What is the AWS Outposts service?
AWS Outposts is a fully managed service that offers the same AWS infrastructure, AWS services, APIs, and tools to virtually any datacenter, co-location space, or on-premises facility for a truly consistent hybrid experience.https://aws.amazon.com/outposts/
AWS compute, storage, database, and other services run locally on Outposts, and you can access the full range of AWS services available in the Region to build, manage, and scale your on-premises applications using familiar AWS services and tools.
Essentially, it is service offered by AWS that allows you to run AWS Services on your own premises or datacentre. You can run EC2, EBS, S3, container-based services, and RDS locally, yet still connect to a range of AWS services seamlessly. You can extend your VPC into your outpost, and make use of the same APIs, tools, and security controls to manage your applications as you would natively in the cloud.
This affords the ability to use AWS to securely stream, store, and process customer data, yet still remain local. For highly regulated industries, countries where data residency laws exist, or even those customers needing to reduce the latency of their operations, this could be a real boon. Pricing varies from country to country, and AWS offers payment options for a 3-year commitment that include no upfront payments, as well as the ability to partially or wholly pay in advance.
So, why is this news for Confluent? Because as of last month (September 2020), Confluent Platform is now certified by the Amazon Partner Network as an AWS Outposts Ready partner. This certification gives the assurance that Confluent Platform can be integrated with AWS Outposts, allowing you to run your production workloads on Confluent Platform both locally, and securely!
Confluent now offer the ability to connect various on-premises event sources such as legacy databases, proprietary storages, and/or monolithic applications to AWS, serving as a data hub for hybrid designs. In collaboration with AWS, Confluent are now able to provide a true hybrid experience with a unified control plane for AWS infrastructure, as well as a unified event streaming platform to build out next-generation event-driven applications. This makes it possible to overcome challenges that exist due to data locality requirements and running complex hybrid scenarios between on-premise and AWS services.
AWS Outposts truly provides a new paradigm for running on-premises workloads together with Confluent Platform for event-driven, hybrid, and mission-critical use cases, and is another step forward for the Confluent Platform. For further reading, see this post by Joseph Morais (Confluent) and Jobin George (AWS), where they discuss how they deployed Confluent Platform to AWS Outposts using a custom AMI and CloudFormation template. You can also learn more about AWS Outposts here.