October 2010 - New Amazon EC2 Features and Announcements

Newsletter #66

Dear AWS Community,

Over the past several weeks, Amazon EC2 has made several major announcements for customers with large deployments - including new features for tagging and filtering EC2 resources, using RSA keys to replace AWS private keys, an announcement with Oracle to certify enterprise software on Amazon EC2, and an announcement with Novell to offer Amazon EC2 running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and 11. In addition, Amazon RDS has released an important Read Replicas feature and lowered pricing for High Mem DB Instances. We are also excited to tell you about AWS evangelist Jeff Barr’s new book: "Host Your Web Site in the Cloud". Check out the webinars coming up in October and November, most notable is AWS's new office hours webinar. Tune in to get your Amazon EC2 questions answered by Jeff Barr in real time.

  • News & Announcements
    • Attention Start-Ups: The AWS Start-Up Challenge Closes October 31
    • Amazon RDS Announces Read Replicas, Lower Prices for High Memory DB Instances
    • Four New Amazon EC2 Features
    • Amazon EC2 Running SUSE Linux Now Available
    • Oracle Certifies Enterprise Software on Amazon EC2
    • Amazon Payments Launches Next Generation of Checkout by Amazon
    • New AWS Book: Host Your Web Site in the Cloud
    • Featured Case Study: Scribd Saves 63% with Amazon EC2 Spot Instance
  • Developer Resources
  • AWS On The Road
  • Virtual Events

News & Announcements

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

Attention Start-Ups: The AWS Start-Up Challenge Closes October 31
The AWS Start-up Challenge is a chance for start-ups in 22 countries to compete to win $100,000 in cash and credits. The contest submission closes October 31, so don’t wait to submit your application. 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. To enter your business, visit the Start-Up Challenge page.

Amazon RDS Announces Read Replicas, Lower Prices for High Memory DB Instances
Amazon RDS, the scalable relational database service, has released Read Replicas to meet the performance demands of read-heavy database workloads. You can now create one or more replicas of a given source DB Instance and serve incoming read traffic from multiple copies of your data, elastically scaling out beyond the capacity of a single DB Instance. You can use Read Replicas in conjunction with Multi-AZ replication for scalable, reliable, and highly available production database deployments. In addition, RDS has also lowered the On-Demand and Reserved prices for High Memory Double Extra Large (m2.2xlarge) and Quadruple Extra Large (m2.4xlarge) DB Instances. Visit the RDS page for more on pricing and new features.

Four New Amazon EC2 Features
We are excited to inform you about four new features that will make Amazon EC2 easier to use for customers with large deployments.

  • Tagging EC2 resources simplifies the administration of your cloud infrastructure. A form of metadata, tags can be used to create user-friendly names, enhance searchability, and improve coordination between multiple users.
  • Filtering EC2 resources makes it easier to manage resources within your deployment. For example, you can use filtering to quickly determine which instances are running in a particular Availability Zone or which snapshots are associated with a particular EBS volume.
  • Using RSA keys to access your EC2 instances instead of relying on AWS generated keys. This feature gives you complete control over your private keys and will also allow you to use the same RSA key across different regions, simplifying resource management.
  • Idempotently launch instances so that timeouts or connection errors do not result in the launch of more instances than you originally intended, saving you time and money.

Amazon EC2 Running SUSE Linux Now Available
You can now employ Amazon EC2 running Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and 11 (SLES) in all AWS regions. Amazon EC2 running SUSE Linux Enterprise is available as an on-demand, reserved or spot instance, and includes maintenance that automatically keeps the operating system up-to-date with Novell’s most current security patches, bug fixes and new features. Like all services offered by AWS, Amazon EC2 running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server offers a low-cost, pay-as-you-go model with no long-term commitments and no minimum fees. This announcement provides enterprise customers with a commercially maintained and supported Linux distribution with more than 6000 certified applications from over 1500 ISVs.

Oracle Certifies Enterprise Software on Amazon EC2
With a recent announcement made at Oracle OpenWorld, all products certified on the Oracle VM, including enterprise applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise, Oracle’s Siebel CRM, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Database, and Oracle Linux will now be certified to run on Amazon EC2 using Oracle VM. This certification allows customers to apply standard Oracle partitioned licensing models to software running on Amazon EC2 to leverage the scalability, reliability, and utility-based pricing model of AWS. Oracle and AWS will publish a set of pre-configured platform and application templates as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). In addition to minimizing installation and hardware maintenance costs, these templates reduce implementation times from days to minutes. For more information, visit

Amazon Payments Launches Next Generation of Checkout by Amazon
Amazon Payments has announced the next generation of Checkout by Amazon (CBA) offering a streamlined customer experience that enables millions of Amazon customers to checkout without ever leaving your site. Your customers can now access their Amazon address book and payment methods directly on your site with fewer steps to checkout. CBA’s tighter integration with merchant sites and cut-and-paste, configurable JavaScript code also means a substantial reduction in implementation time. Visit to view a demo of the new, improved customer experience and get started with Checkout by Amazon.

New AWS Book: Host Your Web Site in the Cloud
AWS Evangelist Jeff Barr recently published a new book, “Host Your Web Site in the Cloud”. In this book, Jeff introduces the concept of cloud computing and reviews each infrastructure service in detail. Successive chapters cover Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, CloudFront, Amazon Relational Database Service, and more. The book also includes information on Auto Scaling, Elastic Load Balancing, and Amazon CloudWatch along with a complete reference application. The book is available on

Featured Case Study: Scribd Saves 63% with Amazon EC2 Spot Instances
Scribd, a social publishing and reading site with over 50 million monthly readers, allows users to turn PDF, Microsoft Office Word and Microsoft Office PowerPoint files into Web documents using a solution built on Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3. Scribd used Amazon EC2 spot instances for a recent batch conversion job, saving 63%, or $10,500, compared to what they would have spent on on-demand instances for the same job. Read the full story.

Developer Resources

Check out these developer resources to help you build and grow on AWS.

Get Started with the AWS SDK for PHP
The AWS Developer Relations team has released the official AWS SDK for PHP, enabling developers to get started building scalable PHP web applications in minutes. The AWS SDK for PHP provides a library, code samples, and documentation for developers to build PHP applications that tap into AWS’s cloud computing platform. Explore all resources for PHP development at

AWS On The Road

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

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

October 18-22, New York, New York

AWS Cloud Computing Event: New Delhi
October 19, New Delhi, India

AWS Cloud Computing Event: Mumbai
October 20, Mumbai, India

AWS User Group – Silicon Valley
October 21, Mountain View, CA

AWS Cloud Computing Event: Bangalore
October 26, Bangalore, India

AWS User Group – Seattle
October 26, Seattle, WA

AWS Developer Training
October 29, Chicago IL
ThoughtWorks will be offering a one-day training on AWS for software developers and engineers.

AWS Developer Training
November 3, New York NY
ThoughtWorks will be offering a one-day training on AWS for software developers and engineers.

AWS Tech Summit for Developers and Architects
November 9, London
Learn how to get started with AWS infrastructure services and how to architect applications for the cloud.

Virtual Events

Learn the 7 Keys To Building Secure Apps In the Cloud With Amazon Web Services & the Symplified Trust Cloud
October 14, 10:00am PDT
Join Tom Stickle, Senior Security Architect, AWS, and Darren Platt, CTO and Founder, Symplified, to get answers to the top seven cloud security questions and learn how to build a new solid foundation in the cloud. You’ll learn how to leverage the capabilities of both Amazon Web Services and the Symplified Trust Cloud to quickly and securely make the move to the cloud.

Introduction to Read Replicas from Amazon RDS
October 15, 10:00am PDT
Join this webinar and learn about the newly launched feature: Read Replicas from Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS). In this live webinar, Ray Bradford, Product Manager for Amazon RDS will cover the details of this new feature and will also talk about how it works with another recently announced feature: Multi-Availability Zone (Multi-AZ) deployments. Ray will talk about these two replication features, show a quick console demo, and answer any questions you have.

Grow your business with the next generation of Checkout by Amazon
October 20, 11:00am PDT
In this webinar we will introduce you to the new, streamlined Checkout by Amazon experience. Now, your customers can access their Amazon address books and payment methods and complete purchases without leaving your website. Join us to learn how you can offer an enhanced checkout experience to improve conversion with Checkout by Amazon.

A Crisis in Data! Webinar featuring Nasuni
October 21, 11:00am PDT
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.

Lawson Disaster Recovery Services on AWS
October 21, 9:00am PDT
Lawson is an AWS Solution Provider providing software and service solutions to 4,500 customers across various industries and 40 countries. This webinar will discuss disaster recovery services on AWS, specifically, how to backup critical data with an industry-leading recovery time and how to be prepared for disaster anywhere in the world with scalable Cloud technology.

Building Reliable, Production Applications with Amazon RDS
October 26, 11:00am PDT
Learn how Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easier to run a reliable and scalable MySQL database in the cloud. This webinar will describe how Amazon RDS offloads the basic administration of running a relational database, while offering enhanced functionality like Multi-AZ deployments, which offer more robust MySQL availability and durability.

Benefits of the Cloud, featuring Lawson and analyst Ray Wang
November 4, 9:00am PDT
Attend this webinar from Lawson featuring analyst Ray Wang of Altimeter Group. They will discuss the full value of cloud computing with reduced resource needs for application management, greater scalability and flexibility than SaaS, offsite disaster recovery, and subscription and usage-based pricing.

Amazon Web Services Office Hours: Ask the Experts
November 10, 9:00am PST
Expand your cloud and EC2 knowledge through an interactive Q&A session with AWS Evangelist Jeff Barr. Join us on Wednesday, November 10th from 9am – 10am PST to hear Jeff field a variety of EC2 questions from an audience of your peers.

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