Newsletters


December 2010 - PCI compliance and ISO 27001 certification, Amazon Route 53, free EC2 monitoring, GPU Clusters, and more

Newsletter #68

Dear AWS Community,

With the end of 2010 drawing near, we took a quick glance at the past 12 months. Most of the releases we announced were direct requests from you (our customers), such as an Asia Pacific Region, combined data transfer pricing tiers, consolidated billing, Identity and Access Management (IAM), Micro Instances, Cluster and GPU Instances, CloudFront streaming, new relational database features from Amazon RDS, a DNS service, additional console support, and more. We hope you have found these releases useful as you build on top of AWS. We strive to be the most customer centric company on earth, and to do that, we continually need your feedback. Our annual customer survey is open and we hope you will take a few minutes to tell us what you think. Please start the survey and we thank you for sharing this exciting journey with us. This newsletter highlights the announcements that we've made over the last month, specifically, PCI compliance and ISO 27001 certification, Amazon Route 53, free EC2 monitoring, GPU Clusters, Amazon S3 object size increased to 5 terabytes, and the finale of the AWS Start-Up Challenge. In addition, we have released new content to help you migrate your legacy applications to the cloud –- see the whitepapers below. If you are interested in migration, check out the December 20 webinar, Jon Jenkins, Director of Corporate Applications will share insights about how Amazon.com, as a customer of AWS, migrated their own internal IT applications to the cloud. Best wishes and have a Happy New Year!


  • News & Announcements
    • AWS Achieves PCI DSS Level 1 Compliance and ISO 27001 Certification
    • Amazon Route 53 – A New DNS Service
    • Free Monitoring for Amazon EC2 Instance
    • Announcing Cluster GPU Instances for Amazon EC2 and Elastic MapReduce Cluster Support
    • Amazon S3 Releases Multipart Upload and Large Object Support
    • Amazon Elastic MapReduce Announces Support for Hive 0.7 and Hive JDBC Drivers
    • Amazon SimpleDB Introduces Batch Delete API
    • Amazon RDS Cost Comparison Calculator
    • M-Dot Network Wins Fourth Annual Amazon Web Services Start-Up Challenge
    • AWS Customer Satisfaction Survey – We Want Your Feedback
    • Featured Case Studies: Yelp and Bankinter
  • Technical Resources
  • AWS Solution Providers News
  • AWS On The Road
  • Virtual Events

News & Announcements


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

AWS Achieves PCI DSS Level 1 Compliance and ISO 27001 Certification
Within the last month, AWS has achieved Level 1 PCI compliance and ISO 27001 certification of our infrastructure, data centers, and services. Many customers have asked us about these certifications and we hope this announcement provides further clarity and assurance for those evaluating our security practices. AWS is now a validated PCI Service Provider which means that merchants and other service providers can become Payment Card Industry (PCI) certified while storing, processing, and transmitting credit card information using AWS. In addition, we have achieved ISO 27001 certification. ISO 27001/27002 is a widely-adopted global security standard that sets requirements and best practices for managing company and customer information. AWS’s ISO 27001 certification includes all AWS data centers in all regions worldwide and AWS has established a formal program to maintain the certification. For more information please visit our ISO 27001 FAQs and PCI DSS Level 1 FAQs.

Amazon Route 53 – A New DNS Service
AWS has introduced a highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) service – Amazon Route 53. It is a reliable and cost effective way to route end users to Internet applications by translating human readable names like www.example.com into the numeric IP addresses like 192.0.2.1. Route 53 can be used to connect user requests to infrastructure running inside or outside of the AWS cloud. Route 53 is also designed to be fast—it uses a global network of DNS servers to respond to end users with low latency. To learn more, visit the Amazon Route 53 service page or register for the December 16 webinar.

Free Monitoring for Amazon EC2 Instances
We’re excited to let you know that all Amazon EC2 instances now come with free Basic Monitoring metrics from Amazon CloudWatch. You don’t need to do anything to get started. Simply sign in to the AWS Management Console and select one of your active instances. You will immediately be able to view graphs and track performance metrics such as CPU utilization, disk reads and writes, and network traffic. Basic Monitoring for Amazon EC2 is available immediately in all regions (US-N. Virginia, US-N. California, EU-Ireland, APAC-Singapore) – try it today!

Announcing Cluster GPU Instances for Amazon EC2 and Elastic MapReduce Cluster Support
Cluster GPU Instances are now available for Amazon EC2 and offer the power of GPU processing in the cloud. They provide 22 GB of memory, 33.5 EC2 Compute Units, and utilize the Amazon EC2 Cluster network which provides high throughput and low latency for High Performance Computing (HPC) and data intensive applications. Each GPU instance features two NVIDIA Tesla® M2050 GPUs, delivering peak performance of more than one trillion double-precision FLOPS. Many applications can be greatly accelerated by taking advantage of the parallel processing power of hundreds of cores in the new GPU instances, such as graphics rendering, engineering design, and oil and gas exploration. Visit the Instance Types page for more details.

In addition, now you can access Cluster GPU and Cluster Compute Instances through Amazon Elastic MapReduce, allowing you to combine Hadoop’s massively parallelized architecture with high performance computing. Elastic MapReduce will handle workload parallelization, node configuration and scaling, and cluster management. Further, Elastic MapReduce applications that are I/O intensive have the opportunity to realize performance improvement by leveraging the low latency, full bisection bandwidth 10 Gbps Ethernet network between the instances in these clusters.

Amazon S3 Releases Multipart Upload and Large Object Support
Amazon S3 has announced two key features: Multipart Upload and Large Object Support. Multipart Upload enables faster uploads by accepting a single object as a set of parts. With this feature you can create parallel uploads, pause and resume an object upload, and begin uploads before you know the total object size. Amazon S3 has also increased the maximum size of an object from 5 gigabytes to 5 terabytes. This increase enables you to easily store and reference high resolution videos, large backup files, scientific instrument data or other large datasets. For more information on these features, review the Amazon S3 Developer Guide.

Amazon Elastic MapReduce Announces Support for Hive 0.7 and Hive JDBC Drivers
Amazon Elastic MapReduce has launched the ability for customers to run Hive 0.7. This provides a number of exciting features including support for the HAVING clause, IN clause, and performance enhancements from local mode queries, improved column compression, and dynamic partitioning. In addition, Amazon Elastic MapReduce has released Hive JDBC drivers which can be used with external tools such as SQuirrel SQL, an open source universal database client providing a graphical query tool on top of Amazon Elastic MapReduce. Please see the Using Hive section of the Amazon Elastic MapReduce Developer Guide for more detail on these features.

Amazon SimpleDB Introduces Batch Delete API
Amazon SimpleDB, a non-relational database service, now supports a BatchDeleteAttributes API that allows you to perform multiple DeleteAttributes operations in a single call, which reduces round trips and latencies. This enables Amazon SimpleDB to optimize requests, which generally yields better throughput. To learn more, please visit the Amazon SimpleDB Developer Guide.

Amazon RDS Cost Comparison Calculator
Amazon RDS makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud by automatically patching database software, running back ups, and more. To help you evaluate this service and compare the cost of deploying and managing databases on Amazon RDS to that of co-location or on-premise options, you can use the new Amazon RDS Cost Comparison Calculator. Download the tool and the user guide in the AWS Economics Center.

M-Dot Wins AWS Start-Up Challenge
AWS has chosen M-Dot Network as the winner of the fourth annual AWS Start-Up Challenge. The global competition received more than 1,500 applications from 22 countries across North America, Asia Pacific and Europe. 15 regional semi-finalists and seven global finalists were selected, including Compass Labs, Loggly, Mediology, M-Dot, TellApart, Yottaa, and Zoombu. All finalists presented at the finale event in Palo Alto, California, where M-Dot was awarded $50,000 in cash and $50,000 in AWS service credits. Read the press release for full details.

AWS Customer Satisfaction Survey – We Want Your Feedback
At Amazon Web Services we strive to be the most customer centric company on earth and use customer feedback to help us improve our products and services. We would like to hear from you. Please take a moment to fill out our annual AWS Customer Satisfaction survey to tell us more information about you and your use of Amazon Web Services. The survey is completely anonymous and we anticipate that it will take 15 minutes to complete. We appreciate your time and feedback. Start the survey.

Featured Case Studies: Yelp and Bankinter
Yelp is a popular US-based consumer review website that uses Amazon S3 to store their log files growing at 100GB per day and Amazon Elastic MapReduce to process those logs, using approximately 20 separate batch scripts with s3cmd and the Ruby Elastic MapReduce utility for monitoring. Read the full case study.

Bankinter, one of Spain’s major banks, uses Amazon EC2 as an integral part of its credit-risk simulation application. With its application, developed utilizing the AWS SDK for Java, Bankinter brought its average simulation time-to-solution down from 23 hours to 20 minutes. Read the full case study.


Technical Resources


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

Migrating your Existing Applications to the AWS Cloud
This set of whitepapers are targeted at architects and technical decision makers looking to build a cloud migration strategy. The main whitepaper discusses a phase-driven strategy for migrating applications to the cloud and is accompanied by three common use case scenarios with step-by-step migration strategies and architecture diagrams.

Amazon Linux AMI 2010.11.1 Released
A new version of the Amazon Linux AMI is available. The new version includes new features, security fixes, package updates, additional packages, and a number of Perl libraries. Users of the existing Amazon Linux AMI can access the package additions and updates through our Yum repository. A full list of all changes and additions, along with the AMI IDs, can be found in the Amazon Linux AMI Release Notes.

Mobile SDKs for AWS
AWS has released two mobile SDKs for Android and iOS that make it easier for developers to write software that uses AWS infrastructure in their mobile applications. These make it even easier to build applications such as a video application, a social networking game, or a messaging client that broadcasts messages between devices, while utilizing the scalable infrastructure of Amazon Web Services. Find these SDKs and all resources for mobile development at aws.amazon.com/mobile.


AWS Solution Providers News


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

Adobe® Flash® Media Server 4 Software Available on Amazon EC2
Adobe Flash Media Server, an industry leading solution for streaming video and social media applications, is now available on AWS without the upfront investment of software licenses. Now small to mid-size publishers, social media developers, customers creating one-time events, and enterprises can utilize the full functionality of Adobe Flash Media Enterprise Server 4 with a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Customers simply pay for server time and data transfer used, making it more affordable and easier to get started. Adobe Flash Media Server for AWS is available immediately in the US-N. Virginia and APAC Regions. Learn more at adobe.com/go/fmsaws or visit their Solution Providers listing.

Riverbed Announces Cloud Steelhead on AWS
Cloud Steelhead from Riverbed is a cloud-intelligent WAN optimization solution running on Amazon Web Services, and can be deployed and managed in a few easy clicks. Cloud Steelhead combines the speed and simplicity of Steelhead with subscription pricing and a host of intelligent features like transparent interception. Organizations can easily install and scale Cloud Steelhead on Amazon EC2 and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) environments. See their Solution Provider listing.

Karmasphere Analyst Integrated with Amazon Elastic MapReduce
Amazon Elastic MapReduce is fully integrated with Karmasphere’s newly announced Analyst product. Karmasphere Analyst allows data professionals to discover schema in structured and unstructured data; create and access tables; develop and debug SQL; and view query results in a visualization tool against Hadoop clusters running Apache Hive on Amazon Elastic MapReduce. With Karmasphere Analyst, users such as technical analysts, SQL programmers, developers and DBAs can now use Amazon Elastic MapReduce in a familiar, graphical environment from their Windows, Mac or Linux desktop. See their Solution Provider listing.


AWS On The Road


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

AWS User Group Amsterdam Meetup
January 12, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Cost Reduction Using the Public Cloud
January 13, 9am-1pm, London, UK
Amazon Web Services and Morgan Hill are running a series of interactive workshops during January 2011 (January 13, 20, 27)

AWS Training Course by ThoughtWorks
January 14, San Francisco, CA

Strata 2011
February 1-3, Santa Clara, CA
Visit the Amazon Web Services booth in the Sponsor Pavilion and hear the keynote by Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon.com.

AWS Training Course by ThoughtWorks
February 7, Atlanta, GA


Virtual Events


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

Introducing Amazon Route 53 – A New DNS Service from AWS
December 16, 9:00am PST
Attend this webinar to learn about AWS’s new highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) service – Amazon Route 53. In this webinar, you will get a chance to hear from the Route 53 product team about how the service offers you a reliable and cost effective way to route end users to your Internet applications. You will also get an overview of key Route 53 concepts, advantages, and how easy it is for you to get started and manage your DNS with Route 53. There will be plenty of time to ask questions about using the service and provide feedback on features you’d like to see Route 53 deliver over the coming months.

HPC on Amazon Web Services
December 17, 11:00am PST
With Amazon Web Services, businesses and researchers can easily fulfill their high performance computational requirements with the added benefit of ad-hoc provisioning and pay-as-you-go pricing. Listen to Deepak Singh PhD, Sr. Business Development Manager, explain how AWS’s HPC offering can benefit your research lab and business. Deepak will also talk about the performance of Amazon EC2’s newest innovations including cluster compute and cluster GPU instances and the customers that are succeeding by running HPC workloads in the cloud.

Migrating Internal IT Apps to Amazon Web Services
December 20, 11:00am PST
Attend this webinar and learn how Amazon.com, as a customer of AWS, migrated their own internal IT applications to the cloud. Jon Jenkins, Director of Corporate Applications at Amazon, will talk about best practices for migrating to the AWS cloud, including how his team evaluated the cloud services, how they got started, and where they are today with more than 50 internal applications running on AWS. In addition, JJ will dive into three key application architectures: a video processing engine, BMC Remedy, and SharePoint on AWS.

AWS Office Hours – Mechanical Turk
January 12, 9:00am PST
Expand your knowledge of the cloud and Amazon Mechanical Turk through an interactive Q&A session with AWS Evangelists Steve Riley and Jinesh Varia. Join us on Wednesday, January 12 from 9am – 10am PST to hear Steve and Jinesh field a variety of Amazon Mechanical Turk questions from an audience of your peers.

How to Get Cost Efficient, Secure, and Scalable Data Storage
January 27, 10:00am PST
Learn how your organization can reap the benefits of Cloud storage, just like NSK Inc., an IT Services Management firm in Boston, did by using TwinStrata and Amazon Web Services.

Healthcare Privacy In The Cloud
Recorded Podcast
In this edition of the Build for Change podcast series, Russell Keziere of interviews Steve Riley, Senior Technical Evangelist for AWS and Ben Frenkel, Channel Development Manager for Pega. How can the Cloud become a home for next generation healthcare applications? Doesn’t HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) preclude any kind of healthcare in the Cloud? As Steve and Ben discuss, HIPAA is an important consideration, but rarely a show stopper when it comes to leveraging cloud technology.

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