5 Storage Surprises AWS CEO Andy Jassy Launched At His re:Invent Keynote

In his keynote Wednesday, AWS CEO Andy Jassy dived into some new storage offerings that the cloud leader launched at its flagship re:Invent conference to give customers more flexibility in how they keep, manage, move and access their data.

Those include a new tier of ultra-cold storage that AWS hopes will finally motivate customers to abandon on-premises tape systems.

AWS is also making it easier to store data for Windows workloads and those that need compute-intensive resources.

"We have a lot of storage classes, but we're not close to being done," Jassy said.

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Intelligent Storage

Just before re:Invent kicked-off, AWS launched a new storage class called S3 Intelligent-Tiering.

That storage option uses artificial intelligence to help customers select the most-efficient storage tiers for their needs. Machine learning algorithms evaluate customers' unique storage access patterns, and moves objects to colder or warmer tiers accordingly, delivering significant savings without any manual management.

Cold, Cold Storage

"We have customers with gobs of data," Jassy said.

Much of that data is accessed even less frequently than what is typically stored in AWS Glacier cold storage. Most of it is sitting on-premises in difficult-to-maintain and degrading tape archives.

Coming in early 2019, AWS will seek to encourage migrations with a new storage class called Glacier Deep Archive, which delivers the lowest-cost storage in the cloud, Jassy said.

"This means you no longer have to manage tape," he told re:Invent attendees.

Glacier Deep Archive will offer eleven nines of durability, and recovery within hours for customers that choose to extricate some of that data to run analytics and machine learning on it.

The new storage service costs 99 cents per terabyte per month—one quarter of the cost of Glacier cold storage.

"You have to be out of your mind to manage your own tape moving forward," Jassy said.

Windows File Storage

AWS has a lot of customers that have been clamoring to see its Elastic File System (EFS) storage optimized for Windows workloads in addition to Linux ones, Jassy said.

"Windows has been losing share to Linux pretty consistently," the AWS CEO noted, but there are still many customers that need to use the Windows file system.

To that end, AWS is launching Amazon FSx for Windows File Server, a fully managed Windows file system.

Urged on by customers, Amazon took the more-difficult road and built that file system natively, ensuring it's fully compatible with Active Directory, Windows Explorer, and Windows Access Controller.

The managed service delivers 10s of GBs throughput with sub-millisecond latencies.

High Performance Computing Storage

Lustre, a file system used for large computing clusters, is difficult to manage for High Performance Computing (HPC) workloads, Jassy said.

To ease those challenges, AWS is launching FSx for Lustre, a fully managed file system for HPC workloads.

The file system "handles that very demanding set of performance characteristics," Jassy said, like high throughput, low latency, and high IOPS.

Storage Shuffle

Jassy noted that just before re:Invent, AWS launched new services for shuttling data between on-premises storage solutions and Amazon's cloud.

DataSync is a network-accelerated data transfer service that automates data transfers between on-premises systems and Amazon S3 or EFS.

And for customers still reliant on FTP for moving data into the cloud, Jassy presented AWS Transfer for SFTP, delivering a fully managed service for using the Secure File Transfer Protocol.