6 min read

Looks like Christmas has come early this year for AWS developers! Following Microsoft’s Surface devices and Amazon’s wide range of Alex products, the latter has once again made a series of big releases, at the Amazon re:Invent 2018 conference.

These announcements include an AWS RoboMaker to help developers test and deploy robotics applications, AWS Transfer for SFTP – Fully Managed SFTP Service for Amazon S3, EC2 Instances (A1) Powered by Arm-Based AWS Graviton Processors, Amazon EC2 C5n Instances Featuring 100 Gbps of Network Bandwidth and much more!

Let’s take a look at what developers can expect from these releases.

#1 AWS RoboMaker helps developers develop, test, deploy robotics applications at scale

The AWS RoboMaker allows developers to develop, simulate, test, and deploy intelligent robotics applications at scale. Code can be developed inside of a cloud-based development environment and can be tested in a Gazebo simulation. Finally, they can deploy the finished code to a fleet of one or more robots.

RoboMaker uses an open-source robotics software framework, Robot Operating System (ROS), with connectivity to cloud services. The service suit includes AWS machine learning services, monitoring services, and analytics services that enable a robot to stream data, navigate, communicate, comprehend, and learn.

RoboMaker can work with robots of many different shapes and sizes running in many different physical environments. After a developer designs and codes an algorithm for the robot, they can also monitor how the algorithm performs in different conditions or environments.

You can check an interesting simulation of a Robot using Robomaker at the AWS site.
To learn more about ROS, read The Open Source Robot Operating System (ROS) and AWS RoboMaker.

#2 AWS Transfer for SFTP – Fully Managed SFTP Service for Amazon S3

AWS Transfer for SFTP is a fully managed service that enables the direct transfer of files to and fro Amazon S3 using the Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). Users just have to create a server, set up user accounts, and associate the server with one or more Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) buckets.

AWS allows users to migrate their file transfer workflows to AWS Transfer for SFTP- by integrating with existing authentication systems, and providing DNS routing with Amazon Route 53. Along with AWS services, acustomer’ss data in S3 can be used for processing, analytics, machine learning, and archiving.

Along with control over user identity, permissions, and keys; users will have full access to the underlying S3 buckets and can make use of many different S3 features including lifecycle policies, multiple storage classes, several options for server-side encryption, versioning, etc.

On the outbound side, users can generate reports, documents, manifests, custom software builds and so forth using other AWS services, and then store them in S3 for each, controlled distribution to your customers and partners.

#3 EC2 Instances (A1) Powered by Arm-Based AWS Graviton Processors

Amazon has launched EC2 instances powered by Arm-based AWS Graviton Processors. These are built around Arm cores. The A1 instances are optimized for performance and cost and are a great fit for scale-out workloads where the load has to be shared across a group of smaller instances. This includes containerized microservices, web servers, development environments, and caching fleets.

AWS Graviton are custom designed by AWS and deliver targeted power, performance, and cost optimizations.

A1 instances are built on the AWS Nitro System, that  maximizes resource efficiency for customers while still supporting familiar AWS and Amazon EC2 instance capabilities such as EBS, Networking, and AMIs.

#4 Introducing Amazon EC2 C5n Instances featuring 100 Gbps of Network Bandwidth

AWS announced the availability of C5n instances that can utilize up to 100 Gbps of network bandwidth to provide a significantly higher network performance across all instance sizes, ranging from 25 Gbps of peak bandwidth on smaller instance sizes to 100 Gbps of network bandwidth on the largest instance size. They are powered by 3.0 GHz Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors (Skylake) and provide support for the Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (AVX-512) instruction set. These instances also feature 33% higher memory footprint compared to C5 instances and are ideal for applications that can take advantage of improved network throughput and packet rate performance.

Based on the next generation AWS Nitro System, C5n instances make 100 Gbps networking available to network-bound workloads.  Workloads on C5n instances take advantage of the security, scalability and reliability of Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). The improved network performance will accelerate data transfer to and from S3, reducing the data ingestion wait time for applications and speeding up delivery of results.

#5  Introducing AWS Global Accelerator

AWS Global Accelerator is a  a network layer service that enables organizations to seamlessly route traffic to multiple regions, while improving availability and performance for their end users. It supports both TCP and UDP protocols, and performs a health check of a user’s target endpoints while routing traffic away from unhealthy applications. AWS Global Accelerator uses AWS’ global network to direct internet traffic from an organization’s users to their applications running in AWS Regions  based on a users geographic location, application health, and routing policies that can be configured.

You can head over to the AWS blog to get an in-depth view of how this service works.

#6 Amazon’s  ‘Machine Learning University’

In addition to these announcements at re:Invent, Amazon also released a blog post introducing its ‘Machine Learning University’, where the company announced that the same machine learning courses used to train engineers at Amazon can now be availed by all developers through AWS. These courses, available as part of a new AWS Training and Certification Machine Learning offering, will help organizations accelerate the growth of machine learning skills amongst their employees. With more than 30 self-service, self-paced digital courses and over 45 hours of courses, videos, and labs, developers can be rest assured that ML fundamental and  real-world examples and labs, will help them explore the domain. What’s more? The digital courses are available at no charge and developers only have to pay for the services used in labs and exams during their training.

This announcement came right after Amazon Echo Auto was launched at Amazon’s Hardware event. In what Amazon defines as ‘Alexa to vehicles’, the Amazon Echo Auto is a small dongle that plugs into the car’s infotainment system, giving drivers the smart assistant and voice control for hands-free interactions. Users can ask for things like traffic reports, add products to shopping lists and play music through Amazon’s entertainment system.

Head over to What’s new with AWS to stay updated on upcoming AWS announcements.

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