view there is actually no way around it.

Given this fact Rackspace and all the other who jumped on the hybrid cloud bandwagon may not have high hopes. Amazon put things on the right track and is also prepared for this scenario.

By Rene Buest

Rene Buest is Gartner Analyst covering Infrastructure Services & Digital Operations. Prior to that he was Director of Technology Research at Arago, Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. Rene is considered as top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies.

Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore Rene Buest is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.