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

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As we start the last quarter of an interesting 2020 and look forward to the holiday season, AWS continues to release new products and services as well as provide enhancements to some of their key services. In this blog, we’ve highlighted some of the key new services and enhancements that have been announced in October. AWS Outposts continues to add services, Amazon Rekognition gets some timely enhancements, Amazon Timestream is now Generally Available, AWS Architecture Center gets an improved UI, and Amazon Honeycode adds a new template. This blog is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all October announcements from AWS, but rather a curation of a few announcements we feel could benefit the enterprise thought leaders working to drive cloud adoption and efficiency within their organizations.

AWS Outposts adds Amazon S3 and Amazon ElastiCache

AWS continues to invest in and add services to their AWS Outposts offering. This month they announced the addition of Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon ElastiCache. AWS Outposts is a fully managed service that offers users access to AWS infrastructure, AWS services, APIs, and tools in their datacenter, co-location space, or on-premises environment.

Amazon S3 on Outposts has been added in all regions where AWS Outposts is available. This brings one of the most used AWS services to Outposts and will allow users to store and retrieve their object data the same way they do in their AWS region. This will also help users that have data residency requirements and need to keep data locally. AWS Outposts is connected to an AWS region and prior to Amazon S3 being made available locally on AWS Outposts, users were able to access Amazon S3 in a regular AWS region. Amazon S3 Outposts allows users to add 48 TB or 96 TB of Amazon S3 Storage and create up to 100 buckets on each Outpost.

With the addition of Amazon ElastiCache to AWS Outposts, users can improve performance and scalability of applications that require frequent access to large amounts of data. Having Amazon ElastiCache on-premise in an Outpost will facilitate use cases that require the data and application to be in close proximity. Also, because Amazon ElastiCache is a fully managed AWS service, users no longer need to worry about management tasks. Additional features for Amazon ElasticCache include:

  • Automatic backups to an AWS Region
  • The ability to manage cloud and on-premise clusters using the AWS Console, APIs, and CLI
  • Amazon ElastiCache on Outposts supports Redis and Memcached caching engines

For more information on Amazon S3 on Outposts, click here.

For more information on Amazon ElastiCache on Outposts, click here.

Amazon Rekognition Enhancements

Amazon Rekognition added some great and timely new features this month. Amazon Rekognition uses deep learning technology to help analyze images and videos. Below is a summary of the functionality added this month which includes: Detection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), new content moderation categories, and creation of custom labels with a single inference API.

As you can imagine, the need to detect PPE has been highly in demand given the global pandemic. This month, AWS announced that Amazon Rekognition now detects Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which includes the ability to detect face coverings/masks, hand coverings/gloves, and head coverings on people. The use case for detecting face and hand coverings is one that many companies are actively seeking to solve. Using the DetectProtectiveEquipment API, users can quickly build a system to scan images and videos and identify when people are wearing the correct PPE and provide reporting or alerting when a person is detected not wearing the correct PPE.

Another feature of Amazon Rekognition is that it allows users to detect the inappropriate or offensive image and video content. This month Amazon Rekognition added new content moderation categories which include; ‘Drugs’, ‘Tobacco’, ‘Alcohol’, ‘Gambling’, ‘Rude Gestures’, and ‘Hate Symbols’. These additional categories will help reduce the reliance on human moderators. Also, as part of this upgrade, Amazon Rekognition improved the detection rate of already supported categories which include: ‘Explicit Nudity’, ‘Suggestive’, ‘Violence’, and ‘Visually Disturbing’.

For more information on Amazon Rekognition now detecting PPE, click here

For more information on Amazon Rekognition new content moderation categories, click here

Amazon Timestream is now Generally Available

Based in Houston, Texas (the Energy capital of the world), I can definitely see a big use case for Amazon Timestream. Amazon Timestream is a fast, scalable, and serverless time-series database. Oil and gas companies have used time-series databases for decades to collect and help monitor fields and facilities. Monitoring hydrocarbon production, flow, machine operations, and manufacturing lines is a key metric that helps companies be efficient and effective. With more and more companies expanding their IoT capabilities, resulting in an ever-growing amount of data that is generated, being able to capture that data and turn it into value-added business information will continue to increase.

Amazon Timestream can scale to process trillions of events per day and it can do it 1,000 times faster than a relational database. Amazon Timestream is serverless and integrates with data collection, visualization, and machine learning tools. Amazon Timestream also offers analytic features that can help customers identify trends and patterns in the data. By integrating Amazon Timestream with IoT Core, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon SageMaker, and Amazon Quicksight, users can build a robust solution that is fast, scalable, and cost-effective.

For more information on Amazon Timestream, click here

Amazon Honeycode Employee Onboarding template

For those looking to build and deploy custom applications without programming, Amazon Honeycode provides a powerful platform where users can quickly and easily build collaborative applications. This month, Amazon Honeycode announced a template to automate employee onboarding. It’s no secret that more and more companies are switching to remote workforces during the COVID-19 outbreak and some are even switching permanently. With the Amazon Honeycode Employee onboarding template, companies can build, customize, and deploy an application that will work on mobile devices and personal computers.

For more information on Amazon Honeycode, click here

AWS Redesigned Architecture Center

AWS is making it easier to find architectures and solutions that users can leverage when building their AWS environment. This month, AWS launched a redesigned AWS Architecture Center. The redesigned site allows users to search and filter by technology domains including; Analytics & Big Data, Compute, Containers, Databases, Migration, Storage, and Security. All reference architectures are vetted by AWS and ensure that users can start with a Well-Architected solution. To help ensure the content is up to date, AWS has included the ability for users to share feedback and request more content. To view the redesigned AWS Architecture Center, click here.

For more information on the redesigned AWS Architecture Center view details, click here

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