So, last night PST brought us “Monday Night Live” hosted by “Peter DeSantis – Vice President AWS Global Infrastructure and Customer Support” and the session didn’t disappoint. In addition to the presentation, we we’re again bombarded with new Product announcements we can add to out list including:

  • Firecracker – Lightweight Virtualization for Serverless Computing
  • C5n Instances with 100 Gbps Networking
  • EC2 Instances (A1) Powered by Arm-Based AWS Graviton Processors
  • AWS Transit Gateway
  • AWS Global Accelerator


Firecracker – Lightweight Virtualization for Serverless Computing

Firecracker implements a virtual machine monitor (VMM) that uses the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) to create and manage microVMs. Firecracker has a minimalist design. It excludes unnecessary devices and guest functionality to reduce the memory footprint and attack surface area of each microVM. This improves security, decreases the startup time, and increases hardware utilization. Firecracker currently supports Intel CPUs, with planned AMD and Arm support. Firecracker will also be integrated with popular container runtimes such as containerd.


C5n Instances with 100 Gbps Networking

C5n instances are powered by 3.0 GHz Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors (Skylake) and provide support for the Intel Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (AVX-512) instruction set. Based on the next generation AWS Nitro System, C5n instances make 100 Gbps networking available to network-bound workloads without requiring customers to use custom drivers or recompile applications. Workloads on C5n instances will continue to take advantage of the security, scalability and reliability of Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Customers can also take advantage of this improved network performance to accelerate data transfer to and from S3, reducing the data ingestion wait time for applications and speeding up delivery of results. A wide range of applications such as High Performance Computing (HPC), analytics, machine learning, Big Data and data lake applications can benefit from these instances.


EC2 Instances (A1) Powered by Arm-Based AWS Graviton Processors

AWS Graviton processors are a new line of processors that are custom designed by AWS utilising Amazon’s extensive expertise in building platform solutions for cloud applications running at scale. These processors deliver targeted power, performance, and cost optimisations. A1 instances deliver cost savings for customer workloads that can run Arm instructions and fit within the available A1 memory footprint. These include applications such as web servers, containerised micro services, caching fleets, distributed data stores, as well as development environments. These instances will also appeal to developers, enthusiasts, and educators across the Arm developer community. Most applications that make use of open source software like Apache HTTP Server, Perl, PHP, Ruby, Python, NodeJS, and Java easily run on multiple processor architectures due to the support of Linux based operating systems. If you’re primarily using open source packages from your favorite Linux distribution or building your own applications from source, we encourage you to give the new A1 instances a try. A1 instances are built on the AWS Nitro System, a combination of dedicated hardware and lightweight hypervisor, which maximises resource efficiency for customers while still supporting familiar AWS and Amazon EC2 instance capabilities such as EBS, Networking, and AMIs. Amazon Linux 2, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu and ECS optimised AMIs are available today for A1 instances.

unfortunately, Amazon EC2 A1 instances are currently only available in the US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and Europe (Ireland) Regions. These instances are available in 5 sizes, with 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 vCPUs and are purchasable as On-Demand, Reserved or Spot Instances.

AWS Transit Gateway

AWS Transit Gateway is a service that enables customers to connect their Amazon Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) and their on-premises networks to a single gateway. As you grow the number of workloads running on AWS, you need to be able to scale your networks across multiple accounts and Amazon VPCs to keep up with the growth. Today, you can connect pairs of Amazon VPCs using peering. However, managing point-to-point connectivity across many Amazon VPCs, without the ability to centrally manage the connectivity policies, can be operationally costly and cumbersome. For on-premises connectivity, you need to attach your AWS VPN to each individual Amazon VPC. This solution can be time consuming to build and hard to manage when the number of VPCs grows into the hundreds.


AWS Global Accelerator

To improve the availability of your application, you must monitor the health of your application endpoints and route traffic only to healthy endpoints. AWS Global Accelerator improves application availability by continuously monitoring the health of your application endpoints and routing traffic to the closest healthy endpoints. AWS Global Accelerator also makes it easier to manage your global applications by providing static IP addresses that act as a fixed entry point to your application hosted on AWS which eliminates the complexity of managing specific IP addresses for different AWS Regions and Availability Zones. AWS Global Accelerator is easy to set up, configure and manage.

Amazon Web Services, Cloud Infrastructure