June 2011 - New Security Whitepaper, New Features for AWS CloudFormation, Route53, and Elastic Load Balancing

Dear AWS Community,

To aid customers in developing applications on AWS, we have released multiple new features for AWS CloudFormation, Elastic Load Balancing, and Amazon Route53. Customers can also now take advantage of Amazon RDS to run Oracle Database 11g under two different licensing models – “License Included” and “Bring-Your-Own-License (BYOL)" and customers can deploy or migrate their SAP® Rapid Deployment solutions and SAP® BusinessObjects™ to AWS. Read more on these announcements below. In addition, we have updated the AWS Security Whitepaper and created a new Risk and Compliance Whitepaper. We hope you find these resources useful.

News & Announcements

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

Updated AWS Security Whitepaper and New Risk and Compliance Whitepaper
To answer customer questions about security and compliance, we have updated the AWS Security Whitepaper and we've created a new Risk and Compliance Whitepaper. The AWS Security Whitepaper describes our physical and operational security principles and practices. The new AWS Risk and Compliance Whitepaper covers a number of important topics including the security shared-responsibility model, additional information about our control environment and how to evaluate it, and detailed information about our certifications and third-party attestations.

New Features for AWS CloudFormation
AWS CloudFormation has released a set of new capabilities: validation of template parameters, resource deletion policies and the ability to block stack creation until your application is ready. Some applications need time after an Amazon EC2 instance is started before it is ready to take traffic or perform operations. AWS CloudFormation templates now provide a WaitCondition resource that acts as a barrier, blocking the creation of other resources until a completion signal is received. When a resource is deleted, you now have options to keep it around or to snapshot it. We have updated the example templates to illustrate each of these new features and help you get started. To see some of these features in action, check out this article.

New Features for Elastic Load Balancing
Elastic Load Balancing has announced the immediate availability of three new features: IPv6 support, zone apex support, and security group integration. All Elastic Load Balancers in the Amazon EC2 US-East (Northern Virginia) Region and the Amazon EC2 EU (Ireland) Region are now capable of supporting IPv6. Also, in coordination with Amazon Route53, you can map your root domain, or "zone apex" directly to your Load Balancer. Lastly, you can now configure security groups for your EC2 instances so they'll only accept traffic from the Elastic Load Balancer. For more information, read the related AWS Blog post.

Amazon Route 53 New Features and SLA
Amazon Route 53, AWS’s highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) service has released three new features. First, Amazon Route 53 has integrated with Amazon EC2’s Elastic Load Balancing in order to easily let you map your root domain, or “zone apex” (e.g.,, without the ‘www’), directly to your Load Balancer using ‘Alias’ records, which are free of charge. Second, Amazon Route 53 now offers Weighted Round Robin (WRR) functionality, allowing developers to specify the frequency (“weights”) with which different DNS responses are returned to end users. Lastly, Amazon Route 53 has exited its beta period and announced General Availability along with a 100% Service Level Agreement (SLA), backing up the service’s reliability with service credits in the event of downtime.

Improved Pricing Control for Spot Instances
Effective July 1st, customers will have access to a new feature that will significantly increase control over pricing for Amazon EC2 Spot instances. With this change, we will introduce a Spot Instance price based on the supply and demand for a specific Availability Zone rather than for an entire Region. This improved pricing granularity will enable you to determine the price required to launch a Spot Instance into a specific Availability Zone. The API changes and supporting documentation are immediately available. For more information about Amazon EC2 Spot Instances and customer use cases, visit the Amazon EC2 Spot Instance page.

Amazon RDS for Oracle Database
Now customers can run multiple editions of Oracle Database (11g Release 2) on Amazon RDS, simplifying database provisioning and setup, and offloading common administration tasks such as backups for point-in-time restore, software patching, and hardware scaling. You can take advantage of Amazon RDS to run Oracle Database 11g under two different licensing models – “License Included” and “Bring-Your-Own-License (BYOL)". In the "License Included" service model, the Oracle Database software has been licensed by AWS. If you already own Oracle Database licenses, you can use the "BYOL" model to run Oracle deployments on Amazon RDS. Visit the Amazon RDS for Oracle Database page to learn more.

Featured Case Studies: National Taiwan University and Issuu
Fast Crypto Lab is a research group within National Taiwan University, whose activities focus on the design and analysis of efficient algorithms to solve important mathematical problems, as well as the development and implementation of these algorithms on massively parallel computers. To meet their computational needs, the group uses Amazon EC2 with Cluster GPU Instances, Amazon Elastic MapReduce, and Amazon CloudWatch. Read the full case study.

Issuu is an online publishing service that allows users to upload and share documents by turning standard document types like PDF, Word, and PowerPoint into interactive digital magazines that can be viewed directly in any browser. The company has used numerous AWS services, including Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon SQS, and Amazon Route 53. Read the full case study.

Developer Resources

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

Article: Automating Application Installation Using AWS CloudFormation and Cloud-Init
This article shows how the Amazon Linux AMI can be used along with AWS CloudFormation to start up and configure an application dynamically at boot time. The example uses the new WaitCondition resource supported by AWS CloudFormation to wait for a Ruby on Rails application to be configured and launched before the stack is considered to be successfully created. The example also takes advantage of the Amazon Linux AMI support for Cloud-init, an open source application built by Canonical.

Article: Using Amazon SES in Python with Postman and Postfix
Email can be challenging to set up correctly for high-quality delivery, but this article helps you through the process. This article discusses the API calls to use Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) through boto, a Python library for AWS. It also walks you through a sample command-line tool called postman, which is designed for use in your Postfix configuration to send mail through Amazon SES.

AWS SDK for Java 1.2
Download the latest AWS SDK for Java to pick up the latest bug fixes and improvements, including support for Apache HttpClient 4. See the SDK release notes for more details.

Developer Resources

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

AWS EC2 Support for SAP® Rapid Deployment Solutions and SAP® BusinessObjects™ Solutions
Customers can now deploy or migrate their SAP® Rapid Deployment solutions and SAP® BusinessObjects™ solutions on various Amazon EC2 instance types in both production and non-production environments. Customers can now deploy their solutions on SAP-certified Amazon Web Services knowing that SAP has fully tested and verified the performance of the underlying AWS resources and certified them with similar standards that are applied to servers and virtual platforms. For more information, visit the AWS SAP page or read SAP’s press release.

Core Security Offers On-Demand Cloud Security Testing Service for AWS
Core CloudInspect SaaS enables AWS customers to independently test, verify and report on the security of their cloud deployments. Core CloudInspect is an automated security testing solution that allows users to quickly initiate security tests of multiple AWS-hosted instances and web pages. For a limited time, get 3 free tests per month – find details of this offer at

AWS On The Road

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


June 22-23, San Francisco

59 Days of Code
June 22, Clovis, CA

Hadoop Summit
June 29, Santa Clara, CA

Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference
July 11-14, Los Angeles, CA
Come Visit the AWS Expo Booth 1026 at the Solution Innovation Center.

AWS Training: Building a Scalable Web Application on AWS
July 18-21, Seattle, WA

Asia Pacific

AWS 101 Business Seminar - Making the case for Cloud
June 21, Chennai, India

AWS 101 Business Seminar - Making the case for Cloud
June 23, Hyderabad, India

AWS 101 Business Seminar - Making the case for Cloud
June 24, Bangalore, India

AWS 101 Business Seminar - Making the case for Cloud
June 27, Seoul, Korea

Seoul Data Engineering Camp
June 27, Seoul, Korea

AWS Cloud Tour 2011: Navigate the Cloud
July 12, Melbourne, Australia

AWS Cloud Tour 2011: Navigate the Cloud
July 14, Sydney, Australia


Cloud by Example
June 29, London, England

Virtual Events

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

AWS Office Hours: Disaster Recovery
June 30, 9:00am PDT / 4:00pm GMT
Expand your cloud and Disaster Recovery knowledge through an interactive session with AWS Solution Architect Attila Narin. The Disaster Recovery session will feature how-to demonstrations, best-practices, and focus on live Q&A. Join us to hear Attila field a variety of Disaster Recovery questions from an audience of your peers.

Webinar Predicting Costs on Amazon Web Services
July 25, 9:00am PDT / 4:00pm GMT
Organizations want to accurately predict what their applications are going to cost prior to implementation, but predicting costs is different in the cloud. In this webinar you will learn how to predict costs quickly and accurately. In this webinar Jeff Barr, Senior Technical Evangelist, will present web application architectures, describe how costs work with the various AWS services utilized in the architecture, and then price the entire application using AWS's Simple Monthly Calculator.

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