This article originally appeared on Real Money on Nov. 30, 2016.
The competition might be making some noise, but Amazon Web Services (AWS) is still in a league of its own in terms of the features and services its public cloud infrastructure can provide to customers of all sizes and backgrounds. That was the message AWS chief Andy Jassy made sure to drive home early during the lengthy keynote address he gave on Wednesday at Amazon's (AMZN) annual AWS re:Invent conference.
Jassy then proceeded to back up his claims by announcing a plethora of new offerings that should collectively be well-received by AWS' many enterprise clients. He also got some help from from a few notable guest speakers, some of which had announcements of their own to make.
The full list of new services unveiled by Jassy appears to be longer than that for the many services he announced via last year's AWS re:Invent keynote. The highlights include:
- Several new high-performance cloud computing instances, including ones optimized for memory, I/O activity and CPU resources. Amazon also launched an instance supporting programmable chips (FPGAs) that can be optimized for tasks such as machine learning and video-processing, and made it possible to add GPUs to any computing instance.
- Lightsail, a cheap and easy-to-use service for running virtual private servers. Plans range from $5 to $80 per month, and take aim at web hosting services from GoDaddy (GDDY) , Rackspace and many others.
- Athena, a service for quickly running queries against large amounts of data stored via Amazon's S3 cloud storage service. It complements Amazon's data warehousing and big data project services.
- New AI-powered image-recognition and text-to-speech services for developers, along with one for enabling "natural, conversational interactions in voice and text." These are areas where Alphabet/Google (GOOGL) and Microsoft (MSFT) have been seen as having a lead.
- A version of Amazon's Aurora managed database service that's based on the enterprise-friendly PostgreSQL database. It complements a version of Aurora based on the MySQL database, and is promised to cost a fraction as much as databases from the likes of Oracle (ORCL) and Microsoft.
- Greengrass, a solution that allows AWS services to be locally run on Internet of Things (IoT) devices in places with limited or expensive web connectivity. Intel and Qualcomm are among the chip makers supporting the technology; hardware makers on board include Philips and Technicolor.
- Snowball Edge, an updated version of Amazon's Snowball appliance for transferring large amounts of data to an AWS data center. Unlike its predecessor, Snowball Edge has built-in computing abilities (including Greengrass support) that allows for more immediate processing of data that's headed for AWS.
- Snowmobile. This one needs to be seen to be believed. For enterprises that need to ship a lot more data than can be moved by the Snowball appliances, Amazon is providing a 45-foot semi-trailer that can house 100 petabytes (that's 100,000 terabytes) of data. The company's logistics teams must be proud.