Announcements at a Glance: The Highlights from AWS in January 2019

Onica’s Announcements At A Glance series analyzes the latest AWS news and announcements, simplifying and explaining the significance for AWS consumers.

This Announcement At A Glance was written by Jeff Carson, Customer Solutions Architect at Onica.

This January has brought cold temperatures to much of the United States, as well as a flurry of new announcements from AWS. AWS has a reputation for innovating early and often, and it looks like 2019 will be no exception. We’ve sifted through all of the new announcements from AWS this January and have picked the top few contenders that we believe will help enterprises move cloud adoption forward in significant ways. Backups, content databases, Windows 2019 Server, business efficiency, it’s all here!

AWS Backup

Ever wish you had a single portal on AWS that would give insight into your backup strategy across AWS services and on-premise resources? In typical AWS fashion, your requests have been answered! January brought with it the launch of AWS Backup. AWS Backup is a fully managed, pay as you go backup service that makes it easy to centralize and automate the backup of data across AWS services. You can also centralize and automate on-premise resources using the AWS Storage Gateway, effectively allowing you a single portal for administration, automation, and auditing of backup strategies across your hybrid estate. Currently supported are Amazon EBS volumes, Amazon EFS file systems, Amazon RDS databases, Amazon DynamoDB, and AWS Storage Gateway. You can even move historical backups to Amazon Glacier once they reach a certain age.

Set up is free and easy in the console. With just a few clicks you create a policy called a backup plan. The backup plan defines things like how frequently to back up a resource and how long to retain the backup once created. Assign your AWS resources to a backup plan using tags in the AWS Backup console, and you’ve just automated your backup and retention strategy! Now, backups are automated, policy defined, and in one place, enabling you to meet your business and regulatory backup compliance requirements. You can get up to speed on this soon to be staple managed service at the product site.

Amazon DocumentDB

Let’s say you operate a mission-critical CMS, blog, video sharing site, product catalog, or similar use case. You need an easy way to operate MongoDB at a scale of hundreds of thousands of read and writes per second. Does the thought of managing MongoDB clusters at scale make your head hurt? It doesn’t have to anymore.

Amazon DocumentDB is a fast, scalable, highly available, fully managed document database service that supports MongoDB workloads. You can manage semi-structured data at scale with 99.99% availability and autoscale up to 64 TB per database cluster using a distributed, fault-tolerant, self-healing storage system. Amazon DocumentDB implements the Apache 2.0 open source MongoDB 3.6 API by emulating the responses that a MongoDB client expects from a MongoDB server, allowing you to use your existing MongoDB drivers and tools with Amazon DocumentDB. With the ability to add up to 15 read replicas, developers can scale read capacity to millions of requests per second. Your data is also replicated to six copies across three AWS availability zones for the availability and resiliency you would expect in an AWS managed service offering. You are provided a URI endpoint for your Amazon DocumentDB database. This means that updating your existing application is as easy as switching out the endpoint to point to the new DocumentDB MongoDB cluster. You can learn more about the service here. All of the pricing details surrounding the on-demand pricing model can be found here.

Windows Server 2019 AMI’s are available

Windows Server 2019 AMI’s on AWS bring new features such as small and more efficient containers, support for Linux containers via a subsystem, as well as expanded compatibility features. Below is a list of AMI’s that are now generally available in all public AWS regions and GovCloud. You can find out more on the AWS website here.

  1. Windows Server 2019
  2. Windows Server 2019 with Hyper-V
  3. Windows Server 2019 with Containers
  4. Windows Server 2019 with Select Language Packs
  5. Windows Server 2019 with SQL Server 2017

Amazon WorkLink

What if there was an app you didn’t have to manage that end users could download to their mobile device to gain access to internal company applications and websites, all without configuring a VPN or other access software on the mobile device? What if there was a way you could enhance the end user experience in these use cases without putting your company’s data at risk? Enter Amazon WorkLink.

Amazon WorkLink is a fully managed service that lets you provide your employees with secure, easy access to your internal corporate websites and web apps using their mobile phones.

How does it work? Users download and install the Amazon WorkLink app, then navigate to an internal company website or application using the browser on their phone. Amazon WorkLink securely requests the web content from the corporate environment on behalf of the user. You can use any SAML 2.0 Identity Provider to manage user access and enforce existing security policies. Once access is granted, Amazon WorkLink renders the content in a secure container in AWS and converts it into vector graphics. Amazon WorkLink displays the interactive page on the phone’s browser without storing or caching data. Because everything is rendered in AWS, the user is never granted access to your local network. This allows them to retrieve the information that they have been granted access to retrieve, while protecting the internal network from threats associated with granting mobile user access. This is a perfect use case for common collaboration tools such as Jira and Confluence. Employees can quickly update tickets and docs on the go from their phones!

Currently available in AWS US East (N. Virginia), AWS US East (Ohio), AWS US West (Oregon), and AWS EU (Ireland), the pricing is $5 per active user per month. For more information check out the product page found here.

These solutions are moving forward the ideas of data backup, business efficiency, and content delivery across enterprises using cloud native tools. To follow these updates and gain insights on how they can impact your business, subscribe to our blog!

Ready to revolutionize your business with AWS? Get in touch!

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