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Public cloud infrastructure provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) today is announcing the launch of AWS Managed Services, a new service that’s designed to help certain types of large companies take advantage of the public cloud. AWS could have announced this at its recent re:Invent conference, but announcing it separately today means people are less likely to forget about it with all other new things.

To be clear, many big companies already use AWS. But for companies that have been doing things the old way and aren’t eager to mess around with AWS science projects, AWS Managed Services may be a great fit. It abstracts away some of the existing tools for AWS management and monitoring and relies on AWS staffers to handle the more complex work.

This is actually a thing. It’s called managed cloud. Rackspace once competed with AWS in the “commodity” public cloud business but then moved away to focus on managed cloud, even going so far as to pursue management of applications that run atop AWS. Now AWS is going directly at that target, which will inevitably impose pressure on Rackspace and other partners. (Rackspace is in fact a partner of AWS Managed Services, so companies can use Rackspace and the new AWS product, but companies can also use AWS Managed Services without help from partners.) IBM offers this sort of thing, although Google and Microsoft currently don’t have first-party services for it.

In a blog post today AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr specified the types of companies that AWS Managed Services is aimed at: “the Fortune 1000 and the Global 2000.” It comes with tools for backing up data, patching software and operating systems, intrusion detection, and tracking spending. Before changes are made to the underlying AWS infrastructure, people must file change requests.


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Not that this is first time AWS is chasing enterprise workloads. In October it announced a partnership with VMware on a forthcoming service that will allow organizations to run apps on AWS infrastructure using familiar VMware software. But now AWS is going further.

Pricing information and service-level agreements (SLAs) for AWS Managed Services are not publicly available, but AWS says it’s based on “a percentage of AWS usage within the accounts that we manage.”

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