New AWS tech introduced during AWS re:Invent 2017
This Friday is the end of AWS re:Invent week, an annual event that took place in Las Vegas, NV this time. We will briefly list new features and great tools introduced there.
AWS is undoubtedly the most popular cloud provider nowadays, as we have stated in our comparison of AWS vs. Azure. This does not mean, however, that their position is not challenged by the competitors. For example, MS Azure introduces Kubernetes to their container services and releases Brigade, a new Kubernetes management tool. Google Cloud Platform is also in hot pursuit, offering better terms on many core services, though many of GCP products are still in beta.
The only way for AWS to remain the leader is to introduce new features and functions at a steady pace. After all, cloud computing is a constant battle for efficiency with a powerful enemy — servers, as both hardware and software have their limitations that should be overcome to accomplish the tasks that ever grow in difficulty.
“I’ve hugged a lot of servers in my life, and believe me, they do not hug you back. They hate you.”
— © Amazon CTO Werner Vogels in his keynote speech at AWS re: Invent 2012
Nevertheless, AWS never fails to deliver, as this AWS re:Invent week was rich with great news.
Below we will provide a brief summary of new features introduced from the 28th of November through the 1st of December 2017. The list is not full by far, yet the features mentioned here are among the most notable and interesting improvements presented during this event.
Amazon MQ — an ActiveMQ-based message broker.
Amazon MQ was announced on the 28th of November. It is a managed message broker for administration of Apache ActiveMQ. It is no upfront expenses, nor there is a subscription fee, the customers pay as they go, for the storage used and broker uptime hours. More details are available in the corresponding AWS blogpost.
EC2 Bare Metal Instances
Bare metal instances are the ideal choice for workloads that depend on leveraging hardware features directly, without a virtualized layer. Just as other AWS instances, they can scale up and down within minutes and support a whole bunch of AWS services like VPC and EBS, as well as other features. Currently available at select regions in the US, EU and Asia, these instances can be requested by filling the following form.
EC2 Storage Optimized H1 Instances
Big data workloads demand high-performance storages, and AWS reveals the next generation of Amazon EC2 instances. Their benefits are the following:
- Low storage cost
- High disk throughput capacity
- High I/O access speed for processing large data sets
- Low latency.
These instances will definitely provide more flexibility and better performance for accomplishing any task Big Data engineers might need done. Read more on the specs of these instances in the blog post by Jeff Barr, the Chief Evangelist for AWS.
New generation of general purpose instances — M5
Another type of instances AWS has revealed this week is M5 — the new generation of EC2 General Compute machines. Due to utilizing the latest Nitro system along with top-tier hardware and a lightweight supervisor they allow dedicating the absolute maximum of hardware resources to accomplishing the user’s tasks, ensuring 14% improvement of price/performance ratio as compared to the previous generation, M4.
These heavy-duty machines are the next natural tool of choice for enterprise app backend servers, web and app servers, database servers, etc. More information is available in this post on AWS M5 instances.
Amazon Neptune — the new synonym for a managed graph database
Amazon Neptune is built around a high-performance engine optimized for keeping billions of objects and their relations in the graph database and querying the records within milliseconds. This service will be of great use for social media networks, item recommendations, fraud detection, logistics, driving directions for navigator software, and various scientific purposes like medical diagnostics and genomic sequencing. A detailed description of the Amazon Neptune setup and configuration is available on the official website.
Spot instances can now be hibernated
Even while spot instances allow saving money greatly on their own, AWS introduces the new feature to allow you save even more — the spot instance hibernation. From now on, the users can pause and resume their workloads and don’t have to pay for idle time, allocating their resources with maximum efficiency. Recover from an interruption without losing any RAM data or simply cancel the bid to terminate the instances you no longer need and wipe out the data — spot instances has just become a much more flexible and efficient tool. Naturally, this has lead to the spot instance pricing adjustments, which are also thoroughly described by AWS.
Array Jobs for AWS Batch: submit up to 10,000 jobs with one call
AWS has greatly improved their capabilities for batch computing, so now up to 10,000 jobs can be submitted with a single call. This feature is now available in every region that supports AWS Batch, so that the needed resources are provisioned automatically, saving your engineers from tedious task of running small job batches and configuring each of them in AWS Console. Speaking of which, AWS Console can now be rebranded to better represent your company vision. In addition, enterprise contracts has been slightly reworked too. For more details, please contact your AWS account manager.
AWS AppSync — a service for rapid mobile and web app collaborative development
AppSync is a new collaborative service using GraphQL data language to enable the users to rapidly build apps providing collaborative real-time experiences, which remain available even if the connection is no longer available, due to using optimistic UI updates. As always, a full description of AWS AppSync features, along with a detailed guide on AWS AppSync setup and configuration is available on the Amazon blog.
AWS PrivateLink updates
We have already covered AWS Privatelink, the new feature enabling the customers to access their AWS services privately, using AWS Direct to route the traffic through their VPC endpoints. This ability is now available for multiple AWS customer and partner services, so after a brief AWS Privatelink configuration you are able to create and terminate private connections from any endpoint and control the origins of such connections.
Amazon API Gateway now supports canary release deployments
Precise configuration of API roll out percentages helps the developers limit the impact of canary deployments, while retaining full control over the Amazon API Gateway. Granular updates of canary settings for a stage allow evaluating the effectiveness of new API deployments and rolling back if any errors occur. More detailed information can be found in the official developers documentation.
Amazon Cognito updated with new security features
Get informed of the potentially fraudulent access attempts at once and either allow additional verification or block the suspicious login attempt at once. The new Amazon Cognito security features ensure a tight grip on the situation and close control over the user access.
Amazon GuardDuty provides intelligent threat assessment
The new Amazon GuardDuty service combines the machine learning algorithms with integrated threat assessment data to identify potential security threats and violations, like known malicious IPs, hidden bitcoin miners, or vulnerability scanners. Read more on the Amazon GuardDuty features and benefit from the updated security and reliability features for your AWS account.
To wrap it up, in this article we described such new features from Amazon:
- Amazon MQ
- EC2 Bare Metal Instances
- EC2 Storage Optimized H1 Instances
- M5 General Purpose Instances
- Amazon Neptune
- Spot Instance Hibernation
- Array Jobs for AWS Batch
- AWS AppSync
- AWS PrivateLink updates
- Canary release deployments support for AWS API Gateway
- New security features for Amazon Cognito
- Amazon GuardDuty
We hope this brief summary of new Amazon products and services revealed during the re:Invent 2017 week will help you enhance the security and boost the productivity of your AWS account, as well as leveraging the latest hardware and software solutions for your behoof. Share the material if you found it useful and do not hesitate to ask for advice, should you need any help with the cloud transition or managing your AWS infrastructure.