Despite the advantages of cloud computing, many organizations still choose to keep some of their data, computing power, and services on-premises.
Whether to maintain compliance with industry standards, speed up critical data availability close to where it is needed most, or as part of their organization’s disaster recovery and redundancy planning, there will always be a strong business case for keeping some services in-house.
This can be especially true for those that use Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud combined with the power of the lesser-known AWS Outposts functionality.
So what exactly is AWS Outposts, and what key things do you need to know to set up and run your own version of AWS on-premises? Here are the key best practices and knowledge bytes you need to know.
What are the basics of AWS Outposts?
Simply, an Outpost brings AWS services on-premises using a specialized device managed by AWS. It connects Amazon’s cloud-based services, APIs, and managed infrastructure services to your own internal physical and virtual infrastructure, creating your own dedicated link while also offering some pretty powerful functionality locally.
For example, with Outposts enabling your AWS on-premises:
- Developers can build and deploy applications using local computing power and onboard storage while still utilizing the same familiar interface that is used in Amazon's public cloud regions.
- Organizations have the ability to use a hybrid cloud strategy for applications that require low latency, local data processing or residency requirements, or compliance needs.
- Local subnets can be configured to connect to an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud hosted on Amazon's public cloud.
- Organizations are able to deploy resources on-premises with a subset of Amazon cloud services features, including:
- Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)
- Elastic Container Service (ECS)
- Elastic Block Store (EBS)
Put simply, AWS Outposts allows you to run your servers or virtual machines on-premises. This allows for fast adoption of a hybrid strategy.
What do you need to know about AWS on-premises with Outposts?
So what are the key things you need to know before enabling AWS on-premises through the Outposts technology?
First, AWS Outposts requires you to have the ability to deliver consistent and indefinite connectivity between the Outpost device and the nearest AWS Availability Zone, which is part of a larger AWS Region. In other words, AWS Outposts isn’t designed for off-network operations or services.
However, Outposts provides organizations with a flexible and scalable way to upgrade their on-premises capacity—or even build out an on-premises infrastructure if they don’t have one in place—without the usual cost and labor-intensive work of setting up a local data center.
Once in place, your organization can leverage a hybrid-cloud infrastructure where the Outpost can run data- and/or resource-intensive workloads locally when needed or be routed to the larger AWS cloud in other cases.
Finally, like other cloud-based services, Outposts is bought for a three-year service period. Organizations can choose to pay up front or to spread out their cost over the course of this period.
How can AWS Outposts make a difference for your company?
In addition to the scalable computing resources and ability to set up a hybrid infrastructure, there are some other key benefits to using Outposts.
For example, Outposts allows organizations to introduce AWS automation tools and services to the management of their storage environment, facilitating standardization in infrastructure deployment while also identifying ways to increase efficiency and flexibility. More specifically, Outposts allows for automated deployments and configurations using the same APIs, access controls, EC2 AMIs, and templates, reducing workloads and opportunities for mistakes.
Similarly, Outposts is updated and patched as part of AWS Regional operations, which allows for continued access to functionality and security enhancements without the extra work or downtime of having to handle these efforts in-house.
Finally, the ability to create a separate local private subnet with your AWS on-premises via Outposts complete with its own gateway and IP addresses gives organizations the flexibility to access local resources and capacity or the public region, depending on need. In turn, your business can benefit from increased processing capacity with lower networking costs while also balancing unique business, regulatory, or security requirements.
Ready to take the next step with AWS on-premises via Outposts?
This ability to bring the power, functionality, and scalability of the AWS public cloud to your on-premises infrastructure with Outposts can unlock many new opportunities and benefits for your organization if implemented and managed appropriately.
That’s where Think|Stack’s position as an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner combined with our people-first, design-thinking methodology allows us to provide organizations personalized, secure cloud solutions to enable business transformation and growth.
To learn more about AWS Outposts or how you can refine your cloud-based services, contact the team at Think|Stack for a free consultation.
About the Author
Zach Hill, CTO
Zach began his career early in life with an internship as a helpdesk technician at a recycling company out of Chicago and has worked his way through the IT ranks from System Administrator to his current role as Chief Technology Officer at Think|Stack. His specialties come from a heavy networking engineering and virtualization background allowing him to easily transition into the dynamic and complex cloud environments of the modern technical landscape. As an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional, Zach is equally at home generating the architectural plans for a complex service deployment within AWS. Zach’s vision and drive to be at the bleeding-edge fuels Think|Stack’s growth and provides clients with an innovative, constantly evolving technology strategy.