AWS re:Invent 2019 - Announcements Highlights


By Yoav Zuri, VP Engineering


Hey everyone, some important updates from re:Invent!

This is a partial list and will update as re:Invent announcements are made.


EKS on Fargate is now GA:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/amazon-eks-on-aws-fargate-now-generally-available/

EKS on Fargate allows us to create pods in Fargate without the need to take care of the underlying nodes.

Scale-out and scale-in is not required.

We still have to pay the 0.20$ / hour for the cluster itself.

Limitations: no privileged pods, not more than 4 vCPU, no persistent workloads (no PVC in Fargate EKS), no DaemonSets, pods can’t use HostNetwork or NodePort, ALB is the only supported LB.


AWS Fargate Spot:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-fargate-spot-now-generally-available/

For customers using Fargate for ECS to run interruption tolerant workloads, this feature is a big deal!

ECS spots can lower prices up to 70% in comparison to standard Fargate price.

I hope we'll see it in Fargate for EKS as well, with native integration to Kubernetes Jobs.


Transit Gateway updates:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-transit-gateway-adds-multicast-and-inter-regional-peering/

Multicast support for Transit Gateway (and VPC, of course).

AWS now allows you to run native Multicast across multiple VPCs. It can be beneficial for migrating traditional workloads to the cloud.

AWS is now the only major cloud provider that supports multicast.

Multi-region peering on Transit Gateway. Very useful to allow "transit VPC" replacement.

Another cool feature they released is centralized visualization of global networks using Network Manager:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-for-aws-transit-gateway-build-global-networks-and-centralize-monitoring-using-network-manager/


AWS Compute Optimizer:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-compute-optimizer-your-customized-resource-optimization-service/

Uses Machine Learning to analyze past metrics on EC2 workloads to allow better rightsizing than the available options today.


AWS Inferentia custom Machine Learning Inferences chip is now available with new instance size Inf1:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/amazon-ec2-update-inf1-instances-with-aws-inferentia-chips-for-high-performance-cost-effective-inferencing/

https://aws.amazon.com/machine-learning/inferentia/

AWS has been working on its ML inferences chip design.

It was announced a year ago, and now it's generally available through the Inf1 instance type.

Pricing is lower than the P3 and P3dn instances, but we'll have to wait a few days for the Amazon Inferentia benchmarks.


AWS Outposts:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-outposts-now-available-order-your-racks-today/

AWS has announced it's long-awaited service for running region-like services on-premise or co-located.

It's especially interesting for the Israeli market as it'll allow heavy regulated industries that couldn't go to the cloud to bring the cloud to them.

The control-plane resides in the desired region (for the Israeli market, although not available yet, most likely Frankfurt or Ireland).

Outposts support the following services from day one: EC2, EBS, VPC, ECS, EKS, EMR.

RDS for PostgreSQL and MySQL are available in preview.

More services to come.

At first glance, pricing seems a bit high. But I'll have to get a quote from hardware vendors to see what's the tipping point for Outposts.

https://aws.amazon.com/outposts/pricing/


AWS Local Zone Los Angeles in US-West-2 (Oregon):

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-now-available-from-a-local-zone-in-los-angeles/

AWS has previously opened a local region in Osaka, Japan to be used as disaster recovery for workloads running in Tokyo.

It looks like this model is now going to be used to serve latency-sensitive workloads "closer to the action" with single-digit latency figures in more regions.

The API endpoint for this local zone is the parent region's endpoint (us-west-2).

I hope to see more of those local zones. It can open new lines of business in the cloud.


Amazon SageMaker Studio:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/amazon-sagemaker-studio-the-first-fully-integrated-development-environment-for-machine-learning/

AWS has released many tools to allow faster and more efficient ML development process.

SageMaker Studio is a fully integrated IDE for ML.

SageMaker Experiments: allows track and compare for thousands of ML jobs.

SageMaker Debugger: allows to debug and analyze complex training jobs directly from the IDE

SageMaker Model Monitor: allows detecting quality deviations for deployed models

And many other features and services. See the blog post for more details.


Amazon MCS - Managed Apache Cassandra Service:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/new-amazon-managed-apache-cassandra-service-mcs/

AWS has released a managed, serverless, scalable Cassandra service.

With MCS, you only pay for the used resources.

Traditionally, Cassandra is a complicated service to manage and MCS takes this complexity off.

MCS is fully compatible with CQL 3.11 (Cassandra Query Language) and can be used as a drop-in replacement for self-managed Cassandra clusters.

Data is automatically encrypted-at-rest using KMS keys.

Data in MCS is replicated three times across multiple AZs.

Pricing is per stored data (0.3$ / GB @ us-east-1) and per read/write units in bulks of million requests.


UltraWarm storage tier for the Amazon ElasticSearch service:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/announcing-ultrawarm-preview-for-amazon-elasticsearch-service/

AWS has released (preview) UltraWarm storage tier for the managed ElsaticSearch service.

The new storage tier allows using hot-warm tiering for indexes with managed ES clusters.

The new tier is backed by S3 and uses special nodes to allow fast access to the data.

Pricing per GB can be up to 90% cheaper than standard storage pricing (0.135$/GB for GP2)

The new tier can allow using ElasticSearch in cases that would usually require users to move older data to cheaper data lakes.


EC2 Image Builder:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/automate-os-image-build-pipelines-with-ec2-image-builder/

AWS announced a managed service that allows automatic building and maintaining OS images for Windows and Amazon Linux 2 as part of an automated pipeline.

You can build images using an "image recipe" that can include configuration, updates, software and security settings.


AWS Single Sign-On significant innovations:

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/the-next-evolution-in-aws-single-sign-on/

The new features in AWS SSO allow enterprises who rely heavily on Azure AD to use it more efficiently.

This allows us to use AWS SSO with Azure AD seamlessly and allow deeper integration.

I believe enterprises can find it much easier now to work with AWS SSO without the need to manage permissions on both Azure AD and AWS SSO, linking AD Groups to IAM Roles and Groups.


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