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AWS Boosts Partner Program with IoT, Migration Competencies

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Inc. is well on its way to doubling its partner investment, fulfilling a promise it made to partners last year.

That was the upshot of Tuesday's keynote of the AWS Global Partner Summit led by Terry Wise, vice president of alliances and channels at AWS. The Partner Summit marks the start of the annual AWS re:Invent conference, which takes place in Las Vegas this week.

During the keynote, Wise detailed a number of new ways AWS plans to invest in its partner community over the coming months, including the addition of three new competencies to the AWS Partner Network (APN). The first is the DevOps competency, which is available starting Tuesday and aimed at partners that "provide solutions to, or have deep experience working with businesses to help them implement continuous integration and delivery development patterns or helping them automate infrastructure provisioning and management with configuration management tools on AWS," according to this APN blog post.

The two other new competencies are Migration and IoT. These are still in development but will be "coming soon," Wise said. The IoT competency is aimed at "partners that provide IoT platforms, analytics, connectivity infrastructure, developer tools, operating systems, professional services, and vertical-focused IoT solutions," according to the AWS press release. Meanwhile, the migration competency is aimed at "partners who have deep expertise and experience helping customers migrate applications and entire data centers to AWS."

Andy Jassy, AWS senior vice president, highlighted the migration opportunity for partners during his section of the keynote. "There is just a gigantic opportunity for SIs [systems integrators] to help enterprises with migration managed services," he said.

Wise also announced the availability of two new training and certification resources aimed at bolstering APN partners' security bona fides -- a free online course called "AWS Security Fundamentals" and a three-day lab called "Security Operations on AWS." The two offerings "are designed to help you and your customers meet cloud security objectives under the AWS Shared Responsibility Model, including guidance on how to create more secure AWS architectures and solutions and address key compliance requirements," the company said in a blog post on Tuesday.

AWS is also planning to launch a new service called EC2 Dedicated Hosts, Wise said, although he did not specify a timeframe for availability beyond "soon." According to Wise, EC2 Dedicated Hosts would enable a Bring Your Own License (BYOL) scenario, in which organizations can use their own server licenses -- whether they're Windows, Linux or Oracle -- on dedicated AWS EC2 hosts.

"If you are migrating from an existing environment to AWS, you may have purchased volume licenses for software that is licensed for use on a server with a certain number of sockets or physical cores. Or, you may be required to run it on a specific server for a given period of time. Licenses for Windows Server, Windows SQL Server, Oracle Database, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server often include this requirement," explained AWS evangelist Jeff Barr in a blog post. "We want to make sure that you can continue to derive value from these licenses after you migrate to AWS."

Wise also shared a couple of statistics illustrating the growth of the APN during the keynote. There are roughly 1 million AWS customers worldwide and "tens of thousands" of APN partners, he said, with over half of those partners located outside of North America. The AWS Marketplace contains over 2,300 products from over 800 ISVs. The SaaS Partner Program, which launched in early July, already has "hundreds of partners," he added.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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