Each year AWS, re:Invent announce an overwhelming number of major new features to electrify attendees and the global tech world. Last week’s 2018 event was no exception. Continuing the cloud platform’s annual trend, AWS released plans for launches across a broad range of categories from containers, machine learning, storage, and networking to name just a few. The platform was quite literally firing from all cylinders with new features in its goal to “build services for the future,” as AWS CTO Werner Vogels put it during his keynote speech.
According to Vogels, AWS’ roadmap of development tools is defined by its customers to “allow you to develop the way you want to develop.” Which is why they’ve released a whopping 3,951 new features and services since the first 2012 re:invent at an exhilarating pace.
From AWS RoboMaker to AWS Ground Station (everyone can begin their own version of SpaceX now), there’s a wide spectrum of new announcements to catch up from for last week. Here are a few of the top releases by category:
AWS Goes Big with Machine Learning
Following on from 2017’s release of SageMaker artificial intelligence (AI) technology, AWS is expanding in its ML efforts with its own “Machine Learning University” for interested developers. On top of MLU, developers can label datasets through the new SageMaker Ground Truth or train machine learning models and run them anywhere in the cloud or edge with SageMaker Neo. It’s also possible to use Git repos to store SageMaker notebooks.
Improved Account Management Capabilities
Use AWS Control Tower (in preview) to easily set up multi-account AWS environments with secure deployment blueprints as well as better manage policies across a large number of accounts and deployments. Plus, take the stress out of managing commercial software licenses through the new AWS License Manager. It’s now also possible to optimize your infrastructure in accordance with best practices through AWS new self-service Well-Architected Tool.
Containers, Containers, Containers
There are now more than 180 curated and trusted container products accessible in the AWS Marketplace to simplify deployment on the Amazon ECS console and through Amazon EKS. In addition, there’s also a brand new AWS Container Competency for APN Partners to aspire to which will demonstrate container deployment and optimization. For all your multi-tenant virtualization needs, there’s now AWS’ new open source technology, Firecracker that extends the serverless benefits of AWS Lambda to provision and run secure sandboxes.
Serverless Reigns Supreme Still
Continuing on the serverless theme, AWS announced its new Serverless Application Repository to distribute and deploy serverless architecture in nested applications. There’s also Lambda Layers which offers developers up to five packages to inject into a given function during runtime, as well as C++ Lambda Runtime API. The latter is a new simple interface for using any programming language during Lambda function development. Finally, Application Load Balancers are now able to support implementing Lambda functions for HTTP(S) requests through the AWS Application Load Balance (ALB) service. Another AWS feature upgrade on a long list for 2018.
Storage Which Will Never Let You Down
AWS S3 Storage is renowned for its 99.999999999% durability for objects across multiple Availability Zones, but it’s not AWS’ only storage function. New re:Invent storage service revelations include AWS DataSync, AWS Snowball Edge Compute Optimized, and FSx for Windows File Server and Lustre (for your fully managed native Microsoft Windows file system needs and compute-intensive workloads), as well as a plethora of additional add-ons for S3. These include, but aren’t limited to, Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive (coming soon for low-cost usage and infrequent access) and four other new S3 features for cost optimization.
Move Away from Oracle Already
At multiple points during the event, AWS execs took competitive shots at its rival Oracle as well as announcing a bunch of new database features too. From the serverless service Amazon Quantum Ledger Database which provides a cryptographically verifiable ledger that businesses can use to build apps that act as a system of record through to the fully managed time series database service, Amazon Timestream. Announcements also included additional features to Amazon Aurora and DynamoDB too.
Get Serious About Cloud Security
As a major concern for companies large and small, AWS takes security very seriously indeed. As part of the new security promotions, AWS highlighted the new KMS Custom Key Store which integrates with AWS CloudHSM to support compliance obligations. Plus, you can now leverage the AWS Security Hub (in preview) for a centralized view of security alerts across all your AWS accounts.
You would think with the dizzying array of insights and announcements made each year that AWS has nowhere new left to tread. And then a re:Invent happens to completely spin that thought on its axis. Each year, we’re caught pleasantly by surprise at AWS’ entry into new domains and by how much it’s expanding existing services. Which means 2019 is sure to prove another significant milestone for the company—if this year is anything to go by.
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