AWS upgrades highlight growing focus on cloud management

Better tools open the door for more advanced roll outs, as long as the changes needed within an organization aren't forgotten

The configuration tool for Amazon's OpsWorks platform now lets users choose Windows Server as the default operating system.

The configuration tool for Amazon's OpsWorks platform now lets users choose Windows Server as the default operating system.

Amazon Web Services is hoping better management tools will convince enterprises to move more applications to the cloud, but getting their internal management processes right is even more important than anything the vendor can offer.

On Monday, Amazon updated its OpsWorks management platform to work with Windows Server, and published a new API that lets IT staff start thousands of so-called spot instances with one request.

Step by step, cloud providers like Amazon are adding new features to make the IT management capabilities they offer to their customers more efficient and all-encompassing. As enterprises move more and larger IT systems to the cloud, advanced management functionality is becoming increasingly important.

OpsWorks has so far been compatible with cloud-based and on-site Linux servers. Adding support for EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instances running Windows Server 2012 R2 makes it more useful, Amazon said in a blog post.

The tool is targeted at DevOps users who want better management and automation to help them customize and control their environments. It can be used for configuration management, application deployment, software updates and monitoring.

The second announcement is aimed at making Amazon's spot instances more useful. Spot instances are priced in real-time, and are usually much cheaper than regular on-demand servers. They are launched when the price is lower than what an organization has decided it wants to pay. Once the spot price is higher or equal to the bid price, the instances are terminated.

The new spot fleet API lets administrators launch a group of these that all work together to power distributed applications, such as a batch processing job or a Hadoop workflow, according to Amazon. To accomplish this in the past, companies had to write their own custom code to keep track of bids and capacity.

Because of how they work, spot instances are best suited for workloads that aren't time sensitive and can handle disruptions without a hitch.

Amazon isn't alone in working to improve its management offerings. Microsoft has also stepped up its efforts as it works to make Azure more competitive, including continually adding more features to its management portal preview.

However, the tools, irrespective how well they work, are just the basic building block in an effective management structure. All the work that has to take place internally when a company becomes more dependent on cloud services is still underestimated, according to Dan Bieler, principal analyst at Forrester.

"There are many non-technology related issues that should be apart of any cloud discussion that don't feature in these announcements," Bieler said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Amazon Web Servicesvirtualizationsoftwaresystem management

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?