And here we are at AWS Re:Invent 2019 coming off all of the announcements and happenings for the week. Today’s article is going to cover off all the day 0 and Day 1 announcements that have come out of Midnight Madness and Monday Night Live. The complete list of announcements from Day 0 and 1 are:
- AWS DeepComposer – Compose Music with Generative Machine Learning Models
- New AWS Program to Help Future-proof Your End-of-Support Windows Server Applications
- A New, Simplified, Bring-Your-Own-License Experience for Microsoft Windows Server and SQL Server
- Automate OS Image Build Pipelines with EC2 Image Builder
- Amazon Transcribe Medical – Real-Time Automatic Speech Recognition for Healthcare Customers
- Identify Unintended Resource Access with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) Access Analyzer
AWS DeepComposer – Compose Music with Generative Machine Learning Models
AWS has made a little bit of a habit over the last few years of releasing new hardware at Re:Invent. These products have been aimed at helping people get started with Machine Learning. This year has proven to be no different with the release of DeepComposer, an ML-enabled musical Keyboard… musical keyboard that is.
To quote from the original announcement available on the AWS Blog (here). “Machine learning (ML) requires quite a bit of math, computer science, code, and infrastructure. These topics are exceedingly important but to a lot of aspiring ML developers, they look overwhelming and sometimes, dare I say it, boring.”
DeepCoomposer is in preview today (sign up details are in Julien’s blog linked above) and you’ll be notified when it becomes generally available.
New AWS Program to Help Future-proof Your End-of-Support Windows Server Applications
It’s pretty likely that this one is going to head straight into my bag of tricks to help out with those old painful workloads you are trying to migrate into the cloud. AWS has announced the AWS End-Of-Support Migration Program (EMP) for Windows Server service.
Again, quoting from AWS’s official announcement on the AWS New Blog: “This new program combines technology with expert guidance, to migrate your legacy applications running on outdated versions of Windows Server to newer, supported versions on AWS.
If you are facing Windows Server 2008 end-of-support, this program offers a unique solution and path forward that solves the issue for the long-term as opposed to just delaying the decision for another day. It is important to note, you don’t need to make a single code change in the legacy application and you also do not require the original installation media or source code.”
Martin Beeby has done a fantastic job in documenting how this service works and the process for leveraging a partner to help you with your project. The article is available here.
A New, Simplified, Bring-Your-Own-License Experience for Microsoft Windows Server and SQL Server
When migrating existing workloads into the cloud, one of the big expenses is working out what to do with your existing licenses with the largest typically being Microsoft Windows and SQL Server. Today AWS has simplified the BYOL experience for users deploying new workloads. While it’s currently only available in the US-East and (North Virginia) and US-West (Oregon) regions, it will be expanding out to other regions in the comings days. Steve Roberts has written an article available on the AWS Blog that steps through the new process and shows how simple the process has become (Article available here).
Automate OS Image Build Pipelines with EC2 Image Builder
One of the first things we do when working with new migration customers (after setting up their landing zone) is helping develop an AMI baking pipeline. This pipeline ensures that images are always built inline with company policy and ensures that new updates to Operating Systems or applications can be deployed quickly and easily. Well, that’s all about to change with the release of EC2 Image Builder available in all regions today. While it only supports Windows and Amazon Linux 2 today, it is a free service. Steve Roberts also wrote the announcement article which can be found here.
Amazon Transcribe Medical
This one is short and sweet. AWS has now released Amazon Transcribe Medical, a version of Amazon Transcribe optimised for the medical industry. This will enable Medical professionals to simply record their clinical notes and have Transcribe automatically convert them to text.
Transcribe Medical is available today in the US East (North Virginia) and US West (Oregon) regions. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, you can take a look at Julien Simon’s article on the AWS Blog available here.
Amazon Braket – Get Started with Quantum Computing
This one gets my vote for service I really want to play with but have absolutely no need for at this stage. For those who have been in the AWS game for a while now might remember Jeff Barr’s April Fool’s joke from 2010 where he spoke about the Quantum Computing Cloud (Article available here. Well, Today he writes another article about AWS offering Quantum Computing, only this time… it’s not a joke. Today AWS has announced the release (in private Beta) of their new Amazon Braket service for Fulled managed Quantum Computing. Now, I can’t think of a use case for this right now, but if you have a potential use case for quantum computing…. please reach out. For the rest of you, you can read Jeff’s Blog article here which also contains a collection of useful resource links.
Identify Unintended Resource Access with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) Access Analyzer
And last but certainly not least for this article is the announcement of IAM Access Analyzer. (quoting from the release article) ” IAM Access Analyzer mathematically analyzes access control policies attached to resources and determines which resources can be accessed publicly or from other accounts. It continuously monitors all policies for Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) buckets, IAM roles, AWS Key Management Service (KMS) keys, AWS Lambda functions, and Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) queues. With IAM Access Analyzer, you have visibility into the aggregate impact of your access controls, so you can be confident your resources are protected from unintended access from outside of your account.”
I will be doing an article in the coming days where I take this service for a spin to really see what it can do. In the meantime, you can take a look at Brandon West’s article (available here) which contains a good high-level walkthrough of the service as it’s available today and it’s free.
And that’s the highlights from Day 1 of AWS re:Invent. I’ll be continuing to publish content from re:Invent 2019 and keep an eye out for my summary of the conference at the end of the week.