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AWS updates: Amazon QLDB hits, S3 expands, new instances arrive

The Amazon Quantum Ledger Database allows users to store data in logs that are transparent, immutable and cryptographically verifiable.

The managed, serverless AWS ledger database, available as of September, is append-only, which means you can’t change the data within the database. This is what makes Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) immutable. QLDB also supports PartiQ, AWS’ open source SQL-compatible query language and enables you to export all or part of your data to Amazon S3.

QLDB shares some similarities with blockchain technology – though it is not technically blockchain. It uses the cryptographically verifiable properties of blockchain, but unlike blockchain, which relies on distributed, peer-based verification, QLDB is built on centralized trust. If your application calls for decentralized trust and depends on outside or untrustworthy parties, then a straight blockchain technology would be a better fit, which is why Amazon offers an additional managed blockchain service. If your application only requires a ledger of all application data changes available for query and analysis, the AWS ledger database is a suitable option.

Companies that deal with financial transactions could find a use for QLDB. It could also support companies that log and update customers on supply chain progress. You can access the AWS ledger database in the AWS Management Console, the AWS Command Line Interface, a CloudFormation template or by calling the QLDB API.

Amazon S3 Same-Region Replication

This September,  Amazon bolstered its S3 replication capabilities with Amazon S3 Same-Region Replication (SRR). This capability automatically replicates new S3 objects to a destination bucket in the same AWS region. It replicates not only the objects but the metadata, Access Control Lists and object tags.

SRR builds on S3 Cross-Region Replication (CRR), which replicates objects across additional AWS regions. Together, SRR and CRR protect you from accidental deletion — or an AWS outage. They can also help your organization comply with data sovereignty laws and compliance requirements as well as minimize S3 latency.

You can enable object replication with a bucket-level configuration. You’ll configure the source bucket with the destination bucket where you want S3 to replicate objects and an AWS Identity and Access Management role that can replicate objects on your behalf.

Amazon EC2 G4 instances

Amazon this month added EC2 G4 instances to its GPU-powered compute fleet. The new instances are optimized and cost-effective to power machine learning models in production and graphics-intensive applications. This latest generation offers the newest NVIDIA T4 GPUs, better networking throughput and more local storage. To start, Amazon is offering six different instance sizes, with varying levels of memory, storage and network bandwidth, and plans to add a bare metal version soon.

Amazon launched its Deep Learning Containers in March 2019, and these EC2 G4 instances should make running these deep learning capabilities more efficient as AWS rounds out its machine learning capabilities.

FireLens preview

FireLens for Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) enables you to use task definition parameters to route logs to an Amazon cloud service for retention and analytics. AWS has opened a public preview so users can test its basic functionality. FireLens supports Fluentd and Fluent Bit, but also provides the AWS Fluent Bit plugin, which AWS launched earlier this summer.

Fluent Bit is an open source, multi-platform log processor and forwarder. It enables you to collect data from multiple sources and send them to different destinations. The Fluent Bit plugin for container images enables you to route container logs to Amazon CloudWatch and Kinesis Data Firehose.

FireLens for ECS should be a more direct way to route your container logs. With the public preview, you can test three use cases. You can send standard container out logs to different AWS destinations, filter out unnecessary logs and decorate logs with ECS metadata.


AWS IQ is a service that connects companies with AWS Certified, third-party AWS experts for help on a cloud project. The service is available as of late September.

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