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AWS re:Invent Highlights & Key Announcements

Posted by Jon Myer on Dec 17, 2021 5:44:36 PM
Jon Myer
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Happy Week after AWS re:Invent 2021. If you had the chance to attend in-person, then you know the event was exciting from all angles. From the first major in-person conference in the last two years, to new AWS services released, including new features, and programs.

AWS limited the number of full-conference passes this year to 25,000 from 2019’s record breaking year over 60,000 attendees.

Monday: Leadership Spotlight Series & New Partner Programs

Monday was the official kickoff of re:Invent with a Leadership Spotlight series that started with Francessca Vasquez, VP of Tech at AWS, with a panel discussion around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Later in the day, the Global Partner Summit took place and AWS released several new additions to their partner programs, from the AWS Energy Competency to the AWS Graviton Ready Program. Another announcement to be cognizant of is the release of AWS Marketplace for Containers Anywhere. Previously, customers subscribed to existing 3rd party containerized applications deployed to Amazon EKS or ECS. But now, with the release of a new set of capabilities, customers can subscribe and deploy 3rd party Kubernetes applications to on-premises environments. These deployments can be run on any Kubernetes environment from AWS Marketplace using Amazon EKS Anywhere or any self-managed Kubernetes cluster.

AWS Graviton

Tuesday: AWS Graviton3 & AWS Private 5G… and Turbo Achieves New AWS Competency

By Tuesday, Adam Selipsky was ready to give his first keynote as AWS CEO and to share the newest generation of its Arm-based Graviton processors: the Graviton3. What is AWS Graviton? Graviton is custom built processors using 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores for CPU intense workloads that provide up to 40% better price-performance compared to the x86. AWS Graviton was announced in late 2018 and a year later Graviton2 was released.

Graviton3

Adam also announced AWS Private 5G, a new managed service that helps create a private 5g mobile network within a customer’s own facility in days instead of months with just a few clicks. AWS delivers and maintains the small cell radio units, servers, software, and SIM cards required. This is to help support increased video content and new applications that require ultra-low latency connections.

AWS Private 5G

Not only was Tuesday a big day for AWS but for Turbonomic as well with the achievement of reaching AWS Migration and Modernization Competency Status. This recognition demonstrates proven success in helping accelerate customer's migration and modernization journeys to AWS.

The Turbonomic booth was busy with over 1200 attendees curious to learn more about Turbonomic. With the launch of Try Turbonomic, a self-service demo that doesn’t require any downloads, they could get right into the product and explore on their own.

Wednesday: AWS AI & ML Scholarship Program Announced

AWS typically has some big announcements for AI & ML and Wednesday they released a number of them in support of Amazon SageMaker. Amazon SageMaker helps data scientists and developers to easily prepare, build, train, and deploy machine learning models. Notable releases included Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth, Training Compiler, Inference Recommender, Studio Lab, and Serverless Inference.

During re:Invent, AWS typically releases when the new AWS DeepRacer League is going to kick off, and like clockwork, the new league starts on March 1st, 2022. An off-stage announcement that was huge for those learning new skills including AI & ML was the dedicated student league. This new league, exclusively for students, offers free model training, learning content, and a global racing league.

Crowd of people at AWS re:Invent 2021

Thursday: A New Sustainability Pillar Added to the AWS Well-Architected Framework

By the time Werner Vogel’s, CTO of AWS, keynote took place on Thursday, the anticipation of his announcements and new services were high and Werner didn’t disappoint. His announcements included a new Pillar for AWS Well-Architected Framework, the Sustainability Pillar. The Sustainability Pillar was added to help organizations learn, measure, and improve workloads along with seeking new and innovative ways they can directly contribute to their organization’s sustainability goals. This brings a total of 6 pillars to AWS WAF that already include, Operational Excellence, Security, Reliability, Performance Efficiency, and Cost Optimization.

AWS Sustainability Pillar

One of the guests that Werner brought onto the stage was Matt Coulter from Liberty Mutual to talk about Liberty Mutual’s use with AWS CDK v2 (AWS Cloud Development Kit). CDK consolidates the AWS construct library into a single package, so you don’t need to download individual libraries, or you can write your own. Matt talked about his company’s role pioneering the Cloud development approach at Liberty to enable rapid delivery: a serverless-first approach that relies on code only.

Near the end of Werner’s keynote AWS re:Post was announced. This feels more like a professional Stack Overflow community to help accelerate innovation and potentially remove technical roadblocks around common issues.

AWS re:Post

By the end of the learning conference on Thursday you were ready to attend the re:Play event. AWS re:Play use to be a party to wrap up the AWS re:Invent conference, but it’s turned into a multi-media, laser dome with drones, drinks, and a food court. And we can’t forget dodgeball and the legacy arcades games you grew up playing as a kid.

Off-Stage Announcements of Note

Below are some of the noteworthy off-stage announcements that didn’t make it into any of the keynotes or leadership sessions.

AWS VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) had two key feature announcements from Network Access Analyzer to identify unintended network access and IPAM for IP address management.

Additionally, I find it interesting that AWS’s most used service Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) had several off-stage announcements. AWS renamed S2 Glacier to S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval and the storage price was reduced by 10% and bulk retrievals are now FREE. A price reduction up to 31% in three storage classes, S3 Standard-Infrequent Access, S3 1 Zone Infrequent Access, and S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval (formally S3 Glacier).

AWS Outposts announced two new form factors. They announced the 1U form factor powered by Graviton2, and the 2U form factor powered by 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors. AWS Outposts is a fully managed infrastructure that is serviced by AWS for your on-premises workloads. Allowing customers to get the benefits of AWS Services in a hybrid environment for ultra-low latency applications.

The last off-stage announcement was the addition of Amazon EBS Recycle Bin to recover accidental deletions of snapshots. This isn’t enabled by default but once enabled, you can set a retention period to retrieve any deleted snapshots based off tags. Take note that tags still play a critical role in Cloud Optimization and without them, a retention period cannot be set.

Check out Turbonomic’s daily blog and video recaps of AWS re:Invent, as we captured more of the latest releases and updates from their 10-year anniversary.

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Topics: AWS

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