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AWS Adds to Customer Wins with Cal Poly, Ancestry

Two more high-profile organizations have joined the roster of customers that have pledged to go "all-in" with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) this week announced that it is in the process of migrating "all core applications" to the AWS cloud. The school is also working with AWS to develop a "Digital Transformation Hub," a platform based on AWS to help government agencies in California transition to the cloud.

As one of the top STEM-oriented universities in the United States, Cal Poly represents a significant customer win for AWS, particularly for its public sector arm. Its migration to AWS will encompass its security systems, data warehouse, database services, mobile applications, learning and content management services, payroll applications, and student advising and scheduling applications.

The move makes financial sense for Cal Poly, which has upwards of 24,000 students, faculty and staff. The school expects to cut its infrastructure spending over the next three years by $3.5 million as a result. The migration also spares Cal Poly from investing in a datacenter build-out that it says would have cost an estimated $8 to $10 million.

Another major customer win for AWS came earlier this month. Ancestry.com, which provides genealogical tracking and genomics services to over 2.6 million paid users, said it plans to "migrate all of its applications and data" to the AWS cloud over the next year.

Ancestry.com has some unique needs, given the scale and type of data that it works with. The company has over 20 billion records amounting to 10PB of data, including DNA information, photographs, and birth, death and marriage certificates from as far back as the 13th century. The company relies on machine learning and analytics to make that data usable for its customers, who clock over 75 million searches each day.

"With our continuing growth, migrating to the cloud provides us with clear scalability and security advantages," said Nat Natarajan, Ancestry.com's executive vice president of product and technology. "AWS also provides us with the flexibility we need to stay at the forefront of consumer genomics, as the science and technology in the space continue to rapidly evolve."

In an interview with ZDNet, Natarajan said Ancestry.com has spent the past six months moving its stockpile of data to AWS from a Salt Lake City datacenter. To date, 8PB of data and 6PB of images have already made the move, Natarajan told ZDNet.

AWS' list of "all-in" customers includes Netflix, The Guardian, 3M, Nordstrom, Live Nation, the University of Notre Dame, and the city of McKinney in Texas. Other notable customers that have recently announced significant investments in AWS are Dunkin' Brands and The New York Times.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for RCPmag.com and senior editor of AWSInsider.net.

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