New – Lifecycle Management for Amazon EBS Snapshots

It is always interesting to zoom in on the history of a single AWS service or feature and watch how it has evolved over time in response to customer feedback. For example, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) launched a decade ago and has been gaining more features and functionality every since. Here are a few of the most significant announcements:
August 2008 – We launched EBS in production form, with support for volumes of up to 1 TB and snapshots to S3.
September 2010 – We gave you the ability to Tag EBS Volumes.
August 2012 – We launched Provisioned IOPS for EBS volumes, allowing you to dial in the level of performance that you need.
June 2014 – We gave you the ability to create SSD-backed EBS volumes.
March 2015 – We gave you the ability to create EBS volumes of up to 16 TB


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Amazon EC2 Update – Additional Instance Types, Nitro System, and CPU Options

I have a backlog of EC2 updates to share with you. We’ve been releasing new features and instance types at a rapid clip and it is time to catch up. Here’s a quick peek at where we are and where we are going…
Additional Instance Types Here’s a quick recap of the most recent EC2 instance type announcements:
Compute-Intensive – The compute-intensive C5d instances provide a 25% to 50% performance improvement over the C4 instances. They are available in 5 regions and offer up to 72 vCPUs, 144 GiB of memory, and 1.8 TB of local NVMe storage.
General Purpose – The general purpose M5d instances are also available in 5 regions. They offer up to 96 vCPUs, 384 GiB of memory, and 3.6 TB of local NVMe storage.
Bare Metal – The i3.metal instances became generally available in 5 regions a couple of weeks ago. You can run performance


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Creating a 1.3 Million vCPU Grid on AWS using EC2 Spot Instances and TIBCO GridServer

Many of my colleagues are fortunate to be able to spend a good part of their day sitting down with and listening to our customers, doing their best to understand ways that we can better meet their business and technology needs. This information is treated with extreme care and is used to drive the roadmap for new services and new features.
AWS customers in the financial services industry (often abbreviated as FSI) are looking ahead to the Fundamental Review of Trading Book (FRTB) regulations that will come in to effect between 2019 and 2021. Among other things, these regulations mandate a new approach to the “value at risk” calculations that each financial institution must perform in the four hour time window after trading ends in New York and begins in Tokyo. Today, our customers report this mission-critical calculation consumes on the order of 200,000 vCPUs, growing to between 400K and


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New – Encryption of Data in Transit for Amazon EFS

Amazon Elastic File System was designed to be the file system of choice for cloud-native applications that require shared access to file-based storage. We launched EFS in mid-2016 and have added several important features since then including on-premises access via Direct Connect and encryption of data at rest. We have also made EFS available in additional AWS Regions, most recently US West (Northern California). As was the case with EFS itself, these enhancements were made in response to customer feedback, and reflect our desire to serve an ever-widening customer base.
Encryption in Transit Today we are making EFS even more useful with the addition of support for encryption of data in transit. When used in conjunction with the existing support for encryption of data at rest, you now have the ability to protect your stored files using a defense-in-depth security strategy.
In order to make it easy for you to


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EFS File Sync – Faster File Transfer To Amazon EFS File Systems

We launched EFS File Sync a few days before AWS re:Invent 2017 and I finally have time to tell you about it!
If you need to move a large collection of files from an on-premises or in-cloud file system to Amazon Elastic File System, this tool is for you. Simple, single-threaded command line tools such as cp and rsync predate the cloud and cannot deliver the throughput required to move massive amounts of data from place to place. These tools are generally used as building blocks, often within scripts that take care of scheduling, orchestration, and network security.
Secure & Parallel EFS File Sync uses a secure, highly parallel data transfer mechanism that can run up to 5 times faster than the tools I mentioned above. It is available as an agent that runs within VMware ESXi or on an EC2 instance, and accesses the source file system via NFS


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The Floodgates Are Open – Increased Network Bandwidth for EC2 Instances

I hope that you have configured your AMIs and your current-generation EC2 instances to use the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA) that I told you about back in mid-2016. The ENA gives you high throughput and low latency, while minimizing the load on the host processor. It is designed to work well in the presence of multiple vCPUs, with intelligent packet routing backed up by multiple transmit and receive queues.
Today we are opening up the floodgates and giving you access to more bandwidth in all AWS Regions. Here are the specifics (in each case, the actual bandwidth is dependent on the instance type and size):
EC2 to S3 – Traffic to and from Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) can now take advantage of up to 25 Gbps of bandwidth. Previously, traffic of this type had access to 5 Gbps of bandwidth. This will be of benefit to applications that access


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New AWS Auto Scaling – Unified Scaling For Your Cloud Applications

I’ve been talking about scalability for servers and other cloud resources for a very long time! Back in 2006, I wrote “This is the new world of scalable, on-demand web services. Pay for what you need and use, and not a byte more.” Shortly after we launched Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), we made it easy for you to do this with the simultaneous launch of Elastic Load Balancing, EC2 Auto Scaling, and Amazon CloudWatch. Since then we have added Auto Scaling to other AWS services including ECS, Spot Fleets, DynamoDB, Aurora, AppStream 2.0, and EMR. We have also added features such as target tracking to make it easier for you to scale based on the metric that is most appropriate for your application.
Introducing AWS Auto Scaling Today we are making it easier for you to use the Auto Scaling features of multiple AWS services from a single user


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Keeping Time With Amazon Time Sync Service

Today we’re launching Amazon Time Sync Service, a time synchronization service delivered over Network Time Protocol (NTP) which uses a fleet of redundant satellite-connected and atomic clocks in each region to deliver a highly accurate reference clock. This service is provided at no additional charge and is immediately available in all public AWS regions to all instances running in a VPC.
You can access the service via the link local 169.254.169.123 IP address. This means you don’t need to configure external internet access and the service can be securely accessed from within your private subnets.
Setup
Chrony is a different implementation of NTP than what ntpd uses and it’s able to synchronize the system clock faster and with better accuracy than ntpd. I’d recommend using Chrony unless you have a legacy reason to use ntpd.
Installing and configuring chrony on Amazon Linux is as simple as:

sudo sudo yum erase ntp*
sudo


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Now Available – Microsoft SQL Server 2017 for Amazon EC2

Microsoft SQL Server 2017 (launched just a few days ago) includes lots of powerful new features including support for graph databases, automatic database tuning, and the ability to create clusterless Always On Availability Groups. It can also be run on Linux and in Docker containers.
Run on EC2
I’m happy to announce that you can now launch EC2 instances that run Windows Server 2016 and four editions (Web, Express, Standard, and Enterprise) of SQL Server 2017. The AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) are available today in all AWS Regions and run on a wide variety of EC2 instance types, including the new x1e.32xlarge with 128 vCPUs and almost 4 TB of memory.
You can launch these instances from the AWS Management Console or through AWS Marketplace. Here’s what they look like in the console:

And in AWS Marketplace:

Licensing Options Galore
You have lots of licensing options for SQL Server:
Pay As You Go – This option works


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