Amazon Web Services (news, site) is taking more even more steps to increase its competitiveness in the enterprise market. The company announced three new offerings that should make AWS cloud products even more attractive to enterprise buyers.

Faster Connections to AWS

Amazon has been making big effort lately to attract more enterprise customers, which are traditionally more conservative about technology investments. The company is doing everything it can to make sure its products have high quality of service (e.g. secure, reliable, fast), especially after its widely publicized service outage.

Throughput is a major issue for organizations that want to move large stores of data from on premise to cloud based storage. As data sizes continue to grow, the process has become so cumbersome and slow that many enterprise customers elect to ship the data on a physical device to the cloud provider for local upload. However, Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) new Direct Connect offering may take a few dollars from the shipping industry and eliminate the data upload pain point.

Direct Connect is an alternative to using the Internet to connect to the services in the AWS cloud. Using AWS Direct Connect, customers can make a private dedicated connection between one of AWS Direct Connect locations and their network; this typically provides improved transfer speeds and network consistency. In addition, customers can reduce bandwidth costs because Amazon charges a reduced AWS Direct Connect rate for data transmitted via Direct Connect instead of the normal Internet data transfer rates.

Amazon is offering 1Gbps and 10Gbps ports and customers may provision multiple ports. However, AWS only has one Direct Connect location available today in Ashburn, Virginia. Customers can connect to services in the AWS US-East region. However, additional locations are planned for San Jose, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo and Singapore in the next several months according to Amazon. There are no setup charges for direct connect and pricing is per port-hour consumed. Additional details and pricing information are available at the website.

Other New Offerings from AWS

In addition to Direct Connect, Amazon made two additional AWS announcements.  Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) was introduced in March in an effort to make the cloud infrastructure products more friendly to developers. VPC features let users define their own network topologies similar to what they might do in their own data centers, eliminating the need for an existing Virtual Private Network (VPN). Now, AWS has taken its VPC out of beta and made it accessible to all regions. AWS users can also now create multiple VPCs and Windows 2008 R2 is supported. AWS VPCs also added support for Reserved Instances for Windows with SQL Server.

Amazon also announced enhancements to its Identity and Access Management (IAM) controls. IAM is essentially a federation solution that allows organizations to provision access to AWS resources using an existing identity management solution -- avoiding a second login.

Amazon has been enhancing its AWS services with new products and features almost every month of this year. We will be watching to see if their continued efforts results in a few new profitable enterprise clients.