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The giant tech is leveraging its Dedicated Hosts platform and building a reseller channel to support a move into the ‘pre-cloud’ space.

Amazon Web Services launched two significant challenges to on-premise hardware vendors, The Register reported this week. The first challenge is the addition of Dedicated Hosts to its on-prem cloud-in-a-box Outposts product.

Outposts includes installing individual servers onto customers’ premises. AWS then manages the hardware, which is designed to run its own cloud services, such as the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) on-prem. EC2 allows customers to rent Dedicated Hosts that AWS promotes as “a physical server fully dedicated for your use, so you can help address corporate compliance requirements.”

Dedicated Hosts on Outposts

As of June 1, these Dedicated Hosts can run on Outposts. This means that AWS is offering de facto standalone on-prem servers. The Dedicated Hosts ship with a hypervisor, but aside from that, they’re servers that customers can configure as they choose, rather than being confined to the possibilities offered by EC2 instance types.

AWS suggests Dedicated Hosts “allow you to use your eligible software licenses from vendors such as Microsoft and Oracle on Amazon EC2, so that you get the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of using your own licenses”. Many software vendors charge by the server, socket, or core for on-prem products, but offer different terms when their wares run in a public cloud. Because Dedicated Hosts aren’t abstracted into EC2 instances, it’s possible to apply those licenses.

AWS still manages the Outposts hardware employed as Dedicated Hosts, observes The Register. Although this means that the offering is more than an on-prem server rental, “it’s very, very, close”.

Storage Gateway Hardware Appliance

The Register noted another move that brings AWS closer to pre-cloud computing. Amazon will offer its on-prem Storage Gateway Hardware Appliance for sale through ‘real-world’ resellers.

The Gateway devices serve as local storage and sync to Amazon’s cloud. They can present as a single logical storage resource, spanning the on-prem box and AWS storage services.