AWS Announcements at a Glance: The Highlights from AWS in March 2021

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Welcome to the end of first quarter! Spring has sprung, and although many of us are just now thawing out, AWS continues to bring the heat with over a hundred announcements for new, innovative, and improved services. Here are just a few highlights that we feel have significant value for an organization rethinking how they solve problems by leveraging the latest that AWS has to offer.

Amazon S3 Glacier announces a 40% price reduction for PUT and Lifecycle requests

Ask any CIO what they like most about Amazon S3 Glacier, and cost—specifically low cost–is likely to be the top answer. Amazon has announced a 40% decrease in the cost of PUT and lifecycle requests, making a great storage service even better. This price decrease directly affects API usage of PUT requests, and S3 Lifecycle policies to move data from S3 to S3 Glacier.

This change took effect March 1st, and affects all AWS regions, including AWS GovCloud (US) regions, and the AWS China (Beijing and Ningxia) regions.

To learn more about Amazon S3 Glacier price reduction for PUT and Lifecycle requests, check out the official announcement.

Amazon ECS now supports executing commands in a container running on Amazon EC2 or AWS Fargate

While containers are great,accessing containers interactively for debugging or troubleshooting can be a challenge. This month, the Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) team introduced Amazon ECS Exec, an interactive shell that gives you the ability to access a running container on Amazon EC2 or Amazon Fargate. With Amazon ECS Exec, you don’t have to interact with the host instance or deal with opening SSH ports. Instead, you create IAM policies to control who can execute commands against specific clusters, tasks, or containers, and use ECS Exec to either run an interactive command line, or send commands via the API. Amazon ECS Exec is available in all regions, and like many AWS services, there is no additional cost to use ECS Exec, but any resources created with ECS Exec could incur additional costs.

To learn more about the Amazon ECS Exec release, check out the official announcement.

New Digital Courses: AWS Cloud Technical Essentials and Amazon S3 Cost Optimization

If you’re just starting out on your AWS cloud journey, the fundamentals are a good way to start getting the hang of it. The AWS Training and Certification team have launched two new courses: a new course to teach the technical fundamentals of AWS, and a course on Amazon S3 Cost Optimization. AWS Cloud Technical Essentials is an introductory level course that will familiarize developers, architects, and other technical roles with some of the AWS core services, including compute, storage, and database. Amazon S3 Cost Optimization is an hour-long course that briefly covers how to control and optimize your Amazon S3 spend.

AWS Cloud Technical Essentials is available free on Coursera and edX. You can find the announcement here.

You can enroll in the Amazon S3 Cost Optimization course here, and check out more information here.

Amazon RDS Proxy adds read-only endpoints for Aurora Replicas, and now supports database connectivity from multiple Amazon VPCs.

Amazon RDS Proxy is a highly available database proxy service that allows applications to pool and share database connections without provisioning any additional infrastructure or having to re-factor code. This month, Amazon announced that RDS Proxy now supports the creation of additional endpoints across multiple VPCs, cross-VPC access to applications. Amazon RDS Proxy also now supports read-only endpoints for Amazon Aurora Replicas. With the addition of read-only endpoints, you can now pool and share read-only connections to Amazon Aurora Replicas. In the case of a Replica failure, RDS Proxy will automatically connect to the next available Aurora Replica without dropping current connections.

You can read more about the Amazon RDS Proxy service here.

Amazon Introduces Lower Cost Storage Classes for EFS

If you have shared data that does not need all the benefits of high availability, Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) now supports One Zone, a single Availability Zone (single-AZ) storage class that reduces the cost of EFS by 47%. One Zone is tailor-made for non-critical development environments where highly available EFS is not required. One Zone storage is currently available in a limited number of regions, so check out the announcement here for more details.

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