It’s been a busy and exciting time for AWS and we’ve got tons of interesting news to share with you. We recently launched our NoSQL, SSD-based, highly scalable database service, Amazon DynamoDB, as well as our new Storage Gateway service which connects your on-premises IT environments with cloud storage. We also just launched our workflow service for coordinating application components called Amazon Simple Workflow Service. The AWS team has also been working to provide new features to some of our key services to help you better utilize our products. Amazon Elastic MapReduce, Amazon RDS, AWS CloudFormation, Amazon VPC and more have all come out with new helpful features and our Premium Support team announced an even better way to support you with Trust Advisor and 3rd Party Software Support. Because we know that pricing always matters, we’ve worked to lower pricing for Amazon S3 standard storage which could amount to some serious savings. Lastly, check out our developer resources with new SDKs and toolkits.
Amazon ElastiCache in two additional regions: US West (Oregon) and South America (Sao Paulo)
We are excited to announce that Amazon ElastiCache is now available in two additional regions: US West (Oregon) and South America (Sao Paulo). Starting today you can speed up your applications in these regions by adding an in-memory cache to your application architecture in a matter of minutes. Amazon ElastiCache is protocol-compliant with Memcached, a widely adopted memory object caching system, so code, applications, and popular tools that you use today with existing Memcached environments will work seamlessly with the service. You can get started with Amazon ElastiCache by reviewing our Getting Started Guide, and launching a cache cluster with a few clicks in the AWS Management Console.
Check out the latest news items and announcements from AWS.
Announcing Amazon DynamoDB
Amazon announced the launch of Amazon DynamoDB, a fully managed NoSQL database service that provides extremely fast and predictable performance with seamless scalability. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, you can easily create a new DynamoDB database table, or scale your table’s request capacity to the level that you need without incurring any downtime. Amazon DynamoDB offers: fast, predictable performance at any scale, durability and high-availability, seamless scalability, and easy administration. Getting started with Amazon DynamoDB is easy with our free tier of service. To learn more, visit the Amazon DynamoDB page.
Announcing AWS Storage Gateway
The AWS Storage Gateway is a service connecting an on-premises software appliance with cloud-based storage to provide seamless and secure integration between an organization’s on-premises IT environment and AWS’ storage infrastructure. The service enables you to securely upload data to the AWS cloud for cost effective backup and rapid disaster recovery. The AWS Storage Gateway supports industry-standard storage protocols that work with your existing applications. It provides low-latency performance by maintaining data on your on-premise storage hardware while asynchronously uploading this data to AWS, where it is encrypted and securely stored in Amazon S3. Learn more by visiting the AWS Storage Gateway page.
Announcing Amazon Simple Workflow Service (SWF)
We recently announced Amazon Simple Workflow Service (SWF), a workflow service for coordinating the various processing steps within applications. Amazon SWF provides a reliable, cost-effective coordination infrastructure that enables you to focus on the differentiating aspects of your applications. Amazon SWF enables applications in a range of use cases from business process implementations to web application back-ends. Amazon SWF’s main features include consistent execution state management, reliable task distribution, ease of use, and full control over application execution. You can get more details by visiting the Amazon SWF page. To get started with Amazon SWF, try the sample workflow walkthrough in the AWS Management Console, or run your own Amazon SWF applications using the free tier of service.
Amazon S3 announces new lower prices for standard storage
Amazon S3 lowered standard storage prices in all regions. The new prices are in effect retroactively from February 1st. With this price change, all Amazon S3 standard storage customers will see a reduction in their storage costs. For instance, if you store 50 TB of data on average, you’ll see a 12% reduction in costs, and if you store 500 TB of data on average, you’ll see a 13.5% reduction in costs. The price reduction applies to all standard storage - both existing and new added storage. You can find the new updated prices on the Amazon S3 Detail page. We are happy to pass along these savings to you as we continue to innovate and drive down our costs.
Amazon S3 storage reaches 762 billion objects
Amazon S3 recently announced that it stored 762 billion objects by the end of 2011. This comes as a result of 192% year-over-year growth seen in 2011 – the fastest yearly growth since the service launch in 2006. By the end of 2011, Amazon S3 was serving 500,000 requests per second at peak times from customers. Read more on the AWS Blog.
AWS Free Usage Tier now includes Amazon EC2 instances
We are excited to announce that the AWS Free Usage Tier now includes Amazon EC2 instances running Microsoft Windows Server. Customers eligible for the AWS Free Usage Tier can now use up to 750 hours per month of t1.micro instances running Microsoft Windows Server for free. With this announcement, customers familiar with Windows Server can gain hands-on experience with AWS at no cost. Customers can select from a range of pre-configured Amazon Machine Images with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. Once running, customers can connect via Microsoft Remote Desktop Client to begin building, migrating, testing, and deploying their web applications on AWS in minutes. The expanded Free Usage Tier with Microsoft Windows Server t1.micro instances is available today in all regions, except for AWS GovCloud. For more information about the AWS Free Usage Tier, please visit the AWS Free Usage Tier web page. To get started using Microsoft Windows Server on AWS, visit the AWS Windows web page.
Tagging for Auto Scaling groups
You can now apply metadata to your Auto Scaling groups in the form of tags. These tags can help organize and manage your Auto Scaling groups, for example, to keep track of information such as application role, version, location, project, or cost center. Like Amazon EC2 tags, each Auto Scaling group tag consists of a key and a value, and you identify and filter your Auto Scaling groups using these tags. You can also propagate these tags to Amazon EC2 instances that are launched in the group. To learn more, please see Tagging Auto Scaling groups and Amazon EC2 instances in the Auto Scaling Developer Guide.
New Osaka and Milan edge locations for Amazon CloudFront & Route 53
We’re excited to announce the launch of new edge locations in Osaka, Japan and Milan, Italy to serve Amazon CloudFront and Amazon Route 53. With the launches in Osaka and Milan, our first edge location in Italy, Amazon CloudFront and Amazon Route 53 now have a total of 26 edge locations worldwide. Each new edge location helps lower latency and improves performance for your end users. These are the first two edge location launches of 2012 and we plan to continue to add new edge locations worldwide. To learn more, visit the Amazon CloudFront and Amazon Route 53 pages.
Announcing AWS CloudFormation support for VPC
We are pleased to announce AWS CloudFormation support for Amazon Virtual Private Cloud. AWS CloudFormation allows you to easily provision, manage and update a collection of related AWS resources. All resource types such as Amazon EC2 instances, security groups and Elastic IP addresses, Elastic Load Balancers, Auto Scaling Groups and Amazon RDS Database instances can now be deployed into any existing Amazon VPC using CloudFormation templates. The templates allow you to run multi-tier web and corporate applications in a private network. With Amazon VPC and CloudFormation, you can easily control which resources you want to expose publically and which ones should be private. To get started using AWS CloudFormation and Amazon VPC, visit the CloudFormation user guide and try out the VPC sample templates.
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) enables identity federation to the AWS Management Console
AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) has extended support for identity federation, enabling federated users to access the AWS Management Console. This enables you to use your existing corporate identities to grant secure and direct access to the console without creating a new AWS identity for those users. You can enable your users to sign in to your corporate network and then access the console without having to sign in to AWS, providing single sign on access to AWS. Please visit the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) page to learn more.
New Amazon RDS Reserved Instance options now available
We are excited to introduce two new Reserved Instance (“RI”) options -- Light Utilization and Heavy Utilization Reserved Instances. Along with the existing Reserved Instance type we have offered for the last several years (renamed Medium Utilization Reserved Instances), these three Reserved Instance types enable you to balance the amount you pay upfront with your effective hourly price. For more information visit the Amazon RDS Reserved Instances page.
VPC support for Amazon RDS now available
We are pleased to announce support for running Amazon RDS DB Instances in Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC). With Amazon VPC, you can define a virtual network topology and customize the network configuration to closely resemble a traditional network that you might operate in your own data center. You can now take advantage of the manageability, availability and scalability benefits of Amazon RDS DB Instances in your own isolated network. To learn more about running Amazon RDS DB Instances in VP, visit the Amazon RDS User Guide.
EMR CloudWatch metrics
Starting today customers can view graphs of 23 job flow metrics within the EMR Console by selecting the monitoring tab in the job flow details page. These metrics are pushed by CloudWatch every five minutes at no cost to you, and include information on:
Job flow progress including metrics on the number of map and reduce tasks running and remaining in your job flow, and the number of bytes read and written to S3 and Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS).
Job flow contention including metrics on HDFS utilization, map and reduce slots open, jobs running, and the ratio between map tasks remaining and map slots.
Job flow health including metrics on whether your job flow is idle, if there are missing data blocks, and if there are any dead nodes.
Further, through the CloudWatch Console, API, or SDK, you can set alarms to be notified via Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) if any of these metrics go outside specified thresholds. Please visit the EMR documentation page for more information.
EMR integration with DynamoDB
DynamoDB integrates seamlessly with EMR, allowing customers to use Hive to analyze data sets stored in DynamoDB and either write the results back to DynamoDB or archive them in Amazon S3. Businesses can also access data in multiple stores (i.e. Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon RDS, and Amazon S3), do complex analysis over this combined dataset, and store the results of this work in Amazon S3. Please visit the Developer Guide for more information. The release of AMI 2.0.2 also provides a number of additional enhancements, including running the Network Time Protocol Daemon (NTPD) and support for Dumbo. For full details on these enhancements to the AMI please see our release notes.
S3DistCp for efficient copy between S3 and HDFS
EMR has also made available S3DistCp, an extension of the open source Apache DistCp tool for distributed data copy, that has been optimized to work with Amazon S3. Using S3DistCp, you can efficiently copy large amounts of data between Amazon S3 and HDFS on your Amazon EMR job flow, or copy files between Amazon S3 buckets. During data copy you can also optimize your files for Hadoop processing. This includes modifying compression schemes, concatenating small files, and creating partitions. Please see the Amazon Elastic MapReduce documentation for more details and code examples.
AWS Support - 3rd party software support
Providing 3rd party software support enables customers to work directly with AWS Support on questions related to the customer’s Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance operating system as well as the configuration and performance of the most popular 3rd Party Software components on AWS. This support covers most widely used operating systems including Windows, Ubuntu Linux, Red Hat Linux, Novell’s SuSE Linux, and Amazon Linux, as well as system software including Apache, IIS, Amazon SDKs, FTP, Sendmail, and Postfix. In addition, through the use of desktop sharing technology, customers will have the option to share their desktops in real time with support engineers, allowing for a more hands on support experience. Sign up for AWS Support.
AWS Support - AWS Trusted Advisor
Building on our aggregated history of serving hundreds of thousands of customers, the AWS Trusted Advisor program is a best practices auditing service that monitors a customer’s use of AWS and automatically recommends configuration changes or new services that may save money, improve system performance, or close security gaps. AWS has built systems to regularly run best practice feature checks against a customer’s AWS environment to flag potential opportunities for improvement. AWS Trusted Advisor launches with 8 checks and additional ones will be continuously deployed throughout the year. Visit the AWS Blog for a more detailed description of AWS Trusted Advisor, or sign up for AWS Support.
Featured case study: Engauge/Outback Steakhouse
A great example of an AWS Solution Provider was Engauge leveraging AWS infrastructure to run a successful multi-channel marketing campaign for Outback Steakhouse. The key challenge to the campaign was to scale the databases to handle peak levels of traffic. Using Amazon RDS, the customer went from provisioning databases to hosting the campaign successfully in a matter of weeks. The complex database administration tasks like ensuring high availability and disaster recovery were automatically handled by Amazon RDS. Read the full case study.
Check out these developer resources to help you build and grow on AWS.
The AWS SDK for .NET now supports Amazon Route 53
With the Amazon Route 53 .NET client in the SDK, you can easily access your Amazon Route 53 resources and manage your Amazon Route 53 hosted zones. Click here for the SDK.
The AWS SDKs now support Amazon DynamoDB
The AWS SDKs have been updated with support for Amazon DynamoDB. Access Amazon DynamoDB from your choice of AWS SDK – Java, PHP, Ruby, .NET, Android, or iOS.
AWS Toolkit for Eclipse and AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio add support for Amazon DynamoDB
The AWS Toolkit for Eclipse and the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio add support for accessing Amazon DynamoDB. Get easy access to your data in Amazon DynamoDB right from your IDE. Click here for the AWS Toolkit for Eclipse, or click here for the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio.
Mobile developers can use DynamoDB to store user preferences
The AWS SDK for iOS and the AWS SDK for Android now include sample code on how to store user preferences in Amazon DynamoDB. With more and more people using multiple mobile devices, connecting these devices to the cloud and storing user preferences in the cloud enables developers to provide a more uniform cross-device experience. Find them here for iOS and Android.
Check out the latest announcements from the AWS Solutions Provider community
Quest Software Toad® for Oracle and Toad for MySQL freeware editions are now available on AWS
Quest’s Toad® for Oracle and Toad for MySQL freeware editions are now available on AWS for on-demand use across your managed databases. As the market leading productivity toolset used by over 2 million database professionals worldwide, Toad improves code quality, performance, maintainability, productivity and collaboration across your team. Within seconds, develop, query and manage Oracle and MySQL on AWS without having to install a Toad executable on your desktop. Available only to AWS subscribers – it’s easy and it’s free – so take Toad for a spin. AWS usage fees apply. For more information, visit the toad website or the Quest website.
We hope you will join AWS, our customers, and partners at the following events.
Strata Conference: Making data work
February 28 - March 1, Santa Clara, CA
The leading event for the people and technology driving the data revolution. Use code AWS25 to save 25% on passes.
Serious Play: An applied Gaming Workshop - by Engine Yard and AWS
March 1, New York City, NY
DR on AWS: Life cycle services and architecture patterns
March 8, Seattle, WA
AWS 101 Cloud Computing Seminar
March 1, Hong Kong
AWS 101 Technical Workshop
March 1, Hong Kong
AWS 101 Cloud Computing Seminar
March 6, Melbourne, Australia
AWS 101 Technical Workshop
March 6, Melbourne, Australia
AWS 101 Cloud Computing Seminar
March 7, Canberra, Australia
March 9 to 11, Singapore
AWS 101 Cloud Computing Seminar
March 21, Brisbane, Australia
House of Genius, Singapore
March 21, Singapore
What's New with AWS | London
February 23, London, United Kingdom
AWS User Group North
February 29, Manchester, United Kingdom
Learn more about AWS by attending an upcoming webinar or online event.
Introduction to AWS Storage Gateway
February 23, 10:00am PST
Join our webinar to learn more about how you can use the AWS Storage Gateway for backup, disaster recovery, and data mirroring to your cloud-based compute resources. We'll cover a few key use cases, discuss how the AWS Storage Gateway works, and show you how to get started. After the presentation, we will be answering audience questions.
Architecting your Mobile Application for the AWS Cloud
February 23, 11:00am PST / 7:00pm GMT
Join AWS Senior Manager and Evangelist Jeff Barr and CTO of 8KMiles Harish Ganesan as they talk about how AWS can provide the backend for dynamic, scalable and feature rich mobile applications. This webinar will also provide architecture guidance for a variety of mobile applications and will help enterprise product managers, innovation / strategy leaders and mobile app developers understand how AWS can be used to deliver a robust mobile experience.
Getting Started with Microsoft Windows on Amazon Web Services
February 28, 11:00am PST
Learn how Microsoft channel partners can take advantage of your existing Microsoft investments and skill set to run Windows Server Applications such as Microsoft SharePoint Server, Microsoft Exchange Server, and SQL Server in the Cloud.