Amazon Web Services’ colorful Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer, Werner Vogels, always has been a good storyteller. As a result, when he speaks, people tend to listen.
In his keynote address Dec. 1 on closing day of AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, the celebrated IT thought leader announced the release of 13 new AWS features and services to go with 15 others that the world’s largest cloud services company revealed Nov. 30. As usual, he also colored the news presentation with some perspective of his own.
“My favorite parts of James Bond movies are where 007 gets to visit Q to pick up and learn about new tools of the trade: super-powered tools with special features which that he can use to complete his missions, and, in some cases, get out of some nasty scrapes,” Vogels (pictured) told his audience. “Bond always seems to have the perfect tool for every situation that he finds himself in.
“At AWS, we want to be the Q for developers, giving them the super-powered tools and services with deep features in the cloud. In the hands of builders, the impact of these services has been to completely transform the way applications are developed, debugged, and delivered to customers.”
By the way, “Sean Connery is the definitive Bond,” Vogels said with a smile.
Dev and Ops: Engines for Agility in Enterprises
Although development and operations are often overlooked, they are the engines of agility for most organizations, Vogels said.
“Companies cannot afford to wait two or three years between releases, and customers have found that continually releasing incremental functionality to customer frequently reduces risk and improves quality,” he said.
“We’re making available new services that let builders prepare and operate their applications more quickly and efficiently, and respond to changes in both their business and their operating environment, swiftly. We launched the following new services and features today to help,” Vogels said.
The new products announced Dec. 1 at AWS re:Invent, which attracted 32,000 attendees, are as follows:
AWS OpsWorks for Chef: A fully managed Chef Automate environment, available through AWS OpsWorks to fuel even more automation and reduce the heavy lifting associated with continuous deployment.
Amazon EC2 Systems Manager: A collection of tools for package installation, patching, resource configuration, and task automation on Amazon EC2.
AWS Codebuild: A new, fully managed, extensible service for compiling source code and running unit tests, which is integrated with other application lifecycle management services—such as AWS CodeDeploy, AWS CodeCommit and AWS CodePipeline—for decreasing the time between iterations of software.
Amazon X-Ray: A new service to analyze, visualize and debug distributed applications, allowing builders to identify performance bottlenecks and errors.
Personal Health Dashboard: A new personalized view of AWS service health for all customers, allowing developers to gain visibility into service health issues which that may be affecting their application.
AWS Shield: This is “protective” armor against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, available as Shield Standard and Shield Advanced. Shield Standard gives DDoS protection to all customers using API Gateway, Elastic Load Balancing, Route 53, CloudFront, and EC2. Shield Advanced protects against more sophisticated DDoS attacks, with access to help through a 24×7 AWS DDoS response team.
“In the old world, access to infrastructure resources was a big differentiator for big, wealthy companies,” Vogels said. “No more. Today, any developer can have access to a wealth of infrastructure technology services which that bring advanced technology to their fingertips times in the cloud. The days of differentiation through infrastructure are behind us; the technology is now evenly distributed.
“Instead, most companies today and in the future will differentiate themselves through the data that they collect and have access to, and the way in which they can put that data to work for the benefit of their customers.”
AWS rolled out three new services to make that easier:
Amazon Pinpoint: A data-driven engagement service for mobile apps that defines which segment of customers with whom to engage, schedule a push notification engagement campaign and track the results in real-time.
AWS Batch: Fully-managed batch processing at any scale, with no batch processing software to install or servers to manage.
AWS Glue : A fully-managed data catalog and ETL service that makes it easy to move data between data stores while also simplifying and automating time time-consuming data discovery, conversion, mapping and job scheduling tasks.
“Amazon EC2 made it possible to build application architectures in a way we had always wanted to; and, over the past decade, gave us the opportunity to build secure, resilient, available applications with decoupled application components which that can be scaled independently and updated more frequently,” Vogels said.
“When I talk to our customers, I hear time and again how they are taking these transformative principles, and taking them to the next level, by building smaller, more discrete, distributed components using containers and AWS Lambda.”
AWS said it is accelerating this transformation with a new distributed application coordination service, new Lambda functionality and an open source container framework:
AWS Step Functions: Coordinates the components of distributed applications using visual workflows. Users can step through functions at scale.
Blox: A collection of open source projects for container management and orchestration.