September 2010 - Amazon Linux AMI Released

Newsletter #65

Dear AWS Community,

In this newsletter, we are pleased to highlight the release of Amazon Linux AMI and recap several other recent AWS announcements: Micro Instances, Database Engine Version Management, Identity and Access Management, the 2010 AWS Start-Up Challenge, and more. We are also excited to share the new case study highlighting the U.S. Department of Energy’s Open Energy Information Initiative website hosted on AWS. September and October will be busy months for events and webinars – check out the calendar below and please join us.

  • Just Announced
    • Announcing the Amazon Linux AMI
  • News & Announcements
    • 4th Annual AWS Start-Up Challenge Goes Global
    • New Micro Instances for Amazon EC2
    • Lower Prices for Amazon EC2 High Memory Double and Quadruple XL Instances
    • Amazon RDS Adds Database Engine Version Management, InnoDB Plugin Support, and Reserved Instance Options
    • Amazon CloudFront Adds Invalidation Feature
    • Preview Beta of AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
    • AWS Management Console Adds Support for Amazon VPC
    • AWS Import/Export Now Supports 8TB Devices
    • Featured Case Study: DOE’s Open Energy Information Initiative
  • AWS On The Road
  • Virtual Events

Just Announced

Announcing the Amazon Linux AMI
We are excited to announce availability of the Amazon Linux AMI, a supported and maintained Linux image for use on Amazon EC2. It is designed to provide a stable, secure, and high performance execution environment for applications running on Amazon EC2. It also includes several packages that enable easy integration with AWS, including launch configuration tools and many popular AWS libraries and tools. AWS will provide ongoing security and maintenance updates to all instances running the Amazon Linux AMI and the AMI is provided at no additional charge to Amazon EC2 users. Read the AWS blog for more details about this AMI.

News & Announcements

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

4th Annual AWS Start-Up Challenge Goes Global
The AWS Start-up Challenge is back with an expanded world footprint – start-ups in 22 countries across the Americas, Asia, and Europe can compete for a chance to win $100,000 in cash and credits. This year, we will recognize 15 regional semi-finalists, 6 global finalists, and select one global grand prize winner. We’re looking for the most promising start-ups that can grow into significant, meaningful businesses that leverage AWS for their infrastructure. If that’s you, enter the AWS Start-Up Challenge before October 31.

New Micro Instances for Amazon EC2
Customers have asked us for a lower priced instance type that could satisfy the needs of their less demanding applications, and now it’s here. We recently announced Micro instances for Amazon EC2, a new, low cost instance type designed for lower throughput applications and web sites. Micro instances provide 613 MB of memory and support 32-bit and 64-bit platforms, starting at $0.02 per hour for Linux and $0.03 per hour for Windows. Micro instances provide a small amount of consistent CPU resources, and also allow you to burst CPU capacity when additional cycles are available. Read the AWS Blog for more information.

Lower Prices for Amazon EC2 High Memory Double and Quadruple XL Instances
We have recently lowered the On-Demand and Reserved prices for High Memory Double Extra Large (m2.2xlarge) and Quadruple Extra Large (m2.4xlarge) instances for Linux/UNIX and Windows by up to 19%. If you have existing Reserved Instances, your hourly usage rate starting September 1st will be lowered to the new usage rate and your estimated bill will reflect these changes later this month. We continuously strive to be more efficient, and are excited to pass cost savings on to you in the form of lower prices. See the Amazon EC2 pricing page for more details.

Amazon RDS Adds Database Engine Version Management, InnoDB Plugin Support, and Reserved Instance Options
Amazon RDS now allows you to control if and when the relational database software powering your DB Instance (i.e. MySQL) is upgraded to new versions supported by Amazon RDS. This provides you with the flexibility to maintain compatibility with specific MySQL versions, test new versions with your application before deploying in production, and perform version upgrades on your own terms and timelines. Amazon RDS also now supports MySQL 5.1.49 with InnoDB Plugin. Read the forum announcement for more details. Amazon RDS has also announced Reserved DB Instances in which you can now make a one-time, up-front payment to create a one or three year reservation to run your DB Instance in a specific Region and receive a significant discount off of the hourly usage charge. For more information, visit the Amazon RDS page.

Amazon CloudFront Adds Invalidation Feature
Amazon CloudFront, the easy-to-use content delivery network, now supports the ability to remove files from all edge locations prior to the expiration date set on those files. The invalidation feature is helpful in unexpected circumstances, such as an encoding error on a video or an update to your website’s css file, in which you to need to remove the file from Amazon CloudFront before the specified expiration time. Invalidation requests for the first 1,000 files each month are provided at no charge; above this, there is a $0.005 charge for invalidating each additional file. Read more in the Amazon CloudFront Developer Guide.

Preview Beta of AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
We are excited to offer you early access to AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). IAM enables you to create multiple Users within your AWS Account and manage the permissions for each of these Users with unique security credentials. IAM eliminates the need to share passwords or access keys, and makes it easy to enable or disable a User’s access as appropriate. IAM offers you greater flexibility, control, and security when using AWS. As part of this Preview Beta, you can programmatically add Users to your AWS Account, set groups and permissions for these Users, and enable your Users to call APIs for multiple AWS services.

AWS Management Console Adds Support for Amazon VPC
Now, you can use the AWS Management Console to manage your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) resources. Amazon VPC is a secure and seamless bridge between a company’s existing IT infrastructure and the AWS cloud. With the simplicity of a point-and-click web interface, customers can manage Amazon VPC resources such as subnets and VPN connections, and can also use a simple, straightforward wizard to create and connect to a VPC for the very first time. Access to the AWS Management Console is provided free of charge.

AWS Import/Export Now Supports 8TB Devices
You can now send portable storage devices to AWS Import/Export with capacities up to 8 TB, reducing the number of devices required for large data loads. For larger devices please contact us at For full details on supported devices, visit the AWS Import/Export page.

Featured Case Study: DOE’s Open Energy Information Initiative
The Open Energy Information Initiative (, managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by its National Renewable Energy Laboratory, is a free, open source knowledge sharing platform created to accelerate the transition to clean energy systems. AWS was chosen as the hosting provider because of its flexibility, global scalability, and availability. Read the full story with architecture details.

AWS Solution Providers

Check out the latest announcements from the AWS Solution Providers community.

CloudManage by LTech has Launched
LTech, an AWS Solutions Provider, launches CloudManage. When you add CloudManage to your AWS deployments, you get a team to monitor, administer, and help make sure your business critical applications are performing at their peak, in a secure and familiar environment. With full deployment, administration, backup and disaster recovery services, LTech’s CloudManage brings the traditional Network Operations Center into the new cloud paradigm. For more information, please visit

AWS On The Road

We hope you will join AWS, our customers, and partners at the following events.

NASSCOM Infrastructure Management Services Summit
September 15-16, Bangalore, India


September 18, Hong Kong

AWS at Oracle OpenWorld
September 19-23, San Francisco, CA
Visit the AWS team at our exhibit, Moscone South #2129 and hear theater presentations on AWS and Oracle solutions, including presentations from leading Systems Integrators.

AWS Meetup – London
September 22, London, England

Location Intelligence GeoCloud Conference

September 22, Washington DC

Social Media Forum Asia
September 22, Singapore

AWS Cloud for the Federal Government
September 23, Arlington, VA

Amazon Mechanical Turk Mixer @ Web 2.0 Expo NYC

September 29, New York City, NY
Join us for cocktails and a panel discussion on crowdsourcing for social media and SEO.

AWS User Group – Berlin
October 5, Berlin, Germany

NYC AWS Meetup
October 6, New York City, NY

AWS Cloud Computing Event: Berlin
October 7, Berlin, Germany
Join us and hear from CTO Dr. Werner Vogels and customers from moviepilot, Cellular, Plinga, and Schnee von morgen talk about using AWS.

AWS Start-Up Project Event: Tel Aviv
October 12, Tel Aviv
Attend this half-day event and hear from CTO Dr. Werner Vogels and local customers talk about using AWS’s cloud computing platform.

AWS Meetup – Boston

October 12, Boston, MA

Silicon Valley Cloud Computing Meetup – Netflix’s Move to AWS
October 14, Mountain View, CA

AWS Cloud Computing Event: New Delhi
October 19, New Delhi, India
Attend this half-day event and hear from CTO Dr. Werner Vogels and local customers talk about using AWS’s cloud computing platform.

AWS Cloud Computing Event: Mumbai
October 20, Mumbai, India
Attend this half-day event and hear from CTO Dr. Werner Vogels and local customers talk about using AWS’s cloud computing platform.

AWS Cloud Computing Event: Bangalore
October 26, Bangalore, India
Attend this half-day event and hear from CTO Dr. Werner Vogels and local customers talk about using AWS’s cloud computing platform.

Virtual Events

Learn more about AWS by attending an upcoming webinar or virtual event.

Host Your Website in the Cloud with Jeff Barr
September 21, 4:00pm PST
Jeff Barr, Senior AWS Evangelist, will discuss his new book, “Host Your Web Site in the Cloud,” with Kevin Yank, Lucas Chan, and Louis Simoneau of SitePoint. Scheduled for release on the day of the webinar, Jeff’s book provides mid-level PHP developers with all of the information and code needed to get started with AWS. The book addresses many aspects of AWS including EC2, S3, SimpleDB, CloudFront, SQS, and RDS. Each service is described, explained, and then illustrated with sample code. Attend the webinar to learn more about the book.

Grow into the Cloud – A Case Study by Persistent Systems
October 5, 10:00am PST
In this webinar, AWS and Persistent executives will present and demonstrate Cloud solutions while showcasing how they helped an online market research firm grow dramatically over the past two years by using cloud computing. Featuring Jeff Barr, AWS Senior Evangelist, and Shreekanth Joshi, Associate Vice President, Cloud Services, Persistent Systems.

Pedal to the Metal. How Car Town Grew to One Million Users in Days on EC2
October 13, 11:00am PST
Ever wondered how an application can scale from zero to millions of users in a matter of weeks? Cie Games, the makers of Car Town, will tell you how they did it – running on Amazon EC2 and using Java and Enterprise Ehcache to scale on-demand. Cie Games’ lead-level engineers will share their experience for growing Java apps running on EC2. The discussion will cover RDS, EBS, S3, ELB, Cloudfront, Ehcache, Terracotta, and how to choose between and optimize your use of these powerful scale-out technologies.

A Crisis in Data! Webinar featuring Nasuni
October 21, 10:00am PST
Data is growing—FAST. Estimates suggest that over 1.2 billion terabytes will be created this year. Are you prepared to manage all this data? By harnessing the power of the cloud with the Nasuni Filer and Amazon Web Services, you can enjoy the benefits of cloud storage, traditional storage, and off-site data backup all rolled into one single (and secure) technology. The Nasuni Filer, an advanced virtual file server, delivers expandable storage, built-in disaster recovery, end-to-end encryption and full protection for all your business files at a fraction of the cost of traditional storage technologies.

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