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New Services and Features from AWS re:Invent 2018

Posted on November 29, 2018 by PhilZonaPhilZona

Linux Academy is live at AWS re:Invent waiting to bring you the latest announcements from Amazon. Andy Jassy gave his keynote this morning, and as usual, it was packed with new services and feature announcements. Here are some of the biggest ones.

Amazon Timestream

AWS announced Amazon Timestream, a purpose-built, fully-managed time series database service for collecting, storing, and processing time series data. Amazon Timestream processes trillions of events per day at one-tenth the cost of relational databases, with up to one thousand times faster query performance than a general-purpose relational database.
Timestream is ideal for uses cases such as DevOps, where you may want to collect and analyze application data for application performance management, network data for network optimization, and server monitoring. Other use cases include IoT and Industrial Telemetry.
Consider the implications of combining Timestream with BI or Machine Learning to analyze data and identify trends.

On-Demand DynamoDB

Today AWS also announced Amazon DynamoDB on-demand, a flexible new billing option for DynamoDB capable of serving thousands of requests per second without capacity planning. DynamoDB on-demand offers simple pay-per-request pricing for read and write requests so that you only pay for what you use, making it easy to balance costs and performance. For tables using on-demand mode, DynamoDB instantly accommodates customers’ workloads as they ramp up or down to any previously observed traffic level. If the level of traffic hits a new peak, DynamoDB adapts rapidly to accommodate the workload.
With DynamoDB on-demand, you pay only for what you use. For example, in the US East (N. Virginia) region, you are charged $1.25 per million write requests units and $0.25 per million read request units, plus the usual data storage costs. No more capacity planning…yay!

EC2 Pause and Resume

You can now hibernate your Amazon EC2 instances backed by Amazon EBS and resume them at a later time. Applications can pick up exactly where they left off instead of rebuilding the memory footprint all over again.
The hibernation process stores the in-memory state of the instance, along with its private and elastic IP addresses.
Today this is an Amazon Linux feature, but AWS is working on support for Amazon Linux 2, Ubuntu, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, along with the SQL Server variants of the Windows AMIs.

Amazon Textract

Keeping up with last year’s massive list of new machine learning services, this year Amazon released Textract, a text recognition service. Textract goes beyond OCR (optical character recognition), with the ability to process data from tables, forms, and other structured fields. This is a huge improvement over existing solutions, which often require post-processing or custom formatting to handle structured data. With Textract, you can read up to a million documents per hour, with the output ready for immediate use.
On a related note, we are also getting Amazon Comprehend Medical, a variant of the current Amazon comprehend aimed specifically at unstructured medical documents. With Amazon’s recent medical partnerships and acquisitions, this service shouldn’t come as a surprise. The goal of Comprehend Medical is to process medical charts, doctors’ notes, and other documents, identify relationships and create a complete overview of a patient’s health using machine learning.

Amazon Managed Blockchain

Did someone say BezosCoin? We’re not quite there yet, but Amazon has finally announced its first blockchain service, Amazon Managed Blockchain. It’s not just for cryptocurrency, of course. Managed Blockchain will allow users to create full, scalable blockchain networks in just a few clicks. It handles certificates, invitations, and even provides metrics of system performance so that you can make adjustments when you notice transactions taking longer than they should. Currently, Managed Blockchain supports the Hyperledger Fabric framework, with plans to add Ethereum in the near future.

Amazon DeepRacer

Let’s be honest with ourselves – we’ve all wondered what it takes to build a self-driving car. With Amazon DeepRacer, we can not only find out, we can actually do it. DeepRacer is a programmable 1/18th scale remote control car, and Amazon wants you to race it. Seriously, they’re starting a racing league.
Fun and games aside, DeepRacer seems to be an attempt at crowdsourcing artificial intelligence – a smart move, given the challenges faced even by large companies working on self-driving cars. Development will use RoboMaker (another new service announced today), and you can preorder your car today. Just in time for Christmas!


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