Unlike last year when it was completely virtual, Amazon Web Services (AWS) re: Invent was held in the meatspace this year. However, a virtual registration was also available (and you can still register here). If you are an IT professional with an AWS infrastructure or service in your portfolio, you should do this because the company has bombarded customers with a mudslide of news.
AWS has updated its data analysis services, announced new hardware specifications for its virtual machines, and improved its business robotics game. It gives customers a faster way to clear their mainframes, and it also presents a preview of its upcoming 5G managed service. Here’s our quick look at the top AWS announcements so far and why they’re critical.
1. Data analysis grows stronger with AI
The what: AWS has strengthened its previous machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) tools applied to its suite of analytics services. The new features are aimed at partners who now have access to AWS AI for Data Analytics (AIDA) solutions that will allow them to increase their sophistication in predictive analytics while keeping the tools simple enough to use for non-users. data scientists. AWS has introduced its partners Cognizant, Interworks, Provectus and Quantiphi as the first to adopt here. It also announced much more granular controls for customer data lakes as well as a new serverless approach for most of its data services.
Why do you care: Predictive analytics allows your leaders to make better decisions about future developments. These algorithms can therefore be useful if you are analyzing sales trends, customer behavior, and future costs for anything for which you have historical data. And you can store the data and run these analytics tools on a cloud service, which will greatly reduce your operating costs.
Data lakes allow you to store large volumes of data without all of the hassle of traditional data warehouse structure. It will also improve access to analytics for people without extensive data science training. The new tools will allow you to add and control data access policies down to the row and individual cell level and do so on a simple policy basis.
According to AWS, customers of its analytics platforms Amazon EMR, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon MSK, and Amazon Redshift have long been asking them to go serverless and on-demand. This year, AWS claims to have responded to this request. This is important because if you are a Kinesis customer, for example, you are running data streaming through the service. Because it is now fully managed and on demand, it can scale automatically, covering both resources and costs. Or if you have a data warehouse in Redshift, AWS says access should be easier and faster, and you’re only charged when the warehouse is active.
2. Improved hardware specifications
The what: To reduce the costs of services and virtual infrastructure (which should be good news for any AWS customer), the company announced new, better-performing hardware for the underlying infrastructure that powers its cloud. AWS says the new machines run AMD’s third generation EPYC processors, the M6a. The company also announced VM options around the new Graviton ARM processor, which it pairs with Nvidia T4G Tensor GPUs.
Why are you interested in: Hey, it’s more of the VM muscle; who doesn’t like that? But the specific benefits beyond just punch processing are lower overall costs, at least according to AWS. The company believes that more power means fewer virtual machines needed for particular workloads, which should lower costs for customers. AWS claims that the M6a option will boost performance by up to 35% over what it currently runs, based on AMD M5a processors. For virtual machine (VM) users, this will translate into new software infrastructure options ranging from two to 192 virtual CPUs with corresponding RAM sizes. The Graviton-to-Nvidia match is aimed at customers who offer games and states that the combination is expected to reduce the costs of those workloads by up to 30%. And it should also make data scientists happier if they are working on resource-intensive ML algorithms. Will you actually see these cost benefits? Sure why not?
The what: If your business uses robotics to handle any type of Internet of Things (IoT) workload, AWS wants you to develop those resources in its cloud. To help you out, he just launched a public preview of the new AWS IoT RoboRunner. And if you are thinking of starting a robotics business, there is also a new acceleration program.
Why do you care: Besides being hard to tell, AWS IoT RoboRunner is exactly what it sounds like: a cloud-managed robot management system. If you’re looking at a few dozen or even hundreds of booming R2D2s, this tool lets you see them all through a single pane of glass with customizable health and management features.
The AWS Robotics Startup Accelerator is for entrepreneurs and their technical managers to understand both the technology and business landscape for robotics. This is a four-week mentorship-type program that will be available worldwide, and is being implemented through an alliance AWS now has with MassRobotics, a nonprofit innovation center specializing in robotic technology.
4. An Overview of 5G, AWS Style
The what: Re: Invent 2021 also gave us a preview of AWS Private 5G. The service provides services to help customers deploy their networks based on or extended to 5G technology.
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Why do you care: 5G is new and therefore full of deployment and implementation nightmares. According to AWS CEO Adam Selipsky, the service will allow you to build a private 5G mobile network in just days. Of course, that claim is probably overly optimistic hype, but if it’s even only half true, it’s still a massive dent in the average 5G implementation cycle. Customers will be able to describe their capacity and location needs, and AWS Private 5G provides everything you need down to SIM cards.
5. Get off your mainframe now
The what: If you still have a basement data center crammed with aging mainframe technology running proprietary or legacy software, the AWS Mainframe Modernization service is here to help you migrate to the cloud.
Why do you care: If you don’t have a mainframe, you don’t care. If you do, it is not aid for modernization; it is a migration aid. The service offers a set of assessment and analysis tools to help customers understand what they’re performing and form a plan to help Amazon integrate your workloads into AWS. Once the plan is in place, the service has a list of new developer tools, including software testing and deployment features. The potential downside is that the AWS service is aimed at partners to resell the expertise to their customers. This will incur additional costs, but if you embark on a mainframe migration that becomes more and more necessary day by day, a partnership agreement is always much better than nothing.
The above are the five ad buckets that have jumped to PCMag. There are many more, especially the new partner programs, which are largely the target audience for re: Invent. These programs will help partners with everything from training consultants and technicians to the specialization tools that AWS calls “partner journeys”. These are business tools and educational resources that will help partners deepen their expertise in areas as diverse as analysis, migration, and deployment of third-party services.
You can dig deeper into any of these announcements by signing up for the event, which will be open until the morning of December 3. However, most of the content should also be available after the show on demand.
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