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AWS Systems Manager gets outbound webhooks

Scott Pletcher
Scott Pletcher

Hello, gurus! Scott Pletcher here back with another download of AWS this week news goodness. This week, Kendra gets a query language, scaling SAP workloads on AWS gets way easier, and System Manager gets outbound webhooks. Let’s get started!

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Amazon Kendra Learns a Language

Amazon Kendra has gotten a bit easier to use recently through new support for a query language. Amazon Kendra is a machine-learning enabled managed search service. You can point it at sources like S3 buckets, ServiceNow, Salesforce, and Sharepoint and it will index those sources for quick and easy searching.

With this query language announcement, you can now use AND, OR and NOT as well as field-level searches and range operators such as greater than or less than.

Kendra pro tip: you can use Kendra to index virtually any URL, and it might be a good time to have Kendra crawl your own public-facing website. You might be surprised at what you find and and that might just keep your company out of the news, if you know what I mean.

And before you get any bright ideas about crawling websites other than your own, do know that that violates the AWS Acceptable Use Policy.

Systems Manager gets outbound webhooks

AWS recently announce a nifty new capability for Systems Manager — outbound webhooks!

Webhooks are a common way to integrate various applications and platforms for event-based activities. Popular applications like Slack, Jira, and ServiceNow offer webhooks for triggering events or taking certain actions.

Now, right from within Systems Manager, we can reach out and do things in those other apps. For example, we can build a runbook within Systems Manager for, say, an automated failover test. Before the test commences, we could automatically add a notice to our intranet site, then post updates to a team Slack channel as the test progresses. I can already see all those automation geeks tenting their fingers at the possibilities.

Scaling SAP workloads on AWS gets easier

Prior to getting into this whole cloud thing, I spent many years in the SAP ecosystem. SAP is a giant software company with a broad portfolio of applications and services which help many organizations run their business efficiently. Not too long ago, SAP went all-in on an in-memory database called HANA. HANA opened the door to many other innovations, such as blowing up the traditional notion that transactional and analytics systems had to be separate. With HANA, the same database can be used simultaneously for transactions and analytics, meaning more real-time agility and less data duplication.

The caveat with HANA as an enterprise data store is that you needed enough memory to hold your data — and that could be terabytes. Now, back in the day, buying a system with enough RAM might have been cost prohibitive for all but the largest organization, but the cloud leveled the playing field. The pay-as-you-go model enabled lots of companies to experiment with HANA, demonstrate the business value then quickly scale into production without huge capital investment.

Over the years, all the major cloud providers have cozied up to SAP, certifying their platforms to run SAP production workloads and even creating SAP-specific skills certifications such as the new SAP on AWS Speciality exam.

Recently, AWS announced enhancements to its AWS Launch Wizard for HANA-based SAP deployments. Launch Wizard can help you size, configure and deploy an SAP HANA landscape with just a few mouse clicks. The new Launch Wizard enhancements lets you add additional nodes to your deployment from right in the Launch Wizard with no manual config. And trust me, anyone who has manually stood up a an SAP landscape will truly appreciate this miracle of miracles.

Make 2022 the year of your improved cloud career

As this is my first post in the New Year, happy new year to everyone out there, including those celebrating Lunar New Year. If you’ve taken on some new year’s resolutions around learning and certifications and looking for some like-minded accountability partners, why not head on over to our Discord server? You’ll find many others just like you, wanting to up their skills game. In fact, we’ll be hosting another office hours session this week on Wednesday, January 26 at 7pm Eastern time / 4pm Pacific right there on Discord.

And that my friends is all the AWS news that’s fit to print this week. Stay safe, take care of one another and keep being awesome, gurus.

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