AWS Launches Arm-Based Servers For EC2

In a first Amazon to let companies download satellite data using its ground stations

Amazon Web Services announces its own custom-designed ARM server processor

Amazon said the capability would be available to AWS customers in the government or regulated industries, a key area for the company as it bids for a $10 billion contract with the U.S. Department of Defense. This will be a game changer in IAAS industry. "We provide direct access to AWS services and AWS Global Infrastructure, including our low-latency, global fibre network right where your data is downloaded into our AWS Ground Station". The AWS Ground Station unit will build a network of 12 satellite facilities across the world and start operations next year. By supplementing its existing ground infrastructure with another flexible option for communicating with the satellite constellation, Spire adds the ability to quickly extend or overlap coverage on demand without incurring any additional hardware expenses.

AWS will kick off the new service by opening its first two ground stations this week.

By contrast, AWS insists that by using Elemental MediaConnect, customers can build mission-critical live video transport workflows in a fraction of the time and cost of satellite or fibre and get broadcast-grade monitoring and management. We look forward to continuing our work with Guardian as they move to AWS, closing the last of their data centers by the end of this year and looking ahead at ways they can leverage our services, including machine learning and analytics, to continue to evolve their business.

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Rick Ambrose, executive VP at Lockheed Martin Space, also spoke at the press briefing, announcing a strategic collaboration to integrate the new AWS Ground Station service with Lockheed Martin's new Virtual Resilient Ground (Verge) antenna network. First up were A1 instances powered by Amazon's new 64-bit ARM-based Graviton processor (yes, AWS is now designing silicon) which it says will offer up to 45 percent cost savings compared with Amazon EC2 general goal instances, welcome news to partners with customers experiences some cloud sticker shock. AWS said during natural disasters, downlinked imagery data can be rapidly analysed to identify survivors, assess structural damages, and rapidly stream this data to first responders and rescue teams.

These approaches, said AWS, are costly to lease and manage, require customers to commit to long-term contracts, and frequently take months to set up. A ground station is the vital link for transmitting data to-and-from satellites in orbit.

"Leading companies in financial services like Ellie Mae turn to AWS for the agility, security, performance, and cloud services required to operate at scale and with speed", said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. This allows reduction in data processing and analysis times - from hours to minutes or seconds - for use cases like weather prediction or natural disaster imagery.

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