AWS Introduces Elastic File System, Desktop Apps Marketplace and Machine Learning

The Amazon Web Services Summit took place in San Francisco on Thursday. Amazon used the platform to announce a number of new initiatives, including its new Elastic File System offering.
With AWS’s Elastic File System, an organization can predict how much cloud storage their apps will need. EFS is being called the “missing piece” of Amazon’s cloud.
Many organizations are paying for more cloud storage space than they actually use. Amazon believes its new Elastic File System offering can bridge together the fluidity of storage infrastructure with organizations who prefer to pay on-demand.
EFS allows an app to use as much as storage as its need. The caveat is that an organization will only be billed for what they use. Andy Jassy from Amazon calls it a “file system that grows and shrinks, automatically.”
AWS notes that the EFS will be presented in special preview mode this summer. If you’re interested in using EFS, you may want to sign up now for the beta test.
Desktop Application Marketplace
The Amazon WorkSpaces lineup provides Virtual Desktops hosted in the public cloud. Andy Jassy mentioned that WorkSpaces seen tremendous growth over the past year.
Capitalizing on that growth, AWS has introduced a Desktop Application Marketplace. With application marketplace, organizations can buy licensed versions of desktop applications on a per month basis. Popular products such as Office 2013 could be purchased and instantly deployed to a specific desktop in your WorkSpaces farm.
“With just a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, Amazon WorkSpaces customers are able to provision a high-quality, cloud-based desktop experience for their end users at half the cost of other virtual desktop infrastructure solutions,” says Gene Farrell, GM of AWS Enterprise Apps.
“With pay-as-you-go monthly pricing and end-user self-provisioning of applications, customers will lower the costs associated with provisioning and maintaining applications for their workforce,” concludes Farrell.
AWS introduces Machine Learning
AWS also introduced a Machine Learning product that will rival Microsoft Azure’s Machine Learning service. With Machine Learning, organizations can use data to make predictions. Machine Learning can help organizations streamline their processes and gain crucial insights into Big Data analytics.
Jeff Barr from Amazon writes, “This new AWS service helps you to use all of that data you’ve been collecting to improve the quality of your decisions. You can build and fine-tune predictive models using large amounts of data, and then use Amazon Machine Learning to make predictions (in batch mode or in real-time) at scale.”
Barr’s blog post provides a primer that helps you get started with AWS Machine Learning.