AWS re:Invent roundup: Avere, Skytap, CliQr, GenieDB, Syncsort

Amazon's cloud customers have descended upon Sin City with plenty of new developments of their own.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

LAS VEGAS---Amazon's cloud unit is gearing up for its second annual developers summit kicking off in Sin City on Tuesday. While the Web Services team will have plenty of news of its own to share at this morning's keynote, here's a roundup of what some of its customers are doing on the AWS platform lately too.

Avere Systems: The NAS solutions maker has introduced its own cloud platform, promising both unlimited capacity scaling in the cloud as well as unlimited performance scaling at the data center level.

The "unlimited" part is slightly questionable given that Avere noted that "scalable capacity enables a large working set of active data, up to 450TB, to be stored on the enterprise premise.

At the heart of the Avere Cloud NAS is company's new FlashCloud software, which is designed to weave together legacy NAS options  with Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) and redundant data archiving storage infrastructure Glacier in order to present a central viewpoint of all files via familiar NAS protocols.

Skytap: Amazon's Seattle cloud software-providing neighbor has introduced its own self-service application development environment for the AWS infrastructure. Basically, this means Skytap customers will be able to build and test software on environments that mirror AWS production environments while still being able to use Skytap's Software-as-a-Service suite in the process.

Skytap is dangling free beta test offers right now, which are touted to include full functionality and access to the Skytap Cloud service and AWS infrastructure. Along with AWS, Skytap also supports VMware workloads.

CliQr: The cloud migration provider has updated its CloudCenter application management platform with more IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) functions, most of which center around user access. For example, IT managers can set up self-service access to a private enterprise app store -- a trend on which most enterprise cloud and software vendors are increasingly keen.

Additional user-focused updates include the option to deploy multi-user shared storage and allocate volume to individual users from a single large instance. CliQr is also letting businesses try to leverage prior service level agreements in order to negotiate and pay within previously agreed-upon terms.

The upgraded version of CloudCenter is already available.

GenieDB: The database startup is adding a new management console to its MySQL-as-a-Service for the automated automated administration of backup processes, tuning and updates. Here, IT admins can select cloud providers, server size, and server location based upon geography with the idea of having multiple backup plans in place in case one datacenter happens to have issues.

Also promising faster response times to outages, the console is supposed to enable administrators to be able to deploy MySQL database clusters that should remain continuously available during these regional outages.

Aside from the obvious savings that should come with remaining afloat in the face of downtimes, the management console could also fit the bill for smaller companies with less IT hands given that the the setup is only supposed to take "minutes" to configure.

Syncsort: Promoting what it describes as the first "Data Integration-as-a-Service Engine" for Amazon's Elastic MapReduce (EMR) cloud data service, the Hadoop-based Syncsort Ironcluster is designed to move older data processing workloads from legacy data warehouses and mainframes into the EMR.

Ironcluster's selling points seem to revolve around running a tight, minimally-managed ship by promising a single access point for enterprise-wide data sources (i.e. Amazon S3, Salesforce.com, etc.), no third-party infrastructure/system requirements, and hardly any extra coding requirements to enable data flows.

The Ironcluster supports up to 10 nodes with the option to purchase additional nodes as needed at an hourly price point. Ironcluster is available immediately via the AWS Marketplace with free trial offers up for grabs too.

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