What is AWS Marketplace?
Despite the name, AWS marketplace isn’t related to amazon.com or a handy place to pick up a second hand mountain bike. AWS Marketplace is an AWS managed software catalogue that helps users select, install and manage software and machine images from approved and trusted software vendors. Software installed through the AWS marketplace can be billed directly to your normal AWS account.
Marketplace is designed to help you locate a product or machine image that is pre-configured with the resources required to run the software or workload you require and helps you instantly buy the solution and start using it straight away without lengthy technical support or provisioning issues requiring the intervention of the vendor’s engineers.
Products on the AWS Marketplace range from professional services, SaaS products, technical tools that would be of interest to engineers, business applications ready to use and pre configured environments with resources ready to deploy to support the use-case being provisioned like for instance an apache web server or a highly available Wordpress website.
The AWS Marketplace contains many software categories including :
- Application Servers
- Testing Tools
- Monitoring Tools
- Business Intelligence
- Content Management
- Data and Analytics
- AI / ML
The offerings on AWS marketplace range from well known commercial software through to open source packaged into easily deployable installation images.
You can use the AWS one-click deployment found along side the marketplace listings to quickly deploy pre-configured software for which you may have the option to pay for just the time you are using the deployed software on an hourly or monthly basis.
There are currently over 10,000 products to choose from on the AWS marketplace and at the time of writing they consisted of :
- Infrastructure — 5822
- DevOps — 4152
- Data Products — 3994
- Pro Services — 1893
- Business Applications — 1881
- Machine Learning — 1498
- Industries — 1150
- IoT — 409
Interestingly one of the growing product categories isn’t a product as you would traditionally define it, but is professional services.
Many vendors offering products that run on AWS also offer professional services on AWS marketplace.
These professional services are as varied as the products offered on the other categories of marketplace. These can be as simple as periodic access to online training or complex product specific consulting on something like migrating your data from Hadoop to Databricks, through to cloud security assessments or providing consultants for just about any aspect of your business.
AWS marketplace has the advantage of offering vetted pre-approved vendor products on either a pay as you go or one-time payment basis, which can often assist in the corporate procurement process. Approved products or vendors are easy to find, the process is simplified with a streamlined buying process leading to a simplified billing process as the charges are integrated into your AWS billing.
The provisioning of the products purchased through AWS marketplace is optimised and with one-click install you are able to quickly deploy the software or infrastructure you have selected. You also have the peace of mind that the product you have bought on AWS marketplace has been vetted and scanned to ensure it is safe and it works.
When you select a product that requires AWS infrastructure like AWS EC2 Instances, you can choose the size and configuration of the services as well as the global location (Region) to deploy the solution.
As a software developer or consultant you can add your products and services to AWS marketplace, set hourly, daily, monthly and yearly pricing as well as free trials and one-time payments and collect your revenue and analytics from AWS as AWS users download and deploy your software. AWS handles all the billing, licencing, metering, analytics and payment collection.
If your application or offering catches AWS’ eye, they may also work with you to market and promote your marketplace listed service or application.
If you are selling applications, preconfigured environments or other software that run within an EC2 instance, your marketplace offering will be bundled into an AMI (machine image) that contains all the software, resources and configuration data your customers need to deploy your offering.
Other options for purchasing AWS marketplace offerings include cloudformation templates and SaaS
Sometimes you will find products that you already have a licence for which you should be able to apply when installing the AMI, alternatively, if you require a licence for software you are installing in the AMI you have selected, you will be able to purchase the licence and part of the installation process via your AWS account.
For AWS Marketplace products with complex network topologies, you can launch the installation using the launch with Cloudformation option which will pass the selected AWS marketplace product to the Cloudformation console with the appropriate template. You can then deploy the cluster of required AMIs and associated AWS resources using Cloudformation.
Other delivery methods for products sources on AWS Marketplace include :
- Amazon Machine Image
- Amazon Sagemaker
- AWS Data Exchange
- Cloudformation Stack
- Helm Stack
- Private Image Build
- Professional Services
To summarise, AWS marketplace allows you to discover new solutions to meet your business needs and then easily procure and deploy them knowing they are from trusted sources with the billing routed through your AWS account.
If you are building solutions on AWS or deploying infrastructure from AWS Marketplace, you can visualise your deployed network topology in seconds using Hava. Once you have deployed your AWS Marketplace AMI, you can connect Hava to your AWS account (via a read-only cross-account role) and Hava will automatically diagram your network topology to see what networks and resources have been provisioned without having to search through your AWS console to see what happened.
Hava will diagram your infrastructure, but also diagram your security groups and associated port configuration so you can see how traffic can enter and exit your newly deployed solution, which is a great starting point for your security team to ensure everything is locked down or accessible per your security policies.
Once Hava automatically discovers and documents your AWS cloud infrastructure, it will then continuously poll your AWS config and update your diagrams when changes are detected. which means you always have accurate up to date diagrams on hand.
You can try out Hava for yourself using demo data or connecting your AWS account or you can request a one-on-one demo to see if the solution is right for you.
Hava has a comprehensive API and is available as SaaS or a self-hosted solution.
There is currently a free 14 day trial available at https://www.hava.io/