Hello Cloud Gurus! Wondering what’s changed with AWS this month, but haven’t found the time to check through weeks of headlines? Here’s everything you need to know to keep in the loop.
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Amazon File Cache is now in general availability
Amazon File Cache is a cool, new service that provides a scalable, high-speed, sub-millisecond cache that allows EC2 instances to access data that is stored in disparate locations (for instance, in your own datacenter).
When you create a File Cache, it can be linked to multiple data stores, like:
- NFS file systems in your datacenter
- Cloud-based file systems like Amazon FSx
You can also link up to eight file systems to a single cache.
Once the cache is created, EC2 instances mount the cache like a normal file system. As your workloads request the data for the first time, File Cache will automatically load it into the cache and present it to your applications as a traditional file system. It even releases data that is no longer being used.
It supports encryption in-transit and at rest, and communication with on-premises networks uses either Direct Connect or a VPN. This is a great way to cache your on-premises file systems so your data can be securely accessed by EC2 workloads in AWS.
New Developer Associate (DVA-C02) and DevOps Engineer Professional (DOP-C02) exams
The AWS Certified Developer Associate exam and the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional exam are getting updated! This will bring these exams more in line with the industry landscape, changes in trends, and the work practices of cloud professionals. If you’re currently studying for either of these exams though, don’t worry – the changeover won’t happen until next year.
The last date to take the current Developer Associate exam (DVA-C01) will be February 27th, and shortly after the DevOps Engineer Professional will swap over on March 6th. After that, only the new exams (DVA-C02 and DOP-C02) will be available.
Wondering what they’re updating? Check out the AWS Certified Developer Associate exam guide and the AWS Certified DevOps Engineer Professional exam guide for a full breakdown on domains.
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AWS Trainium-powered EC2 instances in general availability
AWS Trainium-powered EC2 Instances have now entered general availability, with the full release of the Trn1 instance family, originally previewed at re:Invent 2021.
The AWS Trainium processor is a new special-purpose chip, specifically designed for training with deep-learning algorithms. Aside from taking the wooden-spoon prize in the naming competition, Trainium is one of those massively interesting feats of engineering, where AWS has created a microprocessor highly attuned to the unique needs of deep learning. It’s able to more efficiently store common data types, and accelerated stochastic rounding.
With AWS Neuron, you can readily integrate with solutions running on PyTorch or Tensorflow, making it easy to leverage this new technology. When building highly complex language models, like GPT-3, AWS claims a 50% lower cost-to-train, potentially making an enormous amount of difference (albeit for customers with a very specific use case).
New Local Zones in Taipei and Delhi
AWS has announced the launch of two new Local Zones in the cities of Taipei and Delhi.
Local Zones are still a relatively newer concept to AWS’s Global Infrastructure, bringing single-digit latency to your applications in specific locations. This enables much higher performance for your solutions, but can also solve other issues, like data residency requirements.
The power of the cloud is less impressive if you’re waiting several seconds while your request travels the globe. As an example, if your company runs servers for multiplayer gaming, you could deploy an EC2 instance to a Local Zone near many of your users. This cuts the latency down to potentially less than 10ms, leading to a far superior experience.
With 18 Local Zones now available around the world, and 33 more planned, the cloud has never been closer to users.
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Automated connectivity for RDS and EC2
RDS now supports automating the connectivity setup between an existing RDS or Aurora database and an EC2 instance in the same VPC.
This is great because it means from within the RDS console, you can now choose if you want to automatically configure the connection. It’s as simple as selecting an instance in the same VPC, and everything will automatically configure everything for you, including the Security Groups needed for your instance and your database. How cool is that?
RedHat Enterprise Linux Workstation on AWS
RedHat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Workstation for accelerated GPU instances is now available on the AWS Marketplace. This cloud-based, remote desktop solution allows end users from anywhere in the world to access a Red Hat workstation. You’ll find them on the AWS Marketplace, or in the EC2 console.
They use RedHat version 8.6, and run on GPU enabled instance types, like G3, 4, and 5, and P2 and 3. These instance types are suitable for animation, computer-aided design, scientific research, or medical imaging.
These are going to be great for anyone who needs a high performance remote desktop solution that is RedHat Linux based.
Dark Mode is now available in the AWS Console
In a very exciting AWS console quality-of-life update this week, you can now navigate your AWS services in Dark Mode!
Turning on Dark Mode allows console users to experience the console in a new light, with a dark-gray background and off-white text designed to reduce eye strain and potentially increase your laptop battery life while using the console. Most popular websites and applications include some form of Dark Mode, so it’s super exciting to see this feature finally arrive in the AWS Console.
This feature is still in Beta, but if you would like to check it out, you can access this by navigating to your account settings in the AWS console.
That’s all the biggest October headlines for AWS wrapped up!
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