Top 5 Takeaways from AWS re:Invent 2019
By Joe Conlin, 2nd Watch
AWS re:Invent always presents us with a cornucopia of new cloud capabilities to build with and be inspired by, so listing just a few of the top takeaways can be a real challenge. There are the announcements that I would classify as “this is cool, I can’t wait to hack on this,” which for me, a MIDI-aficionado and ML-wannabe, would include DeepComposer. Then there are other announcements that fall in the “good to know in case I ever need it” bucket such as AWS LocalZones. And finally, there are those that jump out at us because “our clients have been asking for this, hallelujah!” I’m going to prioritize this list based on the latter group to start, but check back in a few months because, if my DeepComposer synthpop track drops on SoundCloud, I might want to revisit these rankings.
#5. AWS Compute Optimizer
AWS Compute Optimizer uses machine learning techniques to analyze the history of resource consumption on your account and make well-articulated and actionable recommendations tailored to your resource usage.
Our options for EC2 instance types continues to evolve and grow over time. These evolutions address optimizations for specialized workloads (e.g., the new Inf1 instances), which means better performance-to-cost for those types of workloads.
The challenge for enterprises moving to the cloud is maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of the options available and continually applying the best instance types to the needs of their workloads on an ongoing basis. That is a lot of information to keep up on, understand and manage, and you’re probably wondering, “How do other companies deal with this?”
Those managing it best have tools (such as CloudHealth) to help, but cost optimization is an area that requires continual attention and experience to yield the best results. Where AWS Compute Optimizer will immediately add value is surfacing inefficiencies at zero cost of third-party tools to get started. You will need to have the CloudWatch agent installed to gather OS-level metrics for the best results, but this is a standard requirement for these types of tools. What remains to be seen in the coming months is how Compute Optimizer compares to the commercial third-party tools on the market in terms of uncovering overall savings opportunities. However, the obvious advantage for third-party tools remaining unaffected by this change will be their ability to optimize across multiple cloud service providers.
#4. Amazon ECS Now Supports Active Directory Authentication Using Windows Accounts gMSA
Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) now supports Windows group Managed Service Account (gMSA), a new capability that allows ECS customers to authenticate and authorize their Windows containers with network resources using an Active Directory (AD). Customers can now easily use Integrated Windows Authentication with their Windows containers on ECS to secure services.
This announcement was not part of any keynote, but it is definitely making my list. Over the course of the past year, several of our clients on a container adoption path for their .NET workloads were stymied by this very lack of Windows gMSA support.
Drivers for migrating these .NET apps from EC2 to containers includes easier blue/green deployments for faster time-to-market, simplified operations by minimizing overall Windows footprint to monitor and manage, and …