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Amazon wants to make cloud migration as easy as possible

Amazon Web Services SVP Andy Jassy unveiled on Wednesday a new set of database tools and services to help big enterprises migrate to the cloud.

"If you look at analytics in the cloud today, it's never been less expensive or easier to collect, store, analyze, and share data than it is today in the cloud," said Jassy. "But if you look at most companies who want to move large amounts of data to the cloud, it's actually very time consuming to do."

With these new services, AWS is hitting rivals such as Oracle and Microsoft where it hurts, by giving companies tools to move even faster. That migration is happening faster than anyone — even Amazon — thought it would.

To illustrate just how quickly the shift to cloud-based data storage is taking place, Amazon announced that its Amazon Aurora database, launched this time last year, is the fastest growing service in AWS history.

At AWS' annual re:Invent developer conference in Las Vegas, Jassy unveiled several new tools aimed at helping companies ditch traditional on-site databases, applying CEO Jeff Bezos' signature customer-centric approach that has enabled Amazon to eviscerate so many retailers, to the enterprise cloud computing market.

Amazon is touting its AWS Database Migration Service as a cost-effective end-to-end solution: Set-up takes 10 minutes, and customers can migrate up to a 1 terabyte database at a cost of $3. Customers can use the service once or subscribe for continuous automated migration and monitoring services.

Jassy also unveiled AWS Snowball appliances — customized appliances built by AWS that can hold 50 terabytes of data. AWS ships the appliance to the customer, the customer plugs it into a local network, transfers the data and ships the device back to AWS.

"They don't have to worry about hiring somebody to courier it and get the shipping label right We have a Kindle built right into the device. It automatically addresses it and tracks its progress as it gets to us," said Jassy.

Customers can migrate 100 terabytes of data to AWS in less than a week, at one-fifth the cost of using the Internet: "Instead of 100 days, they can get two Snowballs, and it'll take inside of a week," said Jassy. "That changes how people can get more of the data to the cloud."

AWS is drawing on its retail parent company's shipping and tracking experience: "You should never underestimate the power of a Fed-Ex truck," Jassy said. And the name? "Almost like throwing a snowball and having it arrive in our data center with 50 terabytes of your data per snowball included," Jassy said.