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EC2 features aim at network, performance improvements

AWS users have a green light to rev the full bandwidth potential of a particular instance.

AWS removed its 5 Gbps limit and improved performance for network connections to and from Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances. One of several new EC2 features, this speeds up connections between EC2 instances and Simple Storage Service (S3) resources, as well as connections between instances in different availability zones. Network bandwidth is now up to five times faster for instances with enhanced networking capabilities.

AWS also unveiled other EC2 features in January. Developers can now pause and resume C5 and M5 Spot Instances and Fleets that rely on Elastic Block Store (EBS). When AWS interrupts a workload due to Spot Instance price increase, those instances can now hibernate and retain their ID numbers, instead of the default to terminate and restore from the EBS root device.

These new instance capabilities add to the slew of new EC2 features and types unveiled during AWS re:Invent, including bare metal, M5, H1 and T2 Unlimited instances.

2018 predictions

AWS’ lead in the public cloud market might be in danger, as Microsoft and Google capture more customer workloads. How will AWS respond to the threats of its competitors, and what’s in store for 2018? Our SearchAWS contributors weigh in with their predictions for this year.

New features and support

  • Glue expands functionality. AWS Glue added conditional event triggers for failed and stopped jobs. Previously, the service could only trigger new extract, transform and load (ETL) jobs when another job succeeded. Administrators can now provide a list of events to track for succeeded, failed and stopped state changes and trigger ETL jobs accordingly.Glue also added support for the Scala programming language, so developers can run Scala scripts via development endpoints and jobs.
  • New serverless coding options. AWS Lambda now supports C# and Go programming languages for .NET Core 2.0. With C#, a developer can use the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio to access templates for Lambda functions, applications and tools, or they can code manually. Developers can upload Go artifacts through the AWS Command Line Interface or AWS Management Console, and Lambda will work natively with Go tools.
  • Boost database DR. Businesses can now deploy Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) read replicas in multiple available zones to enhance availability. AWS expanded this disaster recovery functionality for MySQL and MariaDB databases by enabling the RDS service to automatically fail over to a standby database instance if infrastructure fails.
  • Audit SageMaker logs. AWS CloudTrail now logs API calls made with the AWS SageMaker machine learning service. CloudTrail delivers those API calls to an Amazon Simple Storage Service bucket for administrative assessments.
  • Ruby beta for tracing service. AWS X-Ray added an open source SDK for Ruby, for developers to generate and send trace data from distributed web applications. X-Ray also includes support for Java, Go, Node.js, Python and .NET programming languages.
  • Two minutes on the clock. An AWS user can now set up a push notification to trigger when an EC2 Spot Instance has two minutes left before AWS reclaims it. The two-minute warning is available in Amazon CloudWatch Events, through which an admin can set up a rule to route the event to other services, such as Simple Notification Service.
  • Import, replicate PostgreSQL instances. A pair of capabilities gives PostgreSQL engineers new options during migrations from RDS to Aurora. First, an engineer can continuously replicate live workload migration from an RDS PostgreSQL instance to Aurora PostgreSQL. Also, engineers can now import encrypted snapshots to protect that data during the migration.
  • Get to learning. AWS updated its slate of Deep Learning Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). Developers can configure AMIs with a shared environment for source code and deep learning frameworks, using TensorFlow 1.5.0, which supports the drivers and GPUs behind AWS’ P3 instances. They also can build AMIs based on the open source Conda package and environment management system, including TensorBoard and TensorFlow Serving, to manage the open source machine intelligence library. The latter also added support for the latest versions of Caffe, Keras, Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit and Theano.
  • Those are the rules. AWS Config added support for seven predefined rules that verify whether or not your AWS resources are configured in accordance with best practices. These managed rules apply to CodeBuild, Identity and Access Management, S3 and AWS load balancers.

David Carty is the site editor for SearchAWS. Contact him at [email protected].

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