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Amazon to open up access to the "rarified air" of high performance computing

30 Nov 2012
AWS reInvent in Las Vegas Nevada

LAS VEGAS: Amazon is crediting customers in driving the development and launch of its Redshift data warehousing platform.

In an interview with V3 at the company's re:Invent customer conference, Amazon Web Services (AWS) vice president Adam Selipsky said that the platform was largely born out of customer requests.

"The services we release are heavily guided by customers," Selipsky said.

"Over the past couple of years we have gotten more requests to help solve some of the problems they are facing in the data warehouse space, this is one of those areas that traditionally has been very expensive in terms of the solutions that are available."

The company unveiled the Redshift platform at the conference earlier this week Amazon believes that the cost structure of the platform will help large enterprises save tens of thousands of dollars annually. Smaller businesses will benefit too, by adopting data warehousing technology and high performance computing which would otherwise be too expensive.

Selipsky said that the drive to expand high-end IT services and platforms to smaller firms is one of the key drivers for Amazon. 

"High performance computing has been rarified air, having access to supercomputing is not something many organisations enjoy and those that do have small amounts of time allocated to them," he said.

"We don't think that approach is very compatible with innovation."

The company hopes that enabling such innovation will allow Amazon to further expand its hold on the cloud computing market as traditional IT vendors look to move into the space with bundled hardware and software private cloud appliances.

While Amazon decried the notion of private cloud systems as "cloudwashing" efforts which re-hash old technology under a new banner, Selipsky said that the company is planning to support hybrid deployments which combine on-premise and cloud technology.

"Companies will move workloads over to the cloud over time and in waves," he explained.

"There will be a period of many years where they will be operating on-premise and in the cloud."

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Shaun Nichols

Shaun Nichols is the US correspondent for He has been with the company since 2006, originally joining as a news intern at the site's San Francisco offices.

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