Automate OS Image Build Pipelines with EC2 Image Builder

Earlier in my career, I can recall being assigned the task of creating and maintaining operating system (OS) images for use by my development team. This was a time-consuming process, sometimes error-prone, needing me to manually re-create and re-snapshot images frequently. As I’m sure you can imagine, it also involved a significant amount of manual testing!
Today, customers still need to keep their images up to date and they do so either by manually updating and snapshotting VMs, or they have teams that build automation scripts to maintain the images, both of which can still be time consuming, resource intensive, and error-prone. I’m excited to announce the availability of EC2 Image Builder, a service that makes it easier and faster to build and maintain secure OS images for Windows Server and Amazon Linux 2, using automated build pipelines. The images created by EC2 Image Builder can be used with Amazon


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In The Works – New AMD-Powered, Compute-Optimized EC2 Instances (C5a/C5ad)

We’re getting ready to give you even more power and even more choices when it comes to EC2 instances.
We will soon launch C5a and C5ad instances powered by custom second-generation AMD EPYC “Rome” processors running at frequencies as high as 3.3 GHz. You will be able to use these compute-optimized instances to run your batch processing, distributed analytics, web applications and other compute-intensive workloads. Like the existing AMD-powered instances in the M, R and T families, the C5a and C5ad instances are built on the AWS Nitro System and give you an opportunity to balance your instance mix based on cost and performance.
The instances will be available in eight sizes and also in bare metal form, with up to 192 vCPUs and 384 GiB of memory. The C5ad instances will include up to 7.6 TiB of fast, local NVMe storage, making them perfect for video encoding, image manipulation,


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EC2 Instance Update – Two More Sizes of M5 & R5 Instances

When I introduced the Nitro system last year I said:

The Nitro system is a rich collection of building blocks that can be assembled in many different ways, giving us the flexibility to design and rapidly deliver EC2 instance types with an ever-broadening selection of compute, storage, memory, and networking options. We will deliver new instance types more quickly than ever in the months to come, with the goal of helping you to build, migrate, and run even more types of workloads.

Today I am happy to make good on that promise, with the introduction of two additional sizes of the Intel and AMD-powered M5 and R5 instances, including optional NVMe storage. These additional sizes will make it easier for you to find an instance size that is a perfect match for your workload.
M5 Instances These instances are designed for general-purpose workloads such as web servers, app servers,


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In the Works – EC2 Instances (G4) with NVIDIA T4 GPUs

I’ve written about the power and value of GPUs in the past, and I have written posts to launch many generations of GPU-equipped EC2 instances including the CG1, G2, G3, P2, P3, and P3dn instance types.
Today I would like to give you a sneak peek at our newest GPU-equipped instance, the G4. Designed for machine learning training & inferencing, video transcoding, and other demanding applications, G4 instances will be available in multiple sizes and also in bare metal form. We are still fine-tuning the specs, but you can look forward to:
AWS-custom Intel CPUs (4 to 96 vCPUs)
1 to 8 NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPUs
Up to 384 GiB of memory
Up to 1.8 TB of fast, local NVMe storage
Up to 100 Gbps networking
The brand-new NVIDIA T4 GPUs feature 320 Turing Tensor cores, 2,560 CUDA cores, and 16 GB of memory. In


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Now Available – Five New Amazon EC2 Bare Metal Instances: M5, M5d, R5, R5d, and z1d

Today we are launching the five new EC2 bare metal instances that I promised you a few months ago. Your operating system runs on the underlying hardware and has direct access to the processor and other hardware. The instances are powered by AWS-custom Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processor (Skylake) processors that deliver sustained all-core Turbo performance.
Here are the specs:
Instance Name
Sustained All-Core Turbo
Logical Processors
Memory
Local Storage
EBS-Optimized Bandwidth
Network Bandwidth
m5.metal
Up to 3.1 GHz
96
384 GiB

14 Gbps
25 Gbps
m5d.metal
Up to 3.1 GHz
96
384 GiB
4 x 900 GB NVMe SSD
14 Gbps
25 Gbps
r5.metal
Up to 3.1 GHz
96
768 GiB

14 Gbps
25 Gbps
r5d.metal
Up to 3.1


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New Lower-Cost, AMD-Powered M5a and R5a EC2 Instances

From the start, AWS has focused on choice and economy. Driven by a never-ending torrent of customer requests that power our well-known Virtuous Cycle, I think we have delivered on both over the years:
Choice – AWS gives you choices in a wide range of dimensions including locations (18 operational geographic regions, 4 more in the works, and 1 local region), compute models (instances, containers, and serverless), EC2 instance types, relational and NoSQL database choices, development languages, and pricing/purchase models.
Economy – We have reduced prices 67 times so far, and work non-stop to drive down costs and to make AWS an increasingly better value over time. We study usage patterns, identify areas for innovation and improvement, and deploy updates across the entire AWS Cloud on a very regular and frequent basis.
Today I would like to tell you about our latest development, one that provides you with a choice


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Check it Out – New AWS Pricing Calculator for EC2 and EBS

The blog post that we published over a decade ago to launch the Simple Monthly Calculator still shows up on our internal top-10 lists from time to time! Since that post was published, we have extended, redesigned, and even rebuilt the calculator a time or two.
New Calculator Starting with a blank screen, an empty code repo, and plenty of customer feedback, we are building a brand-new AWS Pricing Calculator. The new calculator is designed to help you estimate and understand your eventual AWS costs. We did our best to avoid excessive jargon and to make the calculations obvious, transparent, and accessible. You can see the options that are available to you, explore the associated costs, and make high-quality data-driven decisions.
We’re starting out with support for EC2 instances, EBS volumes, and a very wide variety of purchasing models, with plans to add support for more services as quickly as


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Now Available – Amazon EC2 High Memory Instances with 6, 9, and 12 TB of Memory, Perfect for SAP HANA

The Altair 8800 computer that I built in 1977 had just 4 kilobytes of memory. Today I was able to use an EC2 instance with 12 terabytes (12 tebibytes to be exact) of memory, almost 4 billion times as much!
The new Amazon EC2 High Memory Instances let you take advantage of other AWS services including Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), Amazon CloudWatch, and AWS Config. They are designed to allow AWS customers to run large-scale SAP HANA installations, and can be used to build production systems that provide enterprise-grade data protection and business continuity.
Here are the specs:
Instance Name
Memory
Logical Processors
Dedicated EBS Bandwidth
Network Bandwidth
u-6tb1.metal
6 TiB
448
14 Gbps
25 Gbps
u-9tb1.metal
9 TiB
448
14 Gbps
25 Gbps


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New – Provisioned Throughput for Amazon Elastic File System (EFS)

Amazon Elastic File System lets you create petabyte-scale file systems that can be accessed in massively parallel fashion from hundreds or thousands of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) servers and on-premises resources, scaling on demand without disrupting applications. Behind the scenes, storage is distributed across multiple Availability Zones and redundant storage servers in order to provide you with file systems that are scalable, durable, and highly available. Space is allocated and billed on as as-needed basis, allowing you to consume as much as you need while keeping costs proportional to actual usage. Applications can achieve high levels of aggregate throughput and IOPS, with consistent low latencies. Our customers are using EFS for a broad spectrum of use cases including media processing workflows, big data & analytics jobs, code repositories, build trees, and content management repositories, taking advantage of the ability to simply lift-and-shift their existing file-based applications and workflows to


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