Amazon cloud chief Andy Jassy said that during the first half of 2018, he was consistently getting requests from customers who wanted Amazon's help not just in the cloud, but also in their own data centers.
For some companies, there are regulatory concerns or privacy issues that limit their ability to use public cloud, while other businesses just aren't ready to abandon their own equipment and facilities. So Jassy was asked if Amazon Web Services could go out of its comfort zone and bring some of its advanced technologies to the on-premises world.
On Wednesday, he answered that question with a definitive yes.
At the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, Amazon introduced AWS Outposts, its boldest effort yet to take on legacy hardware vendors like Cisco, Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise by bringing AWS-branded boxes to traditional data centers.
Customers ultimately want "the lowest possible prices," Jassy said in a session with reporters. When asked whether the Outposts technology will eventually be able to run on data center equipment from the likes of Dell and HPE, Jassy said, "it's possible."
In prior years at re:Invent, AWS rolled out products to help clients move massive amounts of data into Amazon's data centers. They included a Snowmobile truck for packaging up data on hard drives and driving them to Amazon's facilities, and rugged Snowball devices for storing data that companies mail to AWS.
But AWS is now acknowledging that many companies want to stay on-premises.
The new Outposts hardware will come with some of the most popular AWS computing offerings and storage software, while a separate option will package virtualization technology from VMware.