Friday, June 14, 2024

Amazon Delivers Cloud Superpowers

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When it comes to the cloud, no single vendor is bigger than Amazon, and when it comes to cloud conferences there is nothing like Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent. While most technology vendors use conferences to announce several new services, Amazon uses its re:Invent keynotes to announce dozens of new services.

At the re:Invent 2016 conference that wraps up today in Las Vegas, Amazon announced new code, developer, artificial intelligence, database and security services. The new services will add to AWS existing roster which helped Amazon to generate $3.2 billion in cloud revenue during the third quarter of its fiscal 2016.

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AWS CEO Andy Jassy used the theme of giving organizations and developers ‘superpowers’ during his keynote. Among the superpowers that Jassy wants developers to have in the cloud is Artificial Intelligence (AI). Three new AI services were announced including Amazon Lex, which gives organization the ability to build conversational voice based interfaces, similar to Amazon’s Alexa consumer service.

While Lex gives cloud applications to converse, the new Polly service gives the cloud up to 42 voices that can be used for text-to-speech services. The third new AI service is called Rekognize which provides image analysis to help detect objects and faces.

Amazon also wants to make it easier for organizations to get into the cloud, which is where the new Amazon Lightsail service fits in. Lightsail is a direct competitor to the popular DigitalOcean cloud service, which provides users with Virtual Private Services (VPS) starting at only $5 a month, including compute, storage and data bandwidth.

Data processing is also a superpower that Amazon wants to give the cloud, with the new Amazon Athena service. Athena is a query service for Amazon’s popular S3 storage platform.

“Customers have frequently asked us whether we could make it easy for anyone to run queries on their data in Amazon S3 without having to worry about provisioning or managing servers and clusters. Now they can,” Raju Gulabani, Vice President, Databases, Analytics, and AI, AWS, said in a statement. “There is absolutely zero admin with Amazon Athena – anyone who can write a SQL query can analyze their data in Amazon S3.”

For developers, there are also several new tools to help in the code development and deployment lifecycle. The new AWS Codebuild service provides a cloud platform for code compilation while Amazon-X-Ray is a way to identify bugs and performance issues in code. Managed batch processing comes to the cloud with AWS Batch and AWS Step Functions enables the co-ordinations of distributed applications.

Data transformation gets superpowers with the new AWS Glue service which provides ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) capabilities to users. Security is also key focus for Amazon and is being address with the new AWS Shield platform which provides Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection for cloud users.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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