Amazon's 67 new offerings this year have enhanced its scope and attractiveness
For European users, an important development is that Amazon can guarantee that data will remain within Europe and not be exported without permission, although customers choosing to keep their data in Europe do not automatically get failover to another region though there is fail-over within Amazon's Irish data center. Another improvement is security. Amazon now offers dedicated access via fixed lines, VPN access and use of dedicated instances on the cloud. It also offers identity and access management, and allows its clients to configure groups of users, user types, etc. Finally, it offers clients the ability to encrypt their data on the servers.
Bottom Line for ICT Buyers:
1. The ability to retain all data in Europe is an important step forward. Although there is a lot of scaremongering about the US Patriot Act, there are still serious potential issues with data location and jurisdiction. However, having their data stored in Ireland will still be unacceptable to many public sector organizations.
2. When things go wrong, IT managers do not want to get involved in a protracted "blame game" between the platform vendor and the application vendor. Amazon's gaining certification from the software vendors does not completely remove this risk, but it does make it much less likely. Some of the devil will be in the detail - which versions of the software are guaranteed? It surely can't be all of them.
3. The main stumbling block we see is that Amazon does not offer a guaranteed SLA. What most enterprises will want for the most critical systems is a guarantee of future availability. This limits the type of system that can be deployed onto Amazon - though exactly which systems are operationally critical will vary from one organization to another.