Dec 02 2022

AWS re:Invent 2022: Harvesting Data from the Cloud to the Edge

With huge volumes of data being created and stored across many environments, businesses need consistent, seamless solutions to put it all to work.

As the world continues a trend toward multicloud and hybrid solutions, many organizations are exploring a combination of on-premises, public and private cloud, and edge computing environments. Each offers benefits and challenges, but they can all be leveraged to realize business outcomes.

At AWS re:Invent, AWS’s Jeff Carter, vice president of relational databases, presented a leadership session titled “Your Data: How You Need It, Where You Need It, When You Need It.” He noted, “When we think about data in AWS, our vision is to help you manage all your data. And with that, not only are we talking about the data that you might have on-prem, the data that you might have in one or more different clouds, or the data that you might have in a third party. We would like to help you with cataloging and gathering all of that data and breaking down historic silos.”

In a separate session titled “AWS Wherever You Need It,” Wayne Duso, vice president of engineering and product at AWS, expressed similar goals. “Today, customers want to use AWS services in a growing range of applications, operating wherever they want, whenever they require. And they’re striving to do so to deliver the best possible customer experience they can, regardless of where their customers or users happen to be located. One way AWS helps customers accomplish this is by bringing the AWS value to our regions, to metro areas, to on-premises, and to the furthest and evolving edge.”

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AWS Enables Data Management in Disparate Environments

“We’re helping customers by providing the same experience from cloud to on-prem to the evolving edge, regardless of where your application may need to reside,” Duso explained. “AWS is enabling customers to use the same infrastructure, services and tools to accomplish that. And we do that by providing a continuum of consistent cloud-scale services that allow you to operate seamlessly across this range of environments.”

Jan Hofmeyr, vice president of EC2 Edge at AWS, joined Duso to discuss how AWS works with customers to process data wherever possible. “For the last few years, we’ve been hard at work extending AWS infrastructure and services to new services to bring applications closer to where you need them, to where your users are, to where your equipment is, to where you process and make real-time decisions at the edge.”

The need for real-time data processing has accompanied the continued migration to the cloud and proliferation of mobile devices in recent years. Hofmeyr explained that AWS has responded by extending its services beyond regional offerings to major metropolitan areas, industrial centers and even locations within 5G networks.

And AWS isn’t ignoring the needs of some organizations to manage and process data on-premises. It offers solutions running in data centers, offices, retail locations, and even remote and rugged environments, Hofmeyr said, “many times with limited and no connectivity to the cloud. And finally, to devices — devices running in cities, automotive factories, wherever Internet of Things devices are used today.”

RELATED: Discover how 5G is enabling Internet of Things use cases and data analytics.

Extending Cloud Services to the Edge with Smart Devices

Duso explained how AWS is enabling edge computing by adding capabilities for mobile and IoT devices. “There are more than 14 billion smart devices in the world today. And it’s often in things we think about, like wristwatches, cameras, cellphones and speakers,” he said.

“But more often, it’s the stuff that you don’t see every day powering industries of all types and for all types of customers.” Duso cited the example of Hilcorp, a leading energy producer, which is using smart devices to monitor the health of its wells, optimize production and proactively predict failures so it can minimize capital expenditures.

With IoT devices becoming common among energy providers, edge computing is on the rise to handle the volume of data these devices generate. “Now, AWS IoT provides a deep and broad set of services and partner solutions to make it really simple to build secure, managed and scalable IoT applications,” Duso said.

Jan Hofmeyr
We create a truly consistent experience across environments for builders and operators along the entire cloud edge continuum.”

Jan Hofmeyr Vice President of EC2 Edge, AWS

AWS Is Helping Organizations Innovate in Any Environment

When working in multiple environments, it’s important to find solutions that can function seamlessly across all of them. “AWS helps our customers innovate, bolt, deploy and operate in the hybrid cloud and hybrid edge in the same tools across the entire continuum of the cloud,” Hofmeyr said. “We create a truly consistent experience across environments for builders and operators along the entire cloud edge continuum.”

Duso pointed to Couchbase as a use case for flexible AWS services: “Couchbase is a non-SQL database company that uses AWS hybrid edge services such as Local Zones, Wavelength, Outposts and the Snow Family to deploy its applications and highly scalable, reliable and performant environments to reduce latency by over 18 percent for its customers.” Each of these AWS managed services enables Couchbase to move data from the edge to the cloud or manage and process it where it’s generated.

“What we built on these AWS compute environments was a highly distributed, managed or self-managed database,” Duso explained. “For the cloud, an internet gateway for accessing that data securely over the web and synchronizing that data down to the edge. And that works across cloud, edge and on the offline, first-compute environments.”

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