Newsletters


March 2012 - More regions for AWS Storage Gateway, DynamoDB, and Elasticache, new features for EC2 and IAM, lower pricing for EC2, RDS, and Elasticache and more

It’s been a long winter, but spring is just around the corner! We’ve been working hard to bring you the services and features you need to better leverage the AWS Cloud into the spring season. One of the best ways we like to help our customers is to lower our pricing. We recently lowered pricing for Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS and Amazon ElastiCache, which could mean potentially significant cost savings for you. We’ve also been expanding many of our services to new regions. Amazon DynamoDB is now available in Japan and Europe, Amazon ElastiCache is available in US West and South America and just announced, AWS Storage Gateway is now available in South America. We also have a couple key upcoming events to help you better utilize our services and learn more about our latest innovations, including our AWS Summit in New York City on April 18th.

  • Just Announced
    • AWS Storage Gateway Now Available in South America
  • News & Announcements
    • New, lower pricing for Amazon EC2, RDS, and ElastiCache
    • Amazon ElastiCache now in two additional regions
    • Amazon DynamoDB is now available in two additional regions: Asia Pacific (Tokyo) and EU (Ireland)
    • AWS Elastic Beanstalk now supports resource permissions
    • Announcing three new Amazon EC2 features
    • AWS Identity and Access Management enables password management and IAM user access to account billing information
    • Amazon SES supports expanded attachment types, VERP, and STARTTLS for SMTP
    • Updated specification for cc2.8xlarge instances
  • Developer Resources
  • AWS on the Road
  • Online Events

Just Announced


AWS Storage Gateway Now Available in South America
The AWS Storage Gateway is now available in the South America (Sao Paulo) Region. Starting today, you can securely upload your on-premises application data to this Region for cost effective backup and rapid disaster recovery. The AWS Storage Gateway service connects an on-premises software appliance with cloud-based storage to provide seamless and secure integration between your on-premises IT environment and AWS storage infrastructure. The service supports a standard iSCSI interface, enabling you to take advantage of cloud based storage without re-architecting existing applications. It provides low-latency performance by maintaining data on your on-premises storage hardware while asynchronously uploading this data to AWS, where it is encrypted and securely stored in Amazon S3. If your on-premises applications are running in South America, using the Sao Paulo Region will reduce the time to upload data to AWS. You can also use this Region to meet any requirements you have for keeping data in Brazil. Learn more by visiting the AWS Storage Gateway page or get started by visiting the AWS Management Console.



News & Announcements


Check out the latest news items and announcements from AWS.


New, lower pricing for Amazon EC2, RDS, and ElastiCache
AWS lowered prices for the 19th time this month, as Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, and Amazon ElastiCache cut prices across all regions. Reserved Instance prices dropped by up to 37% for Amazon EC2 and up to 42% for Amazon RDS. On-Demand instance prices for Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, and Amazon ElastiCache dropped by up to 10%. On-Demand Instances will benefit from the new pricing automatically, effective as of March 1st. New Reserved Instance prices apply to Reserved Instance purchases made on or after March 6th. With the new pricing, Reserved Instances will provide savings of up to 71% compared to On-Demand Instances, so you may want to take this opportunity to review your current usage and determine if you would like to purchase additional Light, Medium, or Heavy Utilization Reserved Instances. For full details on the new pricing, please visit the Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, and Amazon ElastiCache pricing pages.


Amazon ElastiCache now in two additional regions
Amazon ElastiCache is now available in two additional regions: US West (Oregon) and South America (Sao Paulo). Starting today, you can use Amazon ElastiCache in these regions to add an in-memory cache to your application architecture in a matter of minutes.

Amazon ElastiCache improves the performance of web applications by retrieving data from a fast, managed, Memcached-compatible, in-memory caching system, instead of relying entirely on disk-based databases. It can significantly improve throughput for read-heavy or compute intensive workloads including:

  • Social networking
  • Mobile and social gaming
  • E-commerce sites
  • Recommendation engines
To learn more about the service, please visit the Amazon ElastiCache page.


Amazon DynamoDB is now available in two additional regions: Asia Pacific (Tokyo) and EU (Ireland)
We are excited to announce that Amazon DynamoDB is now available in two additional regions: Asia Pacific (Tokyo) and EU (Ireland). Amazon DynamoDB is a fully-managed NoSQL database service that provides extremely fast and predictable performance with seamless scalability. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, you can easily create a new DynamoDB database table, or scale your table's request capacity to the level that you need without incurring any downtime. Amazon DynamoDB offers fast, predictable performance at any scale, durability and high-availability, seamless scalability, and easy administration. Getting started with Amazon DynamoDB is easy with our free tier of service. To learn more, visit the Amazon DynamoDB page.


AWS Elastic Beanstalk now supports resource permissions
We are excited to announce that AWS Elastic Beanstalk now supports resource permissions through AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). With Elastic Beanstalk and IAM, you now have fine grained access control over specific Elastic Beanstalk resources such as applications, application versions, and environments. For example, if you have multiple development teams working on different Elastic Beanstalk applications, you can allow specific developers to create application versions for a specific application and only allow them to deploy to a staging environment. You can then allow a trusted IAM user or group of trusted IAM users to deploy the application versions in the staging environment to a production environment. To learn more about using IAM with Elastic Beanstalk, go to Using AWS Elastic Beanstalk with AWS IAM in the AWS Elastic Beanstalk developer guide.


Announcing three new Amazon EC2 features
Introducing three new features that will make it even easier for you to use Amazon EC2 for your application and development needs.

  • Customers can now launch 64-bit Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) on m1.small and c1.medium instances. This capability allows you to scale across micro, standard, high CPU and high memory EC2 instances with a single 64-bit AMI.
  • We are also launching the thirteenth Amazon EC2 instance type, m1.medium. These instances are ideal for many applications that require a reasonable amount of CPU and memory, but do not require all the resources of an m1.large instance. This new instance type supports both 32 and 64-bit AMIs.
  • Lastly, customers can now log into their Linux instances directly from within the Amazon EC2 Management Console without the need to install additional software clients.
To learn more about Amazon EC2 and to try these new features, please visit the Amazon EC2 page.


AWS Identity and Access Management enables password management and IAM user access to account billing information
We are excited to announce the following new AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) features.

  • Customers can now grant IAM users direct access to the Account Activity and/or Usage Reports pages without having to give them access to other AWS resources.
  • Customers can now define an account-wide policy in the IAM console that enforces password strength for their IAM users upon password changes.
  • IAM users can now use a simple graphical user interface in the IAM console to change their password.
To learn more, visit the Using IAM guide.


Amazon SES supports expanded attachment types, VERP, and STARTTLS for SMTP
Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) has gotten simpler again with the ability to send more types of attachments. Amazon SES now supports common Microsoft Office and additional media file types. You can also now use Variable Envelope Return Path (VERP), where you can use a different From or Return-Path address for each recipient in the form name+label@example.net to manage your sending more effectively. Finally, Amazon SES now supports STARTTLS for encrypted connections to its SMTP endpoint. To learn more, visit the Amazon SES Developer Guide.


Updated specification for cc2.8xlarge instances
On March 6th, we updated the details of the cc2.8xlarge instance and are now specifying that the cc2.8xlarge instance is powered by two Intel Xeon E5-2670 ("Sandy Bridge") processors. Each processor has 8 cores and supports Intel Hyperthreading providing customers with a total of 32 hardware execution threads. We have also removed the 8 instance limit for cc2.8xlarge instances and made it part of your regular EC2 instance limit.



Developer Resources


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


Amazon CloudWatch memory and disk space monitoring scripts
The Amazon CloudWatch team has just released new sample scripts for monitoring memory and disk space usage on your Amazon EC2 instances running Linux.

You can run these scripts on your instances and configure them to report memory and disk space usage metrics to Amazon CloudWatch. Once the metrics are submitted to CloudWatch, you can view graphs, calculate statistics, and set alarms on them in the CloudWatch console or via the Amazon CloudWatch API.

The usage metrics are reported as Amazon CloudWatch Custom Metrics. Standard Amazon CloudWatch free tier quantities and pricing apply. This is an unsupported sample but we appreciate all feedback, comments and questions you post to the AWS forums.

To learn more about how to use the scripts, including installation, setup and configuration, please visit Amazon CloudWatch Monitoring Scripts for Linux in the Amazon CloudWatch Developer Guide.



AWS On The Road


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


Americas

AWS User Group – Seattle
March 21, 2012, Seattle, WA


Architecting with AWS
April 2-4, 2012, New York, NY


AppianWorld
April 15-17, 2012, Washington, D.C.


Building a Web Application on AWS (Java)
April 16-19, 2012, Seattle, WA


AWS Summit – NYC
April 19, 2012, New York, NY


Systems Operations Training
April 23-26, 2012, Seattle, WA


AWS Big Data in the Cloud
April 27, 2012, Boston, MA


Architecting with AWS
April 30-May 2, 2012, Seattle, WA


Asia Pacific

AWS 101 Cloud Computing Seminar
March 20, Beijing, China


AWS 101 Cloud Computing Seminar
March 21, Brisbane, Australia


AWS 101 Cloud Computing Seminar
March 21, Manila, Philippines


Founders Drinks with Serkan Toto
March 21, Manila, Philippines


House of Genius
March 21, Singapore


AWS 101 Cloud Computing Seminar
March 23, Shanghai, China


Startup Evolution with AWS
April 3, Sydney, Australia


Europe

AWS for Financial Services London - Managing Big Data
March 29, London, United Kingdom



Online Events


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


Introducing DynamoDB
March 20, 10:00am GMT / 11:00am CET
[UK] Join our webinar to learn more about Amazon DynamoDB, a NoSQL, highly scalable, SSD-based, zero administration database service in the AWS cloud.

Esri Applications in the AWS Cloud
March 21, 12:00pm EDT
Find out how your organization can leverage the scale of the AWS cloud to process Geographic Information Systems (GIS) jobs faster, lower costs, and deploy GIS applications in minutes. Agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service are using the AWS Cloud to launch GIS applications in weeks and save up to 90% versus hosting on-premises. Hear from AWS, Esri, and Shawn Kingsberry, CIO of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, and learn how a wide variety of public sector customers are benefiting by running their Esri applications in the cloud.

Disaster Recovery Webinar for APAC
March 27, 10:00am GMT +8 / 1:00pm GMT +10
Attend this webinar and learn more about how organizations are using AWS to implement their disaster recovery strategies with the cloud in order to meet RTO, RPO, and cost reduction objectives without compromising security, scalability, and control. We will discuss four common disaster recovery architectures that leverage the cloud, and the AWS services you would use.

Using AWS for Disaster Recovery
March 28, 2:00pm SGT
[APAC] Attend this webinar and learn more about how organizations are using Amazon Web Services (AWS) to implement their disaster recovery strategies with the cloud in order to meet RTO, RPO, and cost reduction objectives without compromising security, scalability, and control.

Back up and recover from your on-premise and cloud-based Linux systems
March 29, 9:00am PDT
Attend this live web event with Jeff Barr to learn how to back up and recover data from your on-premise and cloud-based Linux systems. Picking up where our previous disaster recovery webinar left off, you will learn how to create file archives, upload them to Amazon S3, and manage permissions and lifetimes. A number of open source and commercial backup and archiving tools will be demonstrated, as time permits.

Ample time will be set aside for questions and answers.

Strategic Value of the AWS Cloud in Your Oracle Business Intelligence Implementation
March 29, 11:00am EDT
This interactive webinar will offer insight into how Sensata Technologies was able deploy a Business Intelligence solution in a fraction of the time it would take to do it using on-premise infrastructure. You will also hear from AWS and Apps Associates about the various deployment strategies and compelling reasons to use the AWS cloud to gain agility while reducing cost and risk.

Studio of the Future: Media Production Workflow in the AWS Cloud
March 29, 12:00pm PDT
Join Dave Rocamora, VP of DevOps at Control Group, Charlie Miller, Associate Partner, Media & Entertainment at Control Group, and Mark Ramberg, AWS Media Business Development Manager as they discuss the media production roadmap for the studio of the future. Hear how approaches to storage, transcoding, encoding, rendering, and distribution can be deployed and optimized on AWS using a pay-as-you-go model. This webinar will also provide architecture guidance and highlight vendors and AWS products that will help studio managers, production managers, and IT leaders understand how AWS can be used to power the media production studio of the future.

Star Command Center for Hyperion - Now on AWS
April 3, 11:00am PDT
Introduce simplicity and control to your Hyperion environment with Star Command Center, an exciting new automation facility for Hyperion Essbase, Planning, HFM, FDM and OBIEE. With zero script, zero code, and zero hassle, Command Center offers all of the process automation and application integration that Hyperion users typically create and maintain with multiple scripting and scheduling tools. Now available on AWS from Full 360 Inc.

Maxim and Semi.org Gain Significant ROI from Migrating to Drupal and the Cloud
April 10, 1:00pm EDT
In this webinar, you’ll hear from Maxim and Semi.org about how they successfully completed both a Drupal re-platform and a migration to Acquia’s hosting environment, built on Amazon EC2, in extremely tight time frames. Jeff Barr from AWS will join us to share best practices on how organizations can make the business case to move from existing cloud, on-premise, or co-location models to Amazon’s cloud infrastructure.

Managing the Amazon Web Services Cloud in Enterprise IT Environments by BMC Software
April 11, 9:00am PDT
Learn how BMC Software and AWS are delivering solutions that enable enterprises to effectively consume and manage AWS in their IT environments.

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