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September News Roundup: What’s New with AWS?

ACG Technical Editors Team
ACG Technical Editors Team

Hello Cloud Gurus! Wondering what’s changed with AWS this month, but haven’t had the time to check the headlines? We’ve written an article with everything you need to know to keep in the loop.

VPC Flow Logs can now be delivered to Kinesis Firehose

Flow Logs allow you to capture and log information about network traffic that is coming to and from your VPC. Prior to this month, you could deliver Flow Logs to either CloudWatch or S3. However, you can now deliver them to Kinesis Firehose

If you’re not familiar with Firehose, it’s a service that lets you consume real-time streaming data, and then deliver it to a variety of different destinations for processing or storage. Examples include other AWS services like RedShift or OpenSearch. You can even deliver your Flow Logs to a HTTP endpoint for third party providers like DataDog, Splunk, MongoDB and Sumo Logic.

This announcement means that you can now deliver your Flow Log data to a whole load of new destinations for processing, analytics and storage. This enables you to get a lot more insights from your Flow Log data.

AWS Adds Controllers for Kubernetes that Support Lambda, RDS, Step Functions, and more

On one side of the AWS world, you have Lambda, RDS, Step Functions, and KMS. On the other side, you have Kubernetes with EKS. Until this month, if you wanted to work within both worlds, you had to use separate tools to deploy and manage each. Thankfully, not any more!

AWS has released support for a ton of new services under the AWS Controllers for Kubernetes initiative (ACK). With this release, you can now use Kubernetes to manage RDS, Lambda, Step Functions, the Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus, and their Key Management Service (KMS).

What does this mean for you? Well, it means that you can use kubectl to deploy resources in AWS services with definitions you have defined using typical Kubernetes yaml configuration files. If you have spent a majority of your time working within Kubernetes, you now have the power to interact with a lot more AWS service than you did before. 

The new AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam is now in general availability

Last month, the new AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam (SAA-C03) launched, and the previous version (SAA-C03) was deprecated. If you’re wondering about the differences between the old and new exam, we’ve written a handy guide explaining the differences in detail

Amazon Redshift announces system logs will remain consistently durable

Amazon Redshift, Amazon’s answer to data warehousing, provides clusters for your data that can be paused and resumed to be cost optimal. Redshift customers use system table and view logs or STL and SVL. These log views provide insight into query executions for performance and auditing as needed. They also offer seven days of system log data,  used to be paused when the cluster was paused, and took a bit to come back online when you resumed the cluster. 

Well, here’s the big news: those logs are now persistent across the pause and resume of the cluster. This means no lost logs, no gaps in data, smoother audits and better performance account!

DynamoDB now supports 100 Actions per transaction

DynamoDB continues to add new superpowers to its capabilities.  Previously transactions within DynamoDB were capped at 25 distinct actions. They have now blown away the previous limit by increasing it to 100 actions. 

This change means that you can group all logically grouped modifications into a single transaction, rather than having to split them up into a series of distinct transactions. It’s possible that we’ll see this number climb to new heights in the future.

Amazon ECS announces faster CAS experience for scaling-in

When using Cluster Auto Scaling, Amazon ECS used to be limited to reducing 5% capacity for each scale-in step at a time. Now this limit is 50%, which means fewer scale-in steps and a faster scale-in process. This still maintains availability of capacity for those spiky traffic patterns. 

AWS IAM Identity Center Adds APIs to Manage Users and Groups

In September, AWS answered one of the biggest complaints from users of the IAM Identity Center Service (Formerly known as AWS SSO). If you are managing access across multiple AWS accounts with the IAM Identity Center service, you can use APIs to create, delete, read, and update users, groups, and their permissions. These APIs are generally available, and you can try them out anywhere you are using the service.

AWS Step Functions Adds 14 New Intrinsic Functions

To quote AWS, “Now, Step Functions makes it easier to perform data processing tasks such as array manipulation, JSON object manipulation, and math functions within your workflows without having to invoke downstream services or add Task states.” 

Less code you have to write is always a win!

Workload consolidation is now available for Karpenter

And if you haven’t used Karpenter before, it is an open source Kubernetes cluster-autoscaler that helps improve application availability — and operational overhead — by scaling your cluster based on cluster workload

You can use Karpenter with EKS, or any other conformant Kubernetes cluster. So if you’re using Kubernetes in any form, then you need to know about this! 

As the workloads in a Kubernetes cluster increase, it can be necessary to launch new EC2 instances to cope with the increased workload. Over time these instances can become under-utilized; for instance, if workloads scale down, or get removed from the cluster.

That’s all the big September headlines for AWS wrapped up! 

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