Category: Announcements


New AWS Training and Certification Portal

by Jeff Barr | on | in Announcements, Training and Certification | | Comments

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

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon Lightsail, Amazon Polly, Announcements | | Comments

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

by Jeff Barr | on | in Announcements | | Comments

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

by Jeff Barr | on | in Announcements | | Comments

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;

 

New – AWS Management Tools Blog

by Jeff Barr | on | in Announcements | | Comments

The AWS Blog collection has grown over the past couple of years. As you can see from the list on the right, we now have blogs that cover a wide variety of topics and development tools. We also have blogs that are designed for those of you who read languages other than English!

The AWS Management Tools Blog is the newest member of the collection. This blog focuses on AWS tools that help you to provision, configure, monitor, track, audit, and manage the costs of your AWS and on-premises resources at scale. Topics planned for the blog include deep technical coverage of feature updates, tips and tricks, sample apps, CloudFormation templates, and an on-going discussion of use cases. Here are some of the initial posts:

You can subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed in order to make sure that you see all of this helpful new content!

Jeff;

 

Coming in 2018 – New AWS Region in Sweden

by Jeff Barr | on | in Announcements | | Comments

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) and China (Ningxia).

Today, I am happy to be able to tell you that we are planning to open up an AWS Region in Stockholm, Sweden in 2018. This region will give AWS partners and customers in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden low-latency connectivity and the ability to run their workloads and store their data close to home.

The Nordics is well known for its vibrant startup community and highly innovative business climate. With successful global enterprises like ASSA ABLOY, IKEA, and Scania along with fast growing startups like Bambora, Supercell, Tink, and Trustpilot, it comes as no surprise that Forbes ranks Sweden as the best country for business, with all the other Nordic countries in the top 10. Even better, the European Commission ranks Sweden as the most innovative country in EU.

This will be the fifth AWS Region in Europe joining four other Regions there — EU (Ireland), EU (London), EU (Frankfurt) and an additional Region in France expected to launch in the coming months. Together, these Regions will provide our customers with a total of 13 Availability Zones (AZs) and allow them to architect highly fault tolerant applications while storing their data in the EU.

Today, our infrastructure comprises 42 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 Nordic customers and working with partners across Europe. Of course, the new region will also be open to existing AWS customers who would like to process and store data in Sweden. Public sector organizations (government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofits) in Sweden will be able to use this region to store sensitive data in-country (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 Nordic team.

Help Wanted
As part of our launch, we are hiring individual contributors and managers for IT support, electrical, logistics, and physical security positions. If you are interested in learning more, please contact awsjobs-sweden@amazon.com.

Jeff;

 

New – AWS Resource Tagging API

by Jeff Barr | on | in Announcements, Developers | | Comments

AWS customers frequently use tags to organize their Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon EBS volumes, Amazon S3 buckets, and other resources. Over the past couple of years we have been working to make tagging more useful and more powerful. For example, we have added support for tagging during Auto Scaling, the ability to use up to 50 tags per resource, console-based support for the creation of resources that share a common tag (also known as resource groups), and the option to use Config Rules to enforce the use of tags.

As customers grow to the point where they are managing thousands of resources, each with up to 50 tags, they have been looking to us for additional tooling and options to simplify their work. Today I am happy to announce that our new Resource Tagging API is now available. You can use these APIs from the AWS SDKs or via the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI). You now have programmatic access to the same resource group operations that had been accessible only from the AWS Management Console.

Recap: Console-Based Resource Group Operations
Before I get in to the specifics of the new API functions, I thought you would appreciate a fresh look at the console-based grouping and tagging model. I already have the ability to find and then tag AWS resources using a search that spans one or more regions. For example, I can select a long list of regions and then search them for my EC2 instances like this:

After I locate and select all of the desired resources, I can add a new tag key by clicking Create a new tag key and entering the desired tag key:

Then I enter a value for each instance (the new ProjectCode column):

Then I can create a resource group that contains all of the resources that are tagged with P100:

After I have created the resource group, I can locate all of the resources by clicking on the Resource Groups menu:

To learn more about this feature, read Resource Groups and Tagging for AWS.

New API for Resource Tagging
The Resource Tagging API that we are announcing today gives you power to tag, untag, and locate resources using tags, all from your own code. With these new API functions, you are now able to operate on multiple resource types with a single set of functions.

Here are the new functions:

TagResources – Add tags to up to 20 resources at a time.

UntagResources – Remove tags from up to 20 resources at a time.

GetResources – Get a list of resources, with optional filtering by tags and/or resource types.

GetTagKeys – Get a list of all of the unique tag keys used in your account.

GetTagValues – Get all tag values for a specified tag key.

These functions support the following AWS services and resource types:

AWS Service Resource Types
Amazon CloudFront Distribution.
Amazon EC2 AMI, Customer Gateway, DHCP Option, EBS Volume, Instance, Internet Gateway, Network ACL, Network Interface, Reserved Instance, Reserved Instance Listing, Route Table, Security Group – EC2 Classic, Security Group – VPC, Snapshot, Spot Batch, Spot Instance Request, Spot Instance, Subnet, Virtual Private Gateway, VPC, VPN Connection.
Amazon ElastiCache Cluster, Snapshot.
Amazon Elastic File System Filesystem.
Amazon Elasticsearch Service Domain.
Amazon EMR Cluster.
Amazon Glacier Vault.
Amazon Inspector Assessment.
Amazon Kinesis Stream.
Amazon Machine Learning Batch Prediction, Data Source, Evaluation, ML Model.
Amazon Redshift Cluster.
Amazon Relational Database Service DB Instance, DB Option Group, DB Parameter Group, DB Security Group, DB Snapshot, DB Subnet Group, Event Subscription, Read Replica, Reserved DB Instance.
Amazon Route 53 Domain, Health Check, Hosted Zone.
Amazon S3 Bucket.
Amazon WorkSpaces WorkSpace.
AWS Certificate Manager Certificate.
AWS CloudHSM HSM.
AWS Directory Service Directory.
AWS Storage Gateway Gateway, Virtual Tape, Volume.
Elastic Load Balancing Load Balancer, Target Group.

Things to Know
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when you build code or write scripts that use the new API functions or the CLI equivalents:

Compatibility – The older, service-specific functions remain available and you can continue to use them.

Write Permission – The new tagging API adds another layer of permission on top of existing policies that are specific to a single AWS service. For example, you will need to have access to tag:tagResources and EC2:createTags in order to add a tag to an EC2 instance.

Read Permission – You will need to have access to tag:GetResources, tag:GetTagKeys, and tag:GetTagValues in order to call functions that access tags and tag values.

Pricing – There is no charge for the use of these functions or for tags.

Available Now
The new functions are supported by the latest versions of the AWS SDKs. You can use them to tag and access resources in all commercial AWS regions.

Jeff;

 

Amazon Chime – Unified Communications Service

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon Chime, Announcements, Launch | | Comments

If your working day is anything like mine, you probably spend a lot of time communicating with your colleagues. Every day, I connect with and collaborate with people all over the world. Some of them are sitting in their office in front of their PCs; others are on the go and using their phones to connect and to communicate. We chat informally, we meet on regular schedules, we exchange documents and images, and we share our screens.

For many years, most “business productivity” tools have been anything but. Many of these tools support just one or two modes of communication or styles of collaboration and can end up getting in the way. Licensing and training costs and a lack of support for collaboration that crosses organizational boundaries don’t make things any better.

Time to change that…

Introducing Amazon Chime
Today I would like to tell you about Amazon Chime. This is a new unified communication service that is designed to make meetings easier and more efficient than ever before. Amazon Chime lets you start high-quality audio and video meetings with a click. Once you are in the meeting you can chat, share content, and share screens in a smooth experience that spans PC and Mac desktops, iOS devices, and Android devices.

Because Amazon Chime is a fully managed service, there’s no upfront investment, software deployment, or ongoing maintenance. Users simply download the Amazon Chime app and start using it within minutes.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the most important features of Amazon Chime:

On-Time Meetings – You no longer need to dial in to meetings. There’s no need to enter long meeting identifiers or equally long passwords. Instead, Amazon Chime will alert you when the meeting starts, and allow you to join (or to indicate that you are running behind) with a single click or tap.

Meeting Roster – Instead of endless “who just joined” queries, Amazon Chime provides a visual roster of attendees, late-comers, and those who skipped out entirely. It also provides broadly accessible mute controls in case another participant is typing or their dog is barking.

Broad AccessAmazon Chime was built for mobile use, with apps that run on PCs and mobile devices. Even better, Amazon Chime allows you to join a meeting from one device and then seamlessly switch to another.

Easy Sharing – Collaborating is a core competency for Amazon Chime. Meeting participants can share their screens as desired, with no need to ask for permission. Within Amazon Chime‘s chat rooms, participants can work together and create a shared history that is stored in encrypted fashion.

Clear CallsAmazon Chime delivers high quality noise-cancelled audio and crisp, clear HD video that works across all user devices and with most conference room video systems.

Amazon Chime in Action
Let’s run through the most important aspects of Amazon Chime, starting with the main screen:

I can click on Meetings and then schedule a meeting in my Outlook calendar or my Google calendar:

Outlook scheduling makes use of the Amazon Chime add-in; I was prompted to install it when I clicked on Schedule with Outlook. I simply set up an invite as usual:

Amazon Chime lets me know when the meeting is starting:

I simply click on Answer and choose my audio option:

And my meeting is under way. I can invite others, share my screen or any desired window, use my webcam, and so forth:

I have many options that I can change while the meeting is underway:

Amazon Chime also includes persistent, 1 to 1 chat and chat rooms. Here’s how I create a new chat room:

After I create it I can invite my fellow bloggers and we can have a long-term, ongoing conversation.

As usual, I have only shown you a few of the features! To get started, visit the Amazon Chime site and try it out for yourself.

Amazon Chime Editions
Amazon Chime is available in three editions:

  • Basic Edition is available at no charge. It allows you to attend meetings, make 1 to 1 video calls, and to use all Amazon Chime chat features.
  • Plus Edition costs $2.50 per user per month. It allows user management of entire email domains, supports 1 GB of message retention per user, and connects to Active Directory.
  • Pro Edition costs $15.00 per user per month. It allows hosting of meetings of up to 100 people.

Amazon Chime Pro is free to try for 30 days, with no credit card required. After 30 days, you can continue to use Amazon Chime Basic for free, for as long as you’d like, or you can purchase Amazon Chime Pro for $15.00 per user per month. There is no upfront commitment, and you can change or cancel your subscription at any time.

Available Now
Amazon Chime is available now and you can sign up to start using it today!

Jeff;

 

AWS re:Start – Training and Job Placement in the UK

by Jeff Barr | on | in Announcements, Training and Certification | | Comments

As a follow-on to the recent launch of the AWS Region in London, I am happy to be able to tell you about a new UK-centric training and job placement program that we call AWS re:Start. This program is designed to educate young adults, military veterans, members of the military reserve, those leaving the Armed Forces, and service spouses on the latest software development and cloud computing technologies.

We’re working closely with QA Consulting (an APN Training Partner), The Prince’s Trust, and the Ministry of Defence (MoD). In conjunction with members of AWS Partner Network (APN) and customers, work placements will be offered to 1,000 people as part of this program.

AWS re:Start is designed to accommodate participants at all levels of experience – even those with no previous technical knowledge can sign up. Participants who join AWS re:Start will complete technical training classes, led by AWS certified instructors, and will gain experience through on-the-job training. They will also learn about about multi-tier architectures, application programming interfaces (APIs), and microservices, giving them the knowledge and skills needed to help businesses to build secure, elastically scalable, and highly-reliable applications in the cloud. Training content for the AWS re:Start program will be curated by AWS in collaboration with QA Consulting, who will also deliver the training courses.

Organizations that have pledged job placements to AWS re:Start include Annalect, ARM, Claranet, Cloudreach, Direct Line Group, EDF Energy, Funding Circle, KCOM, Sage, Tesco Bank, and Zopa. Participants completing the program can expect to be eligible for many different technical positions within these companies, including highly sought-after entry level positions such as such as first line help desk support, IT support analyst, software developer, IT support technician, network engineer, IT recruitment consultant, and IT sales roles. They will also have the fundamental knowledge needed to immediately start working with AWS and building their own technology start-up business. To learn more about this aspect of the program, read AWS re:Start for Employers.

AWS re:Start for the Military
AWS re:Start training and work placements for the Armed Forces, including reservists, veterans, service leavers, and service spouses will be delivered through the Ministry of Defence and the  Career Transition Partnership (CTP).  AWS is also proud to be signing the Armed Forces Covenant, which establishes how businesses support members of the UK Armed Forces community and guards against discrimination returning service men and women may face when entering the civilian workforce.

AWS re:Start for Young Adults
The AWS re:Start program will be delivered to young adults through The Prince’s Trust Get into Technology program. The Prince’s Trust is a youth charity that helps young people aged 13 to 30 find jobs, education, and training to help them succeed. In addition to technical training, the ‘Get into Technology’ program will support students with mentoring, soft work skills, and help in applying for jobs including resume writing and interview skills.

Learn More / Apply Now
The first intake of participants for AWS re:Start is scheduled for March 27, 2017. Those who complete the AWS re:Start program will be eligible to apply for further training courses offered by QA Consulting to prepare them to take the AWS Associate Level Certification exam and other certifications. Visit the AWS re:Start site to learn more.

Jeff;

Look Before You Leap – December 31, 2016 Leap Second on AWS

by Jeff Barr | on | in Amazon EC2, Amazon RDS, Announcements | | Comments

If you are counting down the seconds before 2016 is history, be sure to add one at the very end!

The next leap second (the 27th so far) will be inserted on December 31, 2016 at 23:59:60 UTC. This will keep Earth time (Coordinated Universal Time) close to mean solar time and means that the last minute of the year will have 61 seconds.

The information in our last post (Look Before You Leap – The Coming Leap Second and AWS), still applies, with a few nuances and new developments:

AWS Adjusted Time – We will spread the extra second over the 24 hours surrounding the leap second (11:59:59 on December 31, 2016 to 12:00:00 on January 1, 2017). AWS Adjusted Time and Coordinated Universal time will be in sync at the end of this time period.

Microsoft Windows – Instances that are running Microsoft Windows AMIs supplied by Amazon will follow AWS Adjusted Time.

Amazon RDS – The majority of Amazon RDS database instances will show “23:59:59” twice. Oracle versions 11.2.0.2, 11.2.0.3, and 12.1.0.1 will follow AWS Adjusted Time. For Oracle versions 11.2.0.4 and 12.1.0.2 contact AWS Support for more information.

Need Help?
If you have any questions about this upcoming event, please contact AWS Support or post in the EC2 Forum.

Jeff;