Re:Invent 2019 is Over: It’s Time to Get to Work!

Let Rackspace and Onica experts help you get the most out of AWS, from professional services to ongoing management and optimization.

Many organizations, after catching their breath from another packed AWS re:Invent, are eager to act on what they’ve learned.

At the same time, trying to sift through all the new products and services can be overwhelming. Here are three key areas where Rackspace can help: transformation, security and cost optimization.

Expert guidance on transformation

During his keynote, AWS CEO Andy Jassy listed four differentiators between companies who make the transition to the cloud successfully vs. those who don’t:

At Rackspace, we’ve found that even after senior leadership sets aligned, top-down, aggressive goals for transformation, companies still get stuck for months internally analyzing design and governance considerations.

For example, network design can really slow down do-it-yourself transformation initiatives. With ever more options, such as the newly announced AWS Accelerated Site-to-Site VPN, teams new to AWS (and even some experienced companies) can get stuck in analysis paralysis.

Deciding among the ever-expanding options for containers can also lead to delays. There’s the newly announced EKS on AWS Fargate; the general availability of AWS Fargate Spot, which adds to Amazon Elastic Container Service; Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service; AWS Fargate and Amazon EC2.

And while over-evaluating these options leads to delay, not evaluating sufficiently — which can happen when teams are striving to move quickly — is also a risk. But not one you have to take.

You don’t have to go it alone

With nearly 200 distinct AWS products, it can be nearly impossible to identify the right combinations of services and configurations that make the most sense for your org. Luckily, you don’t have to. The addition of Onica to Rackspace’s portfolio means we now offer the most complete set of professional and managed services in the industry.

With Onica’s cloud-native capabilities, Rackspace will lead some of the world’s most complex technology projects, leveraging AWS to help customers build new revenue streams, increase efficiency and deliver incredible experiences.

[Read more: Rackspace completes acquisition of Onica]

Whether it’s strategic advisory, architecture, engineering and application development, or our industry-leading Service Blocks, which offer flexible, customizable services for every stage of the cloud journey, Rackspace and Onica experts can help.

We recently expanded our AWS Service Block offerings to further empower customers to keep pace with innovation and capitalize on new services and features, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things and serverless computing. Our Professional Services help customers solve end-to-end for public cloud adoption through a modular approach ranging from business case creation to establishing a detailed technical design.

[Read more: Rackspace Expands Professional and Managed Services to Accelerate Customer Cloud Adoption with Amazon Web Services]

Don’t just take our word for it. Amazon’s Jassy called out Rackspace and Onica as examples of companies that do “a lot of the heavy lifting of moving enterprises to the cloud.”

Continually refining security

Over the past two weeks, Amazon announced several new features that help companies build new environments securely and to keep existing environments secure, including S3 access points, VPC Ingress Routing, and Amazon EC2 Instance Metadata Service v2. At Rackspace, we’re integrating these new features into our Architect & Deploy and Discover & Enhance Service Blocks. These services result in AWS environments configured with Amazon and Rackspace best practices for security, monitoring and alerts, enabling immediate operational visibility into the infrastructure that supports your workloads.

Amazon also announced several interesting security tools that will make it easier to manage AWS environments on an ongoing basis such as AWS IAM Access Analyzer, CloudTrail Insights and Amazon Detective.  AWS IAM Access Analyzer’s short video explainer quickly illustrates the reasons to be excited about the provable security it enables. Customers of the Rackspace Cloud Native Security Service Block will be happy to know we’re integrating these new security services into that Service Block. By integrating directly with AWS security tools, Rackspace provides around-the-clock monitoring and rapid remediation of security threats in your AWS environment from certified security experts in our global Rackspace Security Operations Center.

Optimizing cost

It wouldn’t be re:Invent without a raft of cost-savings announcements, and this year did not disappoint.

Amazon’s next generation of Arm-based EC2 instances are built on AWS Nitro System and will be powered by the new Graviton2 processor. This custom silicon is impressive enough that Amazon is planning to use these instances to power Amazon EMR, Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon ElastiCache, and other AWS services.

Amazon Redshift benefits from a new RA3 instance type which decouples compute from storage for scaling purposes, allowing you to size your cluster more cost-effectively.

With over 180 instance types in EC2 alone, the choices can be overwhelming, which is why we’re excited about Amazon’s announcement of AWS Compute Optimizer, a free service that recommends optimal AWS Compute resources for your workloads to reduce costs and improve performance.

Amazon ElasticSearch gains a new and more cost-effective storage tier in Ultrawarm (currently in preview), a cache tier backed by S3 with automated storage tiering that delivers almost a 90 percent cost reduction over existing options.

Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service (MCS), currently in preview, may help companies to reduce their operational expenses associated with difficult-to-manage Cassandra clusters.

Controlling costs in the cloud can be a challenge. Ironically, nearly every new cost-savings feature brings with it more complexity in understanding and controlling your costs, which is why Onica developed its Cloud Cost Optimization and FinOps services, which we’re quickly integrating into the Rackspace Service Blocks product framework.

Rackspace is your trusted global partner

Keeping up with Amazon’s rate of innovation can be a full-time job — one our Rackspace experts do every day. Whether you’re seeking to spark innovation, adapt faster to a changing marketplace, or get more out of limited IT resources, we have the right people and the right technologies to get you there.

As Andy Jassy would say, “Don’t let paralysis stop you before you start.”


Start your cloud journey with Rackspace today.

Ben Truitt is a Principal Architect and Product Manager on the Fanatical Support for AWS team at Rackspace. He creates solutions that proactively provide value to Rackspace customers, such as identifying opportunities to optimize costs or improve security. His previous experience includes enterprise architecture and software engineering. In his free time, Ben contributes to the community by providing technical guidance to non-profits participating in The Big Give, South Texas’ biggest annual day of online charitable giving. You can find Ben on LinkedIn.

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