AWS makes Greengrass generally available to combine local data processing with the cloud

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.


Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced the general availability of Greengrass, which enables users to perform tasks on premise while leveraging the processing, analytics and storage of AWS’ cloud.

The company added that a variety of customers, including Konecranes, Nokia, and Stanley Black & Decker, are using the product for their Industrial IoT efforts.

As the company puts it, Greengrass extends AWS to devices which can act locally on the data they generate. This explains the Industrial IoT angle; for many industries, such as manufacturing and healthcare, not everything can go into the cloud, nor can new projects be built on brownfield developments.

AWS argues there are three ‘laws’ as to why local data processing is important; the laws of physics – it takes time for data to go to the cloud and networks do not have 100% availability – the laws of economics, sending only high-value data to the cloud, and the law of the land, which takes into account data sovereignty restrictions.

In a blog post Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon.com, outlined the importance of the release. “Before AWS Greengrass, device builders often had to choose between the low latency of local execution, and the flexibility, scale, and ease of the cloud,” he wrote. “AWS Greengrass removes that trade-off – manufacturers and OEMS can now build solutions that use the cloud for management, analytics, and durable storage, while keeping critical functionality on-device or nearby.”

“We see AWS Greengrass as the enabler for a new set of digital services, allowing us to program and deliver software to equipment in a secure manner and without risking operational safety,” said Juha Pankakoski, executive vice president of technologies at Konecranes in a statement. “This supports well our aim to build the next generation of lifting as the leading technology company in our industry.”

Elsewhere, at the inaugural GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit, in Bellevue, Washington, software as a service (SaaS) technology business management provider Apptio said that more than three quarters (76%) of its customers were using AWS compared with 52% on Microsoft, with a rise in Azure usage noted. At the same event, as reported by GeekWire, Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group, said that it was “pretty much Amazon and us in every single engagement” competing for business, although adding the Google, predominantly third in the analyst rankings for cloud infrastructure, was not to be underestimated.

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