Category: Announcements


AWS Bill Simplification – Consolidated CloudWatch Charges

The bill that you receive for your use of AWS in July will include a change in the way that Amazon CloudWatch charges are presented. The CloudWatch team made this change in order to make your bill simpler and easier to understand.

Consolidating Charges
In the past, charges for your usage of CloudWatch were split between two sections of your bill. For historical reasons, the charges for CloudWatch Alarms, CloudWatch Metrics, and calls to the CloudWatch API were reported in the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) detail section, while charges for CloudWatch Logs and CloudWatch Dashboards were reported in the CloudWatch detail section, like this:

We have received feedback that splitting the charges across two sections of the bill made it difficult to locate and understand the entire set of monitoring charges. In order to address this issue, we are moving the charges that were formerly listed in the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) detail section to the CloudWatch detail section. We are making the same change to the detailed billing report, moving the affected charges from the AmazonEC2 product code to the AmazonCloudWatch product code and changing to the AmazonCloudWatch product name. This change does not affect your overall bill; it simply consolidates all of the charges for the use of CloudWatch in one section.

Billing Metric
The CloudWatch billing metric named Estimated Charges can be viewed as a Total Estimated Charge, or broken down By Service:

The total will not change. However, as noted above, the charges that formerly had AmazonEC2 as the ServiceName dimension will now have it set to AmazonCloudWatch:

You may need to adjust thresholds on your billing alarms as a result:

Once again, your total AWS bill will not change. You will begin to see the consolidated charges for CloudWatch in your AWS bill for July 2017.

Jeff;

 

In the Works – AWS Region in Hong Kong

Last year we launched new AWS Regions in Canada, India, Korea, the UK (London), and the United States (Ohio), and announced that new regions are coming to France (Paris), China (Ningxia), and Sweden (Stockholm).

Coming to Hong Kong in 2018
Today, I am happy to be able to tell you that we are planning to open up an AWS Region in Hong Kong, in 2018. Hong Kong is a leading international financial center, well known for its service oriented economy. It is rated highly on innovation and for ease of doing business. As an evangelist, I get to visit many great cities in the world, and was lucky to have spent some time in Hong Kong back in 2014 and met a number of awesome customers there. Many of these customers have given us feedback that they wanted a local AWS Region.

This will be the eighth AWS Region in Asia Pacific joining six other Regions there — Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Beijing, Seoul, and Mumbai, and an additional Region in China (Ningxia) expected to launch in the coming months. Together, these Regions will provide our customers with a total of 19 Availability Zones (AZs) and allow them to architect highly fault tolerant applications.

Today, our infrastructure comprises 43 Availability Zones across 16 geographic regions worldwide, with another three AWS Regions (and eight Availability Zones) in France, China, and Sweden coming online throughout 2017 and 2018, (see the AWS Global Infrastructure page for more info).

We are looking forward to serving new and existing customers in Hong Kong and working with partners across Asia-Pacific. Of course, the new region will also be open to existing AWS customers who would like to process and store data in Hong Kong. Public sector organizations such as government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits in Hong Kong will be able to use this region to store sensitive data locally (the AWS in the Public Sector page has plenty of success stories drawn from our worldwide customer base).

If you are a customer or a partner and have specific questions about this Region, you can contact our Hong Kong team.

Help Wanted
If you are interested in learning more about AWS positions in Hong Kong, please visit the Amazon Jobs site and set the location to Hong Kong.

Jeff;

 

New – Managed Device Authentication for Amazon WorkSpaces

Amazon WorkSpaces allows you to access a virtual desktop in the cloud from the web and from a wide variety of desktop and mobile devices. This flexibility makes WorkSpaces ideal for environments where users have the ability to use their existing devices (often known as BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device). In these environments, organizations sometimes need the ability to manage the devices which can access WorkSpaces. For example, they may have to regulate access based on the client device operating system, version, or patch level in order to help meet compliance or security policy requirements.

Managed Device Authentication
Today we are launching device authentication for WorkSpaces. You can now use digital certificates to manage client access from Apple OSX and Microsoft Windows. You can also choose to allow or block access from iOS, Android, Chrome OS, web, and zero client devices. You can implement policies to control which device types you want to allow and which ones you want to block, with control all the way down to the patch level. Access policies are set for each WorkSpaces directory. After you have set the policies, requests to connect to WorkSpaces from a client device are assessed and either blocked or allowed. In order to make use of this feature, you will need to distribute certificates to your client devices using Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager or a mobile device management (MDM) tool.

Here’s how you set your access control options from the WorkSpaces Console:

Here’s what happens if a client is not authorized to connect:

 

Available Today
This feature is now available in all Regions where WorkSpaces is available.

Jeff;

 

AWS Named as a Leader in Gartner’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Magic Quadrant for 7th Consecutive Year

Every product planning session at AWS revolves around customers. We do our best to listen and to learn, and to use what we hear to build the roadmaps for future development. Approximately 90% of the items on the roadmap originate with customer requests and are designed to meet specific needs and requirements that they share with us.

I strongly believe that this customer-driven innovation has helped us to secure the top-right corner of the Leaders quadrant in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for the 7th consecutive year, earning highest placement for ability to execute and furthest for completeness of vision:

To learn more, read the full report. It contains a lot of detail and is a great summary of the features and factors that our customers examine when choosing a cloud provider.

Jeff;

AWS GovCloud (US) Heads East – New Region in the Works for 2018

AWS GovCloud (US) gives AWS customers a place to host sensitive data and regulated workloads in the AWS Cloud. The first AWS GovCloud (US) Region was launched in 2011 and is located on the west coast of the US.

I’m happy to announce that we are working on a second Region that we expect to open in 2018. The upcoming AWS GovCloud (US-East) Region will provide customers with added redundancy, data durability, and resiliency, and will also provide additional options for disaster recovery.

Like the existing region, which we now call AWS GovCloud (US-West), the new region will be isolated and meet top US government compliance requirements including International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), NIST standards, Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Moderate and High, Department of Defense Impact Levels 2-4, DFARs, IRS1075, and Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) requirements. Visit the GovCloud (US) page to learn more about the compliance regimes that we support.

Government agencies and the IT contactors that serve them were early adopters of AWS GovCloud (US), as were companies in regulated industries. These organizations are able to enjoy the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of public cloud while benefiting from the isolation and data protection offered by a region designed and built to meet their regulatory needs and to help them to meet their compliance requirements. Here’s a small sample from our customer base:

Federal (US) GovernmentDepartment of Veterans Affairs, General Services Administration 18F (Digital Services Delivery), NASA JPL, Defense Digital Service, United States Air Force, United States Department of Justice.

Regulated IndustriesCSRA, Talen Energy, Cobham Electronics.

SaaS and Solution ProvidersFIGmd, Blackboard, Splunk, GitHub, Motorola.

Federal, state, and local agencies that want to move their existing applications to the AWS Cloud can take advantage of the AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF) offered by AWS Professional Services.

Jeff;

 

 

AWS Direct Connect Update – New Locations in North America and Europe

AWS customers can use AWS Direct Connect to establish a dedicated network connection from their premises to AWS. This gives them a more consistent network experience than a shared, Internet-based connection along with increased throughput and the potential to reduce network costs.

We have added several new Direct Connect locations already this year, and are adding even more today. This post summarizes the most recent additions to our roster!

The following locations are for the EU (Frankfurt) Region:

The following location is for the EU (Ireland) Region:

The US East (Ohio) Region:

The Canada (Central) Region:

And the US East (Northern Virginia) Region:

See the Direct Connect Product Details for a full list of new and existing locations.

Jeff;

 

New AWS Training and Certification Portal

AWS Training and Certification can help you get more out of the AWS Cloud.

The new AWS Training and Certification Portal allows you to access and manage your training and certification activities, progress, and benefits – all in one place:

Previously, you had to rely on multiple websites to find and manage training and certification offerings. Now you have a central place where you can find and enroll in AWS Training, register for AWS Certification exams, track your learning progress, and access benefits based on the AWS Certifications you have achieved. This makes it easier for you to build your AWS Cloud skills and advance toward earning AWS Certification.

You can create a new account or simply log in with your existing Amazon account. If you already have an AWS Training account, you can migrate your existing AWS Training history into this new primary account. If you are an APN Partner, you can simply sign in using your APN Portal credentials. If you also had a Webassessor account, be sure to visit the Certification tab and merge this account too.

Once you are set up, you can rely on the AWS Training and Certification Portal to be your place to find the latest AWS training and certification offerings, built by AWS experts.

To learn more, read the AWS Training and Certification Portal FAQs.

Jeff;

 

News from the AWS Summit in Berlin – 3rd AZ & Lightsail in Frankfurt and Another Polly Voice

We launched the AWS Region in Frankfurt in the fall of 2014 and opened the AWS Marketplace for the Region the next year.

Our customers in Germany come in all shapes and sizes: startups, mid-market, enterprise, and public sector. These customers have made great use of the new Region, building and running applications and businesses that serve Germany, Europe, and more. They rely on the broad collection of security features, certifications, and assurances provided by AWS to help protect and secure their customer data, in accord with internal and legal requirements and regulations. Our customers in Germany also take advantage of the sales, support, and architecture resources and expertise located in Berlin, Dresden, and Munich.

The AWS Summit in Berlin is taking place today and we made some important announcements from the stage. Here’s a summary:

  • Third Availability Zone in Frankfurt
  • Amazon Lightsail in Frankfurt
  • New voice for Amazon Polly

Third Availability Zone in Frankfurt
We will be opening an additional Availability Zone (AZ) in the EU (Frankfurt) Region in mid-2017 in response to the continued growth in the use of AWS. This brings us up to 43 Availability Zones within 16 geographic Regions around the world. We are also planning to open five Availability Zones in new AWS Regions in France and China later this year (see the AWS Global Infrastructure maps for more information).

AWS customers in Germany are already making plans to take advantage of the new AZ. For example:

Siemens expects to gain additional flexibility by mirroring their services across all of the AZs. It will also allow them to store all of their data in Germany.

Zalando will do the same, mirroring their services across all of the AZs and looking ahead to moving more applications to the cloud.

Amazon Lightsail in Frankfurt
Amazon Lightsail lets you launch a virtual machine preconfigured with SSD storage, DNS management, and a static IP address in a matter of minutes (read Amazon Lightsail – The Power of AWS, the Simplicity of a VPS to learn more).

Amazon Lightsail is now available in the EU (Frankfurt) Region and you can start using it today. This allows you to use it to host applications that are required to store customer data or other sensitive information in Germany.

New Voice for Amazon Polly
Polly gives you high-quality, natural-sounding male and female speech in multiple languages. Today we are adding another German-speaking female voice to Polly, bringing the total number of voices to 48:

Like the German voice of Alexa, Vicki (the new voice) is fluent and natural. Vicki is able to fluently and intelligently pronounce the Anglicisms frequently used in German texts, including the fully inflected versions. To get started with Polly, open up the Polly Console or read the Polly Documentation.

I’m looking forward to hearing more about the continued growth and success of our customers in and around Germany!

Jeff;

AWS Price List API Update – Regional Price Lists

We launched the AWS Price List API in late 2015 (read New – AWS Price List API to learn more). Designed to power budgeting, forecasting, and cost analysis tools, this API provides prices for AWS services in JSON and CSV form, with one price list per service. You can download and process the price lists on an as-needed basis, and you can also elect to receive notification via Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) each time we make a price update.

Today we are making the AWS Price List API more useful by providing you with access to a separate price list for each AWS region. These lists are smaller and will download more quickly than the original, non-regionalized lists, which are still available.

To access the price lists, download the offer index:

https://pricing.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/offers/v1.0/aws/index.json.

It will contain one entry like this for each AWS service:

{
  "formatVersion" : "v1.0",
  "disclaimer" : "This pricing list is for informational purposes only. All prices are subject to the additional terms included in the pricing pages on http://aws.amazon.com. All Free Tier prices are also subject to the terms included at https://aws.amazon.com/free/",
  "publicationDate" : "2017-03-31T21:29:23Z",
  "offers" : {
    “{service code}" : {
      "offerCode" : "{service code}",
      "versionIndexUrl" : "/offers/v1.0/aws/{service code}/index.json",
      "currentVersionUrl" : "/offers/v1.0/aws/{service code}/current/index.json",
      "currentRegionIndexUrl" : "/offers/v1.0/aws/{service code}/current/region_index.json"
    }
  }
}

The currentRegionIndexUrl is relative to https://pricing.us-east-1.amazonaws.com. It points to a region index for the service. The region index contains one entry for each region where the service is available, indexed by region code (“ap-south-1”, “eu-west-2”, and so forth):

{
  "formatVersion" : "v1.0",
  "disclaimer" : "This pricing list is for informational purposes only. All prices are subject to the additional terms included in the pricing pages on http://aws.amazon.com. All Free Tier prices are also subject to the terms included at https://aws.amazon.com/free/",
  "publicationDate" : "2017-04-07T22:41:47Z",
  "regions" : {
    "ap-south-1" : {
      "regionCode" : "ap-south-1",
      "currentVersionUrl" : "/offers/v1.0/aws/AmazonEC2/20170407224147/ap-south-1/index.json"
    },
    "eu-west-2" : {
      "regionCode" : "eu-west-2",
      "currentVersionUrl" : "/offers/v1.0/aws/AmazonEC2/20170407224147/eu-west-2/index.json"
    }
}

The currentVersionUrl is also relative to https://pricing.us-east-1.amazonaws.com. Each URL points to a price list that is specific to one region and one service. The price list includes all of the SKUs that are available in the region, including data transfer in and out of the region. It also includes global SKUs that are related to the SKUs that are specific to the region.

Available Now
The new regional price lists are available now and you can start using them today at no charge. Take a look and let me know what you build!

Jeff;

 

AWS San Francisco Summit – Summary of Launches and Announcements

Many of my colleagues are in San Francisco for today’s AWS Summit. Here’s a summary of what we announced from the main stage and in the breakout sessions:

New Services

Newly Available

New Features

Jeff;