AWS Announcements at a Glance: The Highlights from AWS in May 2020

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AWS Announcements May 2020

This month’s AWS Summit Online gave us a glimpse into what may be here to stay in the near future: virtual conferences! The AWS Summit Online sessions focused on artificial intelligence, machine learning, data and analytics, migration, modernization, and security. The impact of how we do business during the global pandemic was not lost in many of the key speakers’ presentations and they recognized that technology and cloud computing will play a key factor in how business is done going forward.

This blog is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all the AWS announcements in May, but rather a curation of ones we feel could benefit the enterprise thought leaders working to drive cloud adoption and efficiency within their organizations. This month, the shortlist includes price reductions in both Cost Savings Plans and Internet of Things (IoT), to new ways to monitor your spend in Cost Optimizer, the general availability of Kendra for enterprise search, AWS Elemental Link to power video streaming, enhancements to Amazon Chime and the new AWS SaaS Competency.

Price Reductions and Improved Cost Monitoring

During these tough economic times, one of the topics we hear from our customers is their need to reduce spend and improve cost monitoring. Customers that have migrated to the cloud or are in the process of migrating share a common need to ensure they can monitor and predict their AWS cost. Also, with business bottom lines being impacted, many are looking for ways to reduce technology spend. AWS understands this and announced an Amazon EC2 price reduction, 90%+ price reduction for AWS IoT Jobs, and added five Cost Optimization checks to AWS Trusted Advisor.

Amazon EC2 price reductions for Standard Reserved Instances and for Instance Savings Plan vary by region and can be as high as a 16% price reduction. For those running Internet of Things (IoT) workloads and who need to monitor, track, and manage connected devices; running AWS IoT Device Jobs just got a whole lot less expensive as AWS is reducing AWS IoT jobs by 90% globally. Finally, to help customers better monitor and optimize their cost, AWS has added five new Cost Optimization checks to AWS Trusted Advisor. AWS Trusted Advisor is an application that uses best practices from AWS to inspect your AWS environment and make recommendations for cost savings and performance improvements. The new Cost Optimization checks include:

Savings Plan – Checks your usage of Amazon EC2, AWS Fargate, and AWS Lambda and provides Savings Plan purchase recommendations, which allows you to commit to a consistent usage amount in exchange for discounted rates.

Amazon ElastiCache Reserved Node Optimization – Checks your usage of Amazon ElastiCache and provides recommendations on purchase of reserved nodes to help reduce costs incurred from using ElastiCache On-Demand.

Amazon Redshift Reserved Node Optimization – Checks your usage of Amazon Redshift and provides recommendations on purchase of reserved nodes to help reduce costs incurred from using Redshift On-Demand.

Amazon Elasticsearch Reserved Instance Optimization – Checks your usage of Amazon Elasticsearch and provides recommendations on purchase of reserved instances to help reduce costs incurred from using Elasticsearch On-Demand.

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) Reserved Instance Optimization – Checks your usage of Amazon RDS and provides recommendations on purchase of reserved instances to help reduce costs incurred from using RDS On-Demand.

Check out the complete list of Trusted Advisor Best Practice Checks and more details on the Amazon EC2 and AWS IoT Jobs price reductions.

Amazon Kendra – General Availability

Keeping with the theme we heard at this month’s AWS Summit Online, Machine Learning (ML) had some notable lanches including the general availability of Amazon Kendra. Amazon Kendra allows enterprises to search across multiple silos of data using real questions (natural language) and leverages machine learning models to understand the content of documents to deliver the more accurate answers. Amazon Kendra allows enterprises to bring all their data repositories including; intranet portals, file systems, Amazon S3, and databases into one centralized location for fast and accurate searching. Other popular sources like SharePoint, Salesforce, ServiceNow, and OneDrive will have connectors offered later this year for integration. Amazon Kendra will also soon offer relevance tuning, auto-completion and incremental learning to help improve search results.

For more information on Amazon Kendra, click here.

AWS Elemental Link

AWS Elemental Link is a device that takes a live video source and sends the video to AWS Cloud Services for distribution to end users. AWS Elemental Link is lightweight (weighs less than 1lb) and compact in size. The device works by connecting live video sources to AWS Elemental MediaLive or Amazon CloudFront for viewers to consume live. As many sporting events, live entertainment, and school events may now have to be done without fans/spectators, AWS Elemental Link can be a solution to help organizations stream live events to consumers quickly and easily. The device comes pre-configured to your AWS account and is easy to set up and use. For set up, you simply have to connect the device to power, internet and the video source. AWS Elemental Link will maximize the quality of the video transfer to the cloud and adapt the video signal to network conditions to improve video transfer performance. For those organizations needing to live stream events quickly and on a budget, AWS Elemental Link is worth evaluating.

For more information on how it works, see the AWS News Blog on AWS Elemental Link here.

AWS SaaS Competency

AWS announced a new competency for SaaS workloads, allowing organizations to easily find qualified partners who are proven to have a deep proficiency in designing SaaS solutions that leverage cloud-native practices and services. Onica is proud to have achieved AWS SaaS Competency status in the Builders and Design Services categories. We’re able to offer design and implementation of complex AWS infrastructure to power SaaS solutions, as well as develop and build cloud-native SaaS applications themselves.

To learn more about the AWS SaaS Competency, see the announcement here.

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