AWS Announcements at a Glance The Highlights from AWS in August 2020

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It’s been an action-packed month with all of the announcements and updates coming from AWS this August! As usual, what follows isn’t an exhaustive list of all the AWS announcements made this month, but is instead a hand-picked selection most likely to assist enterprise thought leaders working to drive cloud adoption and efficiency within their organizations. This month’s key announcements include Amazon Fraud Detector, AWS Glue 2.0, Amazon GuardDuty for Amazon S3, AWS Contact Center Intelligence, and new Amazon EBS Volume Type (io2).

Amazon Fraud Detector

Amazon Fraud Detector is a fully managed service that helps customers identify potentially fraudulent online activities such as the creation of fake accounts, and online payment fraud. It leverages machine learning (ML), historical user data, and 20 years of fraud detection expertise from Amazon to train and build a model to automatically identify these threats. Announced at re: Invent in 2019, it is now generally available.

You do not need to have machine learning experience to use this service. From a high level, the concept is to upload data to train, test, and deploy a fraud-detection model. Once the model is deployed, it can be used as an endpoint that generates fraud predictions to be consumed by your applications.

To learn more about Amazon Fraud Detector, visit the Amazon Fraud Detector product page, blog post, and documentation.

AWS Glue 2.0

AWS Glue is a fully managed extract, transform, and load (ETL) service that allows customers to easily prepare and load their data from different sources into their storage choices for analytics. This service has been generally available for a long time, with many companies using it for data ingestion/transformation/hydration of their data lake/data mart/data warehouse. AWS Glue version 2.0 is now generally available and features Spark ETL jobs that start 10x faster, the reduction in startup time reduces the overall job completion times and aids customers with micro-batching and time-sensitive workloads. It is billed in 1-second increments with a 10x lower minimum billing duration – from a 10-minutes minimum to a 1-minute minimum. As a result, customers can now run micro-batch, deadline sensitive, interactive workloads more cost-effectively. In addition, you can now stop and restart your AWS Glue workflows, a feature that was not available before.

To learn more about AWS Glue 2.0, check out the documentation here.

Amazon GuardDuty for S3

The default security features for Amazon S3 are great, it supports access management, blocking unintentional public access, bucket policies, encryption at rest, and more. However, when humans are involved, things become a bit more complicated. Fortunately, AWS GuardDuty can help to continuously monitor and profile Amazon S3 data access events and Amazon S3 configurations to detect suspicious activities such as requests coming from an unusual geo-location, disabling of preventative controls such as Amazon S3 Block Public Access. Amazon GuardDuty uses a combination of anomaly detection, machine learning, and continuously updated threat intelligence. To learn more about Amazon GuardDuty for S3 visit this link.

AWS Contact Center Intelligence solutions

AWS Contact Center Intelligence (CCI) solutions enable companies to improve their Contact Center’s customer experience by leveraging off-the-shelf AWS machine learning services such as Amazon Translate (Translation), Amazon Transcribe (Speech to Text), AWS Polly (Text to Speech), AWS Kendra (Enterprise search), Amazon Lex (Chatbots), Amazon Comprehend (language comprehension). Users can work with participating APN partners to add AI capabilities mentioned above to their existing contact center solution. The CCI solutions focus on three stages of the contact center workflow:

  • Self-Service: ChatBots and AI-driven interactive Voice Response to answer different queries from customers. Customers can find their answers or complete a certain action without the assistance of a live agent 24/7/365.
  • Live Call Analytics & Agent Assist: AI-powered speech analytics in real-time which converts conversation audio to text and performs analysis on it. Provides and builds up an internal knowledge base to assist agents in finding answers faster to different queries by customers.
  • Post-Call Analytics: Convert previously-stored calls or chats to text and perform analysis on it, which helps agents and supervisors to better understand conversations with customers. Build up dashboards, which can drive agent and operational performance statistics, provide insights for managers, quality assurance personnel, and other leadership groups.

To learn more about AWS Contact Center Intelligence solutions, click here.

New Amazon EBS Volume Type (io2)

The new io2 (Amazon EBS Provisioned IOPS SSD volume type) is available now in most of the AWS regions. It supports all features of io1 volumes with the exception of Multi-Attach. It comes with two key benefits:

  1. It has 99.999% durability which is 100x more reliable than an io1 volume
  2. It provides 10x More IOPS/GiB

The pricing remains the same as the existing io1 volumes. The two key improvements listed above make the io2 volumes a perfect fit for your high-performance, business-critical databases, and workloads. For example, IBM DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, and SAP HANA.

To find out more about io2, check out the Amazon EBS documentation here.

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