September 2008

Newsletter #41

Dear AWS Developers,

It’s an exciting time for AWS as we have recently announced Amazon Elastic Block Store, a highly requested feature for Amazon EC2 that provides persistent storage. We are also excited to announce the 2008 AWS Start-Up Challenge and Start-Up Tour. The Start-Up Challenge gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to compete for a grand prize of $100,000 in cash and credits and the Start-Up Tour brings AWS to a major city near you. These activities showcase the innovation happening within our vibrant start-up community.

Tracy Laxdal
Amazon Web Services

News & Announcements

To keep you up-to-date, here are the latest news items and announcements from AWS.

Amazon Elastic Block Store Now Available
AWS is excited to announce Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) a new persistent storage feature for Amazon EC2. With Amazon EBS, storage volumes can be programmatically created and attached to Amazon EC2 instances. With Amazon EBS, users can choose to allocate storage volumes that persist reliably and independently from Amazon EC2 instances. For even more durable backups, Amazon EBS provides the ability to create snapshots of volumes that are stored to Amazon S3. Amazon EBS is well suited for databases, as well as many other applications that require running a file system or access to raw block-level storage. Read more on the Amazon EBS detail page or the press release.

Announcing the AWS Start-Up Challenge – Win $100,000 in prizes
AWS has launched this year’s AWS Start-Up Challenge, a contest for entrepreneurs and start-ups that will award the winner $50,000 in cash, $50,000 in AWS credits, a potential investment offer from, and more. Submissions will be accepted until October 3, 2008. Learn more about the contest and enter your great idea today!

AWS Start-Up Tour
The 2008 AWS Start-Up Tour takes off September 3. We invite all start-up leaders and entrepreneurs to join us for these half-day events to learn how AWS empowers entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainable growth. Join us in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Boston, New York, Austin, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Toronto, London, and Amsterdam. Seats are limited, RSVP today.

Amazon SimpleDB Releases QueryWithAttributes
This highly requested Amazon SimpleDB feature extends the existing Query functionality and simplifies the application development process. Instead of issuing a query followed by a series of read requests, application developers can now use a single API call to retrieve all information about items stored in Amazon SimpleDB. For more on QueryWithAttributes, see the Amazon SimpleDB Developer Guide.

Widget Source for Amazon Associates
The Associates team is pleased to announce the launch of Widget Source – a new way to bring Amazon products to your website using simple Javascript code. You can use these widgets to customize the display and placement of Amazon product ads on your site and earn commission on product sales by using your Amazon Associates tag.

Amazon FPS Bank Account Verification Removed
The Amazon FPS team has eliminated a major barrier to getting started with FPS: registering and verifying a valid US bank account. Based on your feedback, we have removed this restriction and you can now register for FPS and start using it immediately. Learn more about FPS’s robust payment solution and sign up.

New AWS Case Studies
Check out our latest customer case studies that showcase interesting solutions built on AWS. These case studies include: Indy500, Autodesk Seek, Washington Post, Zoomii, LiveLeader, Morph, DiskAgent, and TC3Health. Their use cases range from streaming live sport events to powering HIPAA-compliant applications. Find all case studies here.

Developer Resources

Here are a few highlights and new additions to our Developer Resource Center.

Feature Guide: Elastic Block Store
An introduction to Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), which enables a single Amazon EC2 instance to attach to a highly available, highly reliable storage volume of up to 1 TB of data.

Running MySQL on Amazon EC2 with Elastic Block Store
This tutorial by Eric Hammond describes one approach to using Amazon EC2’s Elastic Block Store (EBS) as a persistent storage mechanism for a production MySQL database server, including snapshot backup and restore.

New Libraries for Amazon EC2
In tandem with the EBS launch, Amazon Web Services also released new libraries for Amazon EC2 in four languages: PHP, Perl, VB.NET, C#.

rPath Launches rBuilder Appliance Creator and Catalog for EC2
rPath has launched the free beta of the rBuilder Appliance Creator and rBuilder Catalog for EC2 to automate the assembly of software components, the creation of AMIs and the deployment of images to EC2. See a demo on

Featured Solutions

Check out what your peers have built with AWS. These solutions include interesting web applications built on top of AWS as well as tools that help you integrate with AWS.
A drop is a chunk of space you can use to store and share anything privately, like pictures, videos, audio, documents, etc. All free drops start at 100MB. is built on Amazon S3, EC2, and FPS.

Zementis PMML Converter application converts prior versions of the Predictive Modeling Markup Language (PMML) into the latest version of the standard as defined by the Data Mining Group, an independent, vendor led group which develops data mining standards.

Jollat is an easy-to-use GUI to manage Amazon S3 and EC2 services.

Meetup, the world’s largest network of local groups, makes it easy for group organizers to collect payments from their members by integrating with the Amazon FPS Marketplace APIs.

AWS On The Road

September will be a busy month for AWS and we hope to see you at one of these events. You can see more events and sign up for a private meeting or a formal presentation on the AWS Evangelist Wiki Calendar.

AWS Start-Up Tour
Sept. 3-22, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Austin, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Toronto, New York, Boston.

VS Live!
Sept. 9, Marriott, New York, NY

Web 2.0 Expo / Interop
Sept. 16-19, Javits Center, New York, NY

Oracle OpenWorld
Sept. 21-25, Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA

MIT Emerging Technologies Conference
Sept. 23-25, MIT Campus, Cambridge, MA

Streaming Media West
Sept. 23-25, McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, CA

Sept. 24-26, Amsterdam, NL

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