Offering Private Clouds to the Enterprise
Amazon's Web Services is a flexible beast and is getting even more malleable thanks to a range of recent additions. The first of these is Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) which has just moved from private to an open beta. It offers VPN-like features for your Amazon-stored services and data. Effectively, moving your Amazon content to within the boundaries of your own enterprise systems.
This means that your Amazon content can be protected by your own enterprises' firewall and other defensive systems to add a known level of defense to Amazon's own measures.
With traffic routing, you have the ability to specify IP ranges and create subnets or assign resources. With isolated network access, your virtual private cloud is secure while opening up a world of Amazon's resources.
Streaming Your Digital Media Content
The second new feature is the ability to stream or send audio and video files with CloudFront, making Amazon a competitor to other corporate media services and stores. With content caching around the world for speedy distribution, users can neatly tie-in with other Amazon services to sell movies, video, songs, sounds and other media.
CloudFront offers the scalability and flexibility that Amazon has become synonymous with, with prices starting from US$ 0.170 per GB for the first terabyte and decreasing the more you broadcast. To operate a CloudFront, users upload the files in a distribution to a bucket. As requests are made, the content is moved to the most suitable network edge.
Data files can be made publically available or limited for private use, depending on your corporate need. Streaming uses the Real Time Messaging Protocol and Flash Media Server which can handle most common file types including FLV, MP4 and H.26.
Play the Spot Market
Amazon's Spot Instances is a new, and rather exciting development in beta that puts Amazon services open to the market. Bidders can buy unused EC2 time, at cheaper rates than normal.
This has the fun prospect of IT departments turning day traders trying to save their company's cash on resources, or it could turn into bull and bear markets as companies try to outbid each other.