AWS makes its hybrid cloud behave a bit more like normal, boring, on-prem servers

At last you can pick a dedicated host to run your Amazonian workload

Amazon Web Services has made a small change that causes its on-prem Outposts to behave a bit more like boring old on-prem servers.

Outposts are AWS servers – or racks full of kit – that can run some cloudy instance types, but live on your premises or an edge location. AWS allows its customers to specify the hardware in an Outpost – check out the hardware menu for standalone servers and the catalog of options that can be crammed into an Outposts Rack.

AWS also offers "Dedicated Hosts" – full servers that clients can rent in its cloud or, as of last year, in Outposts.


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On Tuesday, Amazon's server rental service tweaked things again – this time by allowing users to target a workload to a specific server in Outposts Racks.

As Outposts Racks can be configured with the hardware you desire, AWS is allowing users to match workloads to physical on-prem servers – just like IT has done forever. But now with a hybrid cloudy twist.

AWS suggests Dedicated Hosts are a fine way to reduce license hassles, because by renting an entire server the legalese that allows software to run on sockets, physical cores, or VMs is easily applied. Software vendors sometimes offer different licenses for clouds, or get pernickety about licensing on heavily abstracted hyperscale hardware, so AWS has a point.

Andy Jassy's compute bureau can also make the point that the combo of Dedicated Hosts and Outposts offers a familiar architectural option.

AWS has been slow to embrace hybrid cloud, leaving a lot of the heavy lifting to partners VMware and Nutanix. While its Snow family of devices and Outposts offers the chance to bring its cloud on-prem, that's not the Amazonian way. Those products aren't often front and center when Amazon talks cloud.

Contrast that with Oracle’s Cloud@Customer and Alloy offering, which operates on-prem and allows users to run their own slice of the Big Red cloud. Microsoft is also grudging about on-prem these days, but still offers Azure Stack. Even Google doesn't mind on-prem Kubernetes, through its Anthos offering.

With this latest move, AWS has a stronger hybrid cloud and on-prem story. Let's see if it can rouse itself to promote that. ®

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