AWS re: Invent 2020 Announcements

Thu, 12/03/2020 - 16:33

The biggest cloud computing event of the year, AWS re:Invent 2020 is this year’s three-week virtual conference hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) from November 30 – December 18, 2020. The event kicked off this week with the announcement of new releases and features available to AWS customers. From ECS and EKS Anywhere, the product launch of EC2 Mac Instances for the macOS operating system, new availability zones, and keynotes with AWS CEO Andy Jassy and Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, we’ve recapped the latest updates at AWS re:Invent 2020. Check back daily for updates throughout the course of re:Invent!

Updated December 8th, 2020

Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS

Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS provides an integrated experience to useOpenShift. If you are already familiar with OpenShift, you can accelerate your application development process by leveraging familiar OpenShift APIs and tools for deployments on AWS. This service delivers the production-ready OpenShift that many enterprises already use on- premises today, simplifying the ability to shift workloads to the AWS public cloud as business needs change. This removes barriers to development while enabling enterprises to build high-quality applications faster with self-service provisioning,automatic security enforcement, and consistent deployment. Customers can also accelerate change iterations with automated development pipelines, templates, and performance monitoring.

Amazon EKS Distro

Amazon EKS Distro is a Kubernetes distribution used by Amazon EKS to help create reliable and secure clusters. EKS Distro includes binaries and containers of open source Kubernetes,  networking, storage plugins, all tested for compatibility. You can deploy EKS Distro wherever your applications need to run,  including bare-metal servers or VMware vSphere virtual machines, or on Amazon EC2 instances. Then, let AWS take care of testing and tracking Kubernetes updates, dependencies, and patches. Each EKS Distro verifies new Kubernetes versions for compatibility while the source code, open source tools, and settings are provided for reproducible builds. 

Amazon Managed Workflows for Apache Airflow

Amazon Managed Workflows are a managed orchestration service for Apache Airflow that makes it easy to set up and operate end-to-end data pipelines in the cloud at scale. Apache Airflow is an open-source tool used to programmatically author, schedule, and monitor sequences of processes and tasks referred to as “workflows.” With Managed Workflows, teams can use the same open source Airflow platform and Python language to create workflows without the trouble of managing the infrastructure for availability and security.

AWS Wavelength Zone in Las Vegas

Following new availability zone announcements (read further) AWS announced the availability of a new AWS Wavelength Zone on Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network in Las Vegas. Wavelength Zones are now available in eight cities, including the seven previously announced cities of Boston, San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Washington DC, Atlanta, Dallas, and Miami.  AWS Wavelength brings AWS services to the edge of the 5G network, minimizing the latency to connect to an application from 5G connected devices. Application traffic can reach application servers running in Wavelength Zones. Long term applications include connected vehicles and interactive live video streaming, view full announcement here

Outposts 1U and 2U Servers

AWS Outposts is a fully managed service that extends AWS infrastructure, AWS services, APIs, and tools to virtually any data center, co-location space, or on-premises facility for a truly consistent hybrid experience. AWS Outposts is ideal for workloads that need low latency access to on-premises applications or systems, local data processing, and to securely store sensitive customer data that needs to remain anywhere there is no AWS region, including company-controlled environments or countries. Outposts servers are ideal for customers with low-latency or local data processing needs for a on-premises locations including: retail stores, branch offices, healthcare provider locations, or factory floors. Outposts can be used entirely on-prem or to help deliver a consistent hybrid experience pending on company requirements.

AWS will deliver Outposts servers directly to you, and you can either have your onsite personnel install them or have them installed by a preferred third-party contractor. After the Outposts servers are connected to your network, AWS remotely provisions compute and storage resources so you can start launching applications.

AWS Outposts 1U and 2U form factors will be available in 2021. To receive more information about Outposts servers, sign up here.

Amazon Lookout for Vision

Amazon Lookout for Vision automatically identifies visual defects in industrial products with accuracy and at scale. Lookout for Vision uses computer vision to find missing components in an industrial product, damage to vehicles or structures, irregularities in production lines, or any physical item where quality is imperative, such as a missing capacitor on printed circuit boards.

With Amazon Lookout for Vision companies can automate real-time visual inspection with computer vision for processes like quality control and defect assessment - with no requirements for machine learning experts.. Reports are available in an easy to use dashboard in the AWS management console, so that you can take action quickly and reduce further defects to uphold quality control quickly with cost benefits.

Amazon Aurora Serverless v2

Amazon Aurora Serverless v2 (Preview) is the new version of Aurora Serverless, an on-demand, auto-scaling configuration of Amazon Aurora that automatically starts and scales capacity up or down based on your application's needs. Capabilities can scale instantly from hundreds to hundreds-of-thousands of transactions in a fraction of a second, adjusting increments to right-size database resources based on app requirements.

With Amazon Aurora Serverless v2, there is no database capacity to manage, only charging customers for the capacity consumed by their application. This results in up to 90% of savings on database costs compared to the cost of provisioning capacity for peak loads.

Updated December 3rd 2020

Amazon ECS and EKS Anywhere 

You will soon be able to run Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) in your own data centers. This gives new benefits to remote teams with hybrid infrastructure using both services. With this feature, Amazon EKS from anywhere offers teams using Kubernetes clusters benefits from seamless set up, upgrades and operation. This also enables the ability to spin up clusters on demand, that can then easily be recovered, backed-up or upgraded production clusters. By running Amazon ECS in your own data center, teams gain the ability to select and standardize ECS on a single container orchestrator that runs both on-premises and in the cloud. Amazon ECS Anywhere enables teams to containerize existing on-premises workloads, run them locally, and then connect them to the AWS Cloud.

EC2 Mac Instances for macOS

AWS announced the newest product release, Amazon elastic compute cloud (EC2) Mac instances for macOS operating systems. AWS is now the first cloud provider to offer the ability to build, test, and run macOS workloads in the cloud, allowing enterprises to develop powerful apps on Apple devices, including iOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, Safari app and more. Jeff Barr, evangelist and AWS blog author noted “With EC2 Mac instances, developers are now able to leverage the flexibility, elasticity, and scale of AWS so they can increase their focus on core innovation such as developing creative and useful apps and spend less time on managing infrastructure.” 

Barr notes that instances can be used to build farms, render farms, and CI/CD farms that target all of the Apple environments referenced. New instances can be provisioned in minutes, giving teams the ability to quickly & cost-effectively build code for multiple targets without having to own & operate your own hardware. Users also pay only for what is used, benefitting from the elasticity, scalability, security, and reliability provided by EC2. 

Amazon DevOps Guru - Find & Fix Application Errors

Amazon has launched Amazon DevOps Guru, a fully managed operations service that simplifies how developers and enterprises can improve application availability by automatically detecting operational issues with recommended fixes. This service can provide agile benefits to DevOps teams by automating errors, and speeding up the time to remedy fixes. DevOps Guru is made possible by applying AWS’ history of machine learning, informed by years of operational excellence, to automatically collect and analyze data such as application metrics, logs, and events. DevOps Guru is able to then identify behavior that deviates from normal operational patterns.

 DevOps Guru provides customers with a centralized place to search and visualize operational data integrated from multiple sources supporting Amazon CloudWatch, AWS Config, AWS CloudTrail, AWS CloudFormation, and AWS X-Ray, reducing the need for multiple tools. To get started, you can enable DevOps Guru by heading to your AWS Management Console with full instructions available here.

Amazon QuickSight Q Answers Natural-Language Questions About Business Data

Amazon announced a preview of Amazon QuickSight Q, a Natural Language Query (NLQ) feature powered by machine learning (ML). With Q, business users can use QuickSight to ask questions about their data using everyday language and receive accurate answers in seconds.

Preview of AWS Proton – Automated Management for Container and Serverless Deployments

Even the most advanced teams are challenged when maintaining hundreds – or even thousands – of microservices with constantly changing infrastructure resources and configurations. AWS Proton enables infrastructure teams to define standard templates centrally and make them available for developers in their organization. This allows infrastructure teams to manage and update infrastructure without impacting developer productivity.

AWS Lambda Container Image Support

With Lambda, you upload your code and run it without thinking about servers. However if your team has invested in container tooling for development workflows, it’s not easy to use the same approach to build applications using Lambda. AWS is now enabling teams the ability to package and deploy Lambda functions as container images of up to 10 GB in size.

AWS Lambda Cost Savings Feature: 1ms Billing 

Since Lambda was launched in 2014, pricing has been based on the number of times code is triggered (requests) and the number of times code executes, rounded up to the nearest 100ms (duration). Starting today, AWS is now rounding up duration to the nearest millisecond with no minimum execution time. This feature offers companies cost saving benefits to trim costs up to 70%. 

Amazon EBS launches io2 Volumes

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes have been an essential EC2 component since they were launched in 2008. Today, you can choose between six types of HDD and SSD volumes, each designed to serve a particular use case and to deliver a specified amount of performance. EBS optimization has been a work in progress at AWS, in 2020 AWS launched io2 volumes with 100x higher durability and 10x more IOPS/GiB than the earlier io1 volumes. The io2 volumes are a great fit for I/O-hungry and latency-sensitive applications, including business-critical workloads that rely on high-performance.

AWS is now offering a preview to io2 Block Express volumes designed to deliver even higher performance! The increased volume size & higher throughput means that you will no longer need to stripe multiple EBS volumes together, reducing complexity and management overhead.

New AWS Zones in 2021

AWS launched the first AWS Local Zone in Los Angeles last December, and added a second one (also in Los Angeles) in August 2020. With 3 more available today and 12 planned next year, AWS announces target cities with the goal of providing access to single-digit millisecond latency to the vast majority of users in the Continental United States. Local Zones in Boston, Houston, and Miami are now available in preview form and you can request access now. In 2021, there are also plans to open Local Zones in other key cities and metropolitan areas including New York City, Chicago, and Atlanta. You can view the services supported by local zones at the full announcement.

Continue to check this article for the latest updates throughout the entire re:Invent conference, the largest cloud computing conference hosted by AWS from November 31st- December 18th, 2020!

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