Highlights of the AWS Re:Invent Conference
What happened at this year’s AWS Re:Invent? We attended and can confirm it was a great event. (Shout-out if you saw Jeff or Ryan there!)
If you weren’t one of the 50,000 people who attended in-person and 300,000 online, here’s a recap of the most important updates!
Observability & Reliability
Of course, we were most interested in the observability and reliability aspects of AWS’ new launches. And there were several that can improve failure recovery and outage resilience.
- Cloudwatch end-to-end visibility. AWS launched Cloudwatch Internet Monitor which is a “new capability of CloudWatch that gives visibility into how an internet issue might impact the performance and availability of your applications.” Interestingly, the app was built in part so AWS would stop blaming AWS for issues their users had accessing apps hosted on the platform.
- Cloudwatch cross-account observability. This new feature allows users “to search, analyze, and correlate cross-account telemetry data stored in CloudWatch such as metrics, logs, and traces.” The product makes a lot of sense because most organizations have multiple accounts and thus need telemetry that encompasses those accounts.
- Zonal shift. The new creature is a capability of Amazon Route 53 Application Recovery Controller (ARC) that is built-into Elastic Load Balancers (ELBs). According to AWS, “Performing a zonal shift enables you to achieve rapid recovery from application failures within a single Availability Zone.” Using this feature allows customers to recover from failure and be resilient to outages of any cause.
- Failover controls. Another feature regarding failure recovery and outage resilience is the “S3 Multi-Region Access Points. This new failover control gives you “a global endpoint that spans S3 buckets in multiple AWS Regions. With S3 Multi-Region Access Points, you can build multi-region applications with the same simple architecture used in a single Region.”
- Automated in-AWS failback. Additionally, the Elastic Disaster Recovery (DRS) newly supports “in-AWS failback, adding to the existing support for non-disruptive recovery drills and on-premises failback included in the original release.” Even more ability to recover from failure and be resilient to outages.
We are always excited about improvements to reliability and observability, but we’re also excited about other new developments, such as data and analytics.
Data & Analytics
Amazon Web Services announced new features for its cloud computing service at With AWS Glue 4.1, you can use Python 3.10 and Spark 3.3.x, plus natively supported by the Cloud Shuffle service for Spark.
- Zero ETL Future. When you’re developing a cloud-based analytics platform, ETL (extract, transform, load) takes primary focus. Amazon announced its commitment to making zero-ETL the new normal for cloud computing.
- Amazon EC2 Instances. AWS has announced a number of new instances, including some specifically aimed at helping scientists tackle big data challenges.
- Amazon QuickSight. ML Powered It Includes AI-Enhanced Automated Data Preparation, which makes it fast and easy to prepare data for natural language question answering (NLQA).
- Amazon OpenSearch Serverless. Finally, Amazon has announced its own version of Elastic search service called Amazon OpenSearchServer less run.
- Amazon Blue/Green Deployment. With just a few simple steps, you can use blue/green deployments to create a separate, synchronized, fully-managed, stage-like version of your live site that mirrors your live site. You can use this staged version to test changes before they go live. Blue/Green Development keeps both of these sites in sync by using logical replications.
Compute and Container
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced new features for its Compute and Container offerings. With the new release of Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft has made it even easier for companies to use their cloud services by providing pre-licensed images of Microsoft Office.
With the addition of support for direct deployments of container images from the AWS Marketplace to an Amazon EKS cluster, businesses can now easily discover third-party KuberneteS software from the Amazon EKs console and deploy it directly to their Amazon EKS clusters.
Management and Organization
DataZone is a cloud-based data management service that helps organizations manage, search, share, and analyze their data. The app is integrated with AWS analytics tools like Amazon Redshift, Athena, and QuickSight for businesses to use these tools in the cloud. It also provides APIs to connect with specialized applications and partners like DataBricks and Snowflake.
The New Proactive Compliance Mode of AWS Config Rules allows them to be run at any point prior to deployment, allowing IT Pros to avoid having to spend hours implementing custom validation checks. Amazon CloudWatch has added the ability to protect your sensitive logs in transit using ML.
Storage and Database
Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced new features for its cloud computing services at the With this new feature, you can now use Amazon RDS for MySQL to perform fast queries. With the addition of the fully managed Schema sync feature, AWS DMS makes it easier for organizations to perform their own SQL Server migrations without having to rely on third party services.
Graviton: New third generation GPU architecture. 25 percent faster and uses 60 percent less power than previous generations. Strong momentum for Graviton 500 times improvement: delivering the highest performing machine learning workloads.
70 percent lower compute costs. Amazon Web Services announced new instance types for its Elastic Compute. AWS SimSpace Weaver – Run large-scale spatial simulation in the cloud.
AWS has released Amazon Omics which allows bioinformatics, researchers, and scientists who want to store, analyze, and derive insights from genomics, transcriptomics, and other omics datasets to do so easily. It offers huge savings in terms of time and effort required to set up and run complex ETL pipelines.
It is composed of three main components: Omics-Aware Object Storage, which allows for storing, discovering and sharing raw sequencing data effectively, securely and cheaply; Omics Workspaces, which enables companies to execute Omics Workflow pipelines to process raw sequencing data at large scales in the cloud; and Omics Analytics Services, which provide variant-ready results and annotations to help researchers analyze their data easily.
AWS SimSpace Weaver
SimSpace Weaver is an enterprise software platform that helps companies create, manage, and simulate complex spatial models. These models allow users to visualize and analyze how certain events might play out in space.
The application also provides immersive experiences and advanced analytics to help decision makers take action. With SimSpace Weaver, businesses can quickly set up, launch, and manage these spatial models without having to worry about scaling issues.
It’s a service that centralizes cybersecurity information automatically for an organization from cloud and on-site resources into a purpose-built database in their Amazon Web Services account. So they can act on that information faster.
The application handles information through its lifespan by managing it using customized storage settings, converts incoming cybersecurity information to the efficient Apache Parquetry file type, and conforms it according to the Open CybersecuritY Schema Framework (OCYSF) standard. This enables them to automatically normalize cybersecurity information from AWS and merge it with dozens of pre integrated third party cybersecurity information providers.
Implications for Cloud Reliability
From a cloud reliability point of view, an important update was that Amazon S3 Multi-region Access Points got enhanced failovers. The new failovers allow businesses to shift S3 traffic from one region to another region within minutes to create highly available apps.
As we can see, AWS is an extremely diverse platform that thousands depend upon to run their software. But they don’t always know if AWS is down in a timely manner – or at all!