What’s New(s) in AWS : Part 2

I had written about some of the new AWS Services in Part 1 . We will continue from there

AWS Outposts

AWS Outposts can be seen as being a limited version of AWS Cloud in your data center. The way this works is as follows: You first order for an AWS Outpost. This is a rack containing many servers. Amazon delivers this to your data center and sets it up. This infrastructure can be handled using the same User Interface, CLI or APIs that you would use on AWS Cloud. This needs you have good network connectivity so that the Outposts can connect to the AWS Region. Once this is setup, you can run EC2 instances or RDS instances on these local servers. You can connect the Outpost to AWS Region using Direct Connect or VPN. You also have the option of using local storage with your Outposts instances

AWS Outposts link  Watch the video in the link for a better understanding

AWS Outposts FAQ for better understanding

AWS Image Builder

Keeping the images in your organization upto date is a very important and at the same time, a time consuming task. Someone has to either update the images or there needs to be some of automation script which will produce updated images.

AWS Image Builder now allows you to update your images without you having to perform any manual steps or having to write automation scripts. AWS Image Builder provides user a GUI , using which an automated pipeline can be built. Once done, Image Builder takes care of building and testing the images. Once all tests are passed, the images can be distributed to all regions

AWS Image Builder link

ALB supports Least Outstanding Requests Algorithm

The Application Load Balancer of AWS used to support only the round robin algorithm to distribute load. Now a new algorithm, Least Outstanding Requests algorithm, can also be used to distribute load. As the name implies, in this case, a new request would be sent to an instance which has the least outstanding requests. The user now has a choice between these two algorithms and can use the one which suits their use case

Application Load Balancer Link

AWS License Manager

When you are a large corporation and you have license agreements with software vendors you need to ensure that you stick to the license terms. Say you have license to use a particular software for 100 users, you cannot overshoot this limit without buying more license. AWS License Manager helps in managing licenses. Using License Manager, an administrator can create license rules which mirror the terms of your agreement. License Manager will ensure that these rules are enforced. For example, if you have already exhausted the number of users for a particular software as per the license, when another user tries to start an EC2 instance with the software, the instance may be stopped from starting or the administrator is notified immediately of the infringement. AWS License Managers helps in ensuring that are no non-compliances as far as licenses are concerned.

AWS License Manager Link

Autoscaling supports Instance Weighing

Till now, whenever you use Autoscaling, it was assumed that every new instance added will contribute the same CPU power as the other instances in the autoscaling group. With the support of Instance Weighing we can now define how much capacity units each instance must contribute. This will give us more flexibility in choosing various instance types. This helps us in optimizing costs, especially when we use spot instances.

Read this article to get more insight into how to optimize costs using this feature

EBS Direct API

This blog post by Jeff Barr explains this very well

EBS Fast Snapshot Restore

The way EBS volumes are built from snapshots are like this: when the volume is built from a snapshot, not all data is copied from the snapshot to the EBS volume. Instead, when a block is accessed, the data is then ‘lazy loaded’ from the snapshot to the disk. This means there will be a latency when the block is first accessed.

AWS now allows you to create snapshots with the FSR option. If this option is used, the volumes created from such snapshots will get the full provisioned performance instantly and you will not see any latency.

AWS Fast Snapshot Restore link

AWS Tag Policies

Tagging is very important, especially if you have large number of resources in AWS. Lot of services depend on tagging. For example, when you want to implement a Snapshot Lifecycle, you group volumes using tags. With the newly introduced AWS Tag Policy feature, you can define on how tags can be used in your AWS account. AWS projects the benefits of Tag Policy thus: “Using Tag Policies, you can define tag keys, including how they should be capitalized, and their allowed values. For example, you can define the tags CostCenter and SecurityGroup where CostCenter must be ‘123’ and SecurityGroup can be ‘red-team’ or ‘blue-team’. Standardized tags enable you to confidently leverage tags for critical use cases such as cost allocation and attribute-based access control because you can ensure your resources are tagged with the right attributes.”

AWS Tag Policy Link

As I had said, there were lot more announcements made. I have just chosen a smaller subset of services which I think will impact a large user base.

Hope you found the post useful.