AWS Service Broker 'Supercharges' Red Hat, Pivotal Application Platforms

By releasing its AWS Service Broker this Wednesday as open-source code, Amazon Web Services will further facilitate enterprise digital transformation projects and deployment of seamless hybrid clouds, said an AWS solutions architect who specializes in helping partners migrate customers to DevOps and big data services.

The service broker implements APIs that extend the capabilities of Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Red Hat OpenShift — popular development platforms from two of Amazon's most-important technology partners, MandusMomberg told partners during a session of the AWS re:Invent Global Partner Summit Monday.

Cloud Foundry and OpenShift both are major drivers of cloud adoption because they leverage container technology to deliver unified developer experiences across heterogenous environments, Momberg said.

[Related: AWS Introduces PrivateLink For More-Scalable, Secure Connections To Popular Services]

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AWS Service Broker is the "supercharger" for those platforms because it makes it easy to add to them native AWS capabilities. Built from the Open Service Broker API in close cooperation with Pivotal and Red Hat, it allows developers to provision AWS resources, such as S3 storage, through the platforms and connect them directly to their cloud-native applications.

Once it's open-sourced and available on GitHub, partners and customers will be able to modify the code for "extended control about how resources get deployed," Momberg told re:Invent attendees.

Amazon will initially expose 10 AWS services through APIs to this week's open-source release, including Redshift, RDS and Athena. Within the next 10 months, most AWS services will become available.

The service broker doesn't even need to run in an AWS environment. Users can provision native AWS services while controlling management functions within their on-premises environments.

"We have partnered with some exceptional application platform partners," Momberg said of Red Hat and Pivotal. "Together with our partners, we have made the deployment of these platforms on AWS a lot easier."

The collaboration between the enterprise software vendors has yielded accelerators that can get Pivotal Cloud Foundry running on AWS in less than two hours, and Red Hat's OpenShift container platform in 30 minutes, he noted.

Those application platforms are helping customers digitally transform, he said, around the three pillars of cloud-native businesses: elasticity, availability and agility.

Businesses need to be able to scale quickly based on the requirements of their customers; they need their services to always be available in all regions; and they need to be able to rapidly introduce new technologies.

But half the challenge to meeting those goals is just provisioning infrastructure that can uniformly deliver applications, Momberg said.

To that end, "the industry has responded with one of those new groundbreaking technologies" — containers.

Those "portable pieces of infrastructure that can ship across multiple environments" have delivered the environmental consistency developers always longed for, he said.

Now "containerizing code is industry standard for modernizing application stacks," Momberg said. And AWS estimates roughly three-quarters of legacy applications can be containerized without refactoring.

"The moment you have containerized that application, you suddenly become more capable of deploying that application at scale," he said.

The application platforms from Pivotal and Red Hat deliver those benefits as "easy solutions, abstracting all the heavy lifting," Momberg added.

Teri Patrick, a senior marketing strategist at F5 Networks, a leading vendor of application delivery networking technology, came to the session to better understand the journey customers take to move beyond their legacy technology and into the cloud.

Ensuring consistent services and experiences across environments is a concern she often sees among companies looking to modernize their applications with cloud-native methodologies, she told CRN.

That's an issue that resonates at F5, as its software is often an element of the legacy stack that's getting shifted to the cloud. Like many other technology companies, she said, F5 has a responsibility to make its services as lightweight and easy to deploy as possible.

"Standardization is key to scale," Patrick said.