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Yes, Werner Vogels knows AWS has a lot of services: Highlights from re:Invent Day 4

Eric Pulsifer
Eric Pulsifer

At AWS re:Invent 2021 on Thursday, AWS announced efforts to improve sustainability and put the spotlight on new and updated tools, including AWS Global WAN, AWS SDK for Rust, AWS CDK v2, the next gen of AWS forums, and more!


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One of the big attractions of the day was the keynote from Amazon.com CTO Werner Vogels, which you can watch online here. We also got news of a potential game changer with AWS Amplify Studio.

For a deeper dive into what was covered, we turned to ACG Training Architect Jess Alvarez and AWS Community Builder Justin Wheeler (who is also a senior software developer consultant at Bravo LT and an ACG Discord all-star). Jess and Justin are live in Vegas for the event, and offered some picks of top announcements out of Day 4 of re:Invent.

1. Yes, AWS knows it has a lot of services

For perspective on how much AWS has grown (not just in 15 years, but in the last single year), consider the number of services available.

Vogels took a moment to joke in his keynote about the starggering number of these services, which can leave newcomers feeling overwhelmed. (And can make the 168 AWS Services in 2 minutes song feel due for a massive update.)

“By now we have over 200 [services],” Vogels said. “Believe me, I know it’s sometimes overwhelming. But remember: you have asked for this. It’s basically your fault!”

(We’re not taking the time to count, but given we’ve noticed announcements this week calling out access to “as many as 288 services,” the official service count may be closer to 300 at this point. AWS should add a counter on their homepage.)

2. AWS Cloud WAN connects complex, dispersed networks

Jess called out the announcement of AWS Cloud WAN as a highlight.

“This is going to change the way our globalized services, specifically like VPC, are used across different use cases. It opens up a lot of doors for a lot of customers,” she said.

This new WAN (wide area networking) service from AWS is in preview and designed to build, run, and keep tabs on a global network with traffic going between on-prem and cloud.

Justin already has some predictions about what we might see next.

“I definitely think that AWS will give us some sort of configuration options there like they have in the past,” Justin added. “I would speculate maybe something like a WAN flow logs or even some security mechanisms to control that traffic flow.”

3. AWS SDKs for Kotlin, Rust, and Swift

Developers got some very welcome news on Thursday as AWS announced that AWS SDK for Rust, AWS SDK for Swift, and AWS SDK for Kotlin are all currently in developer preview.

“Rust is one specifically that people have been asking for forever,” Jess said. “It was really cool to see them announce it.”

4. AWS CDK v2 now generally available

AWK CDK (Cloud Development Kit), the open-source development framework, gets an update to v2 for JavaScript, TypeScript, Java, Python, .NET, and Go in a single package as AWS announced AWS CDK v2 is now out in GA.

“I loved how they brought Liberty Mutual on to talk about, specifically, how they turned 1,500 lines of CloudFormation template into a 14-line CDK template,” Jess said. “That is absolutely incredible. That got me. Single tear. It’s a beautiful world we live in.”

For resources on how to upgrade to AWS CDK v2, check out the announcement post.

5. AWS adds Sustainability Pillar to Well-Architected Framework, AWS Carbon Footprint tool coming soon

At re:Invent 2021, there was much talk about sustainability, with AWS adding a new Sustainability Pillar to the AWS Well-Architected Framework and an AWS Carbon Footprint Tool, which the company says is “coming soon.”

Vogels said this new Sustainability Pillar will serve to give advice around AWS-observed best practices and is part of a collective push between the company and users to improve sustainability.

“We’ll continue to update the sustainability pillar as we get more and better insights into how to give you advice to build sustainable applications,” he said.

The to-be-released AWS Carbon Footprint Tool will reportedly offer clear metrics about how much carbon you are using in your applications.

Vogels used much of his keynote to encourage more sustainable thinking.

“If you provision something, use it. Don’t let it sit around doing nothing,” he said. “With one click of a button, you can scale up. But with that same button, you can also scale down . . . Every resource that you’re not using is the greenest resource that you can think of.”

The AWS Well-Architected Framework was first laid out in 2015. This set of AWS resources is designed to help people get the most out of AWS. The idea is that by understanding how the pillars work together, builders can elevate their work to new heights. Check out Mark Nunnikohven’s course, Mastering the AWS Well-Architected Framework, to learn more about the Well-Architected Framework.

6. AWS re: Post replaces AWS Forums

On Thursday, AWS announced AWS re:Post, a community-driven Q&A site to get answers about AWS and the architectures people want to build. This will replace the original AWS Forums and offers a combination of crowd-sourcing with expert review. AWS is calling it “a reimagined Q&A experience.”

“This should be really helpful, especially when you get stuck on those projects that you just can’t find the answer to on Google,” Jess said.

Members can earn Karm—uhh . . . reputation points by providing or reviewing answers.

re:Post is up and running now. So go check it out! (And maybe create a post asking AWS marketing team to stop starting products with lowercase letters? The autocorrect struggle is real…)


Can’t get enough AWS re:Invent 2021?

Follow ACG on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to A Cloud Guru on YouTube. And check out the ACG and Pluralsight re:Invent content hub for even more news and AWS resources. Chat it up with cloudy-minded people on the ACG Discord Community.

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