AWS re:Invent News Round-Up

AWS re:Invent News Round-Up

By Flux7 Labs
December 7, 2020

Capping a year of changes, Andy Jassy, AWS CEO, kicked off what will be three weeks of virtual programming at this year’s AWS re:Invent. With an expected 500,000 attendees, the conference has undoubtedly grown. Yet, one thing hasn’t changed. re:Invent still generates a plethora of new product and service announcements.  Specifically, in the first of four planned keynotes, Andy Jassy’s presentation focused on advances in container, serverless, and data storage technology. In a year where innovation and reinvention became business imperatives, AWS revealed several new services to help enterprises continue to reinvent themselves in the year ahead.

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Compute: New Instances, Container and Serverless Technology

AWS offers a wide breadth and depth of compute types and combinations. Playing to this strength, several new AWS compute instance announcements kicked off this year’s nearly three-hour keynote session by Jassy. Specifically, several new instance types join the AWS family:

  • Three new EC2 instance types, including the D3en, an on-demand MacOS instance, and the G4ad for graphics-intensive work, which will be coming soon.
  • A new instance for the Graviton2, the C6gn which is designed specifically for compute and network heavy work. Coming in the next week or two.
  • Habana Gaudi-based Amazon EC2 In partnership with Intel, the new instance is built specifically to address machine learning training.
  • AWS Trainium, a new custom-designed chip to support machine learning in the cloud. Expect to see AWS Trainium in H2 2021.

Andy Jassy next moved on to discuss customers using smaller units of compute, like containers and serverless, noting that approximately two-thirds of containers run on AWS. To further customer use of containers, AWS introduces:

  • Amazon ECS Anywhere that allows you to run ECS in your own data center.
  • Amazon EKS Anywhere for running Amazon EKS in your own data center. For users who are looking to get a head start on using EKS on-premises and start to transition, AWS is making open source its EKS Kubernetes

When it comes to serverless, Andy Jassy notes that customers love event-driven computing where AWS Lambda spins up and down compute, based on the needs of a given job. AWS is changing the increment that they are billing you from 100 milliseconds to 1 millisecond, potentially saving you up to 70%, revealed Jassy. Other serverless news includes:

  • Lambda Container Support which allows you to build Lambda-based applications with existing container development workflows. This change will give you the ability to deploy Lambda functions with the tools you use for containers.
  • AWS Proton, a managed deployment service for container and serverless applications. The new service helps operators manage the deployment of small units of compute, like microservices, that must be deployed together despite having their own teams, dependencies, CI/CD and more. A fully automated process, Proton does everything from provisioning AWS services, to push the code to the CI/CD pipeline, to setting up monitoring and alarms.

AWS Data and Data Storage Service News

For several years now, AWS has talked about the disadvantages of legacy database providers. Part of its success in taking these providers head-on is Aurora, which has become AWS’s fastest-growing service. To further establish Aurora as a beach head here, AWS announces:

  • Amazon Aurora Serverless v2 which allows you to scale to address hundreds of thousands of transactions in a fraction of second. It includes features like multi-AZ support, read replicas, backtrack and parallel query. MySQL for Aurora Serverless v2 is available now and Postgres will be available H1 2021.
  • Bablefish for Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, available in preview, will empower operators to run SQL Server applications on Aurora PostreSQL with few, if any, code changes. Called Bablefish for its translation capability, the new service understands both IT-SQL and TDS, allowing you to point your application configuration to Aurora rather than SQL Server.
  • AWS makes Bablefish for PostgreSQL an open source project. You can sign up for the project next year.

In addition, Jassy announced several new data storage services:

  • gp3 volumes for EBS which allow users to provision IOPS and throughput separately. Scalable to 4x of gp2.
  • In addition, Jassy announces io2 which enables you to provision IOPS as needed and caps out at 64,000 IOPS.
  • Io2 Block Express, the first SAN built for the cloud, give up to 256,000 IOPS for a single volume. As a managed service, it allows you to scale and provision cloud storage without maintenance.

Making it even easier to use purpose-built analytic stores for specific use cases, AWS releases:

  • AWS Glue Elastic Views which lets you easily build materialized views that automatically combine and replicate data across multiple data stores. Allows you to set up a materialized view that copies and moves data from one source data store to another and manages the steps and dependencies for you. If something changes, Elastic Views will alert you and allow you to adjust it.

Application-Centric Innovation

More than 5,000 companies moved to Amazon Connect in the pandemic due to a new need to connect remote call center agents to the call center. Furthering its call center features, AWS releases:

  • Amazon Connect Wisdom which allows gives agents the product and service information they need to address a caller’s issue in real-time. With connectors to data sources like ServiceNow and Salesforce, Wisdom will automatically search data sources based on the caller’s needs.
  • Amazon Connect Customer Profiles to provide more personalized service during a call.
  • Real-Time Contact Lens for Amazon Connect that identifies in real-time potential issues in a customer call so that they can be addressed in the moment.
  • Amazon Connect Tasks which automates tasks for agents, getting them back on the phone faster.
  • Amazon Connect Voice ID which provides real-time caller authentication.

As manufacturers look to move to Industry 4.0 but lack the skills and equipment to do so, Jassy introduces:

  • Amazon Monitron, an end-to-end solution for equipment monitoring that gives you the opportunity to proactively determine when maintenance is needed, based on vibration and anomalies.
  • Amazon Lookout for Equipment piggybacks on Monitron, providing anomaly detection for industrial machinery. Manufacturers simply send their data to AWS and it assesses your sound, temperature, vibrations, and more. They use ML to determine a baseline and alert you to anomalies.
  • AWS Panorama Appliance, a new hardware appliance that allows you to add computer intelligence to existing on-premises cameras. Integrates with AWS IoT They also announced AWS Panorama SDK which allows camera companies to build Panorama into their next-generation smart cameras.

Hybrid Infrastructure

As the definition of hybrid infrastructure increasingly grows from the cloud and on-premises data centers to also include edge nodes, Jassy contends that the majority of computing will end up in the cloud over time, but other workloads will reside where it makes the most sense. To support that, Jassy unveils:

  • Outposts in two new sizes: 1-3/4” tall and 3-1/2” tall. Same functionality, but with a smaller space. Ideal for restaurants, retailers, hospitals, and other distributed organizations that have less space.
  • Three new local zones: Boston, Houston, and Miami with twelve additional local zones forthcoming.

As AWS re:Invent continues throughout the month, stay tuned as we share additional news announcements from the show.

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Written by Flux7 Labs

Flux7, an NTT DATA Company, is the only Sherpa on the DevOps journey that assesses, designs, and teaches while implementing a holistic solution for its enterprise customers, thus giving its clients the skills needed to manage and expand on the technology moving forward. Not a reseller or an MSP, Flux7 recommendations are 100% focused on customer requirements and creating the most efficient infrastructure possible that automates operations, streamlines and enhances development, and supports specific business goals.