The AWS Cloud Goes Underground at re:Invent

Just hours ahead of its annual reInvent customer conference, Amazon Web Services Inc. said it has signed up a couple of important new customers who will be using its public cloud computing infrastructure to run the bulk of their information technology operations.

They include Ellie Mae Inc., which provides cloud software for the mortgage industry that helps streamline and automate the process of originating and funding new loans and facilitate regulatory compliance. The other one is Mobileye, a division of Intel Corp. that builds software that lets autonomous vehicles drive along busy roads without any human intervention.

The new customers, no doubt not the last before reInvent closes on Friday, can be seen as major wins for AWS since they serve as solid references for a range of its cutting-edge services, including its microservices and machine learning platforms.

In the case of Ellie Mae, it’s actually said to be going “all-in” on Amazon’s cloud, which means it will be dismantling its on-premises infrastructure completely to run all of its IT operations there. The company will be using almost the full gamut of Amazon’s services going forward, including its compute, storage, database, serverless and software container platforms.

Ellie Mae said it has already moved the bulk of its operations to Amazon’s cloud, building a companywide data lake with Amazon Simple Storage, for example. The move has enabled it to adopt a microservices-based architecture on which it hosts the majority of its software applications.

The idea is that these can benefit from increased agility and faster, smoother and more regular updates. One of the main services it uses is Amazon Lambda, a so-called serverless platform that allows it to run new code without needing to provision or manage computer servers and other resources.

“AWS gives us an unmatched set of cloud services and a highly reliable infrastructure to work with as we continue to build solutions that provide borrowers and lenders with the best digital loan experiences,” Satheesh Ravala, senior vice president of cloud engineering and operations at Ellie Mae, said in a statement.

Mobileye won’t be moving all of its operations to Amazon’s cloud, but will instead rely on it to run “core workloads” that also entail a wide array of services. Those include Amazon’s compute, storage, database, analytics, machine learning and edge computing services.

The company will also build its own data lake on Amazon S3, allowing it to ingest and analyze data and video feeds from thousands of autonomous vehicles. The rapid delivery of insights generated from this data should allow it to roll out faster updates in order to fine-tune its software platform.

“Making AWS our preferred cloud provider aligns with our overall technical strategy and desired pace of innovation,” Amnon Shashua, president and chief executive officer, at Mobileye, said in a statement. “We are becoming a more agile organization on AWS.”

Ellie Mae and Mobileye join a growing list of big customers that have opted to host computing operations on Amazon’s cloud. The list includes Samsung Heavy Industries, which is using Amazon’s cloud to build an autonomous shipping platform. Others include Oath Inc., a subsidiary of Verizon Communications Inc., Comcast Cable and GoDaddy Inc., which migrated their own IT operations to Amazon earlier in the year.

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