238: AWS Joins the Q Continuum – Reinvent Recap

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238: AWS Joins the Q Continuum - Reinvent Recap
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Welcome to episode 238 of the Cloud Pod Podcast – where the forecast is always cloudy! This week we’re bringing you a preview of Amazon re:Invent 2023. We’re talking all things AWS, Bedrock, Q, and frugal architecture, and – you guessed it – AI. 

Titles we almost went with this week:

🪨 Amazon Builds on Bedrock with Q

🏗️ You Need to Be All Frugal Architects 

A big thanks to this week’s sponsor:

Foghorn Consulting provides top-notch cloud and DevOps engineers to the world’s most innovative companies. Initiatives stalled because you have trouble hiring?  Foghorn can be burning down your DevOps and Cloud backlogs as soon as next week.

“Pre”:Invent 

Is it just us, or is a lot of the stuff released during pre-invent stuff that would have been main stage just a few years ago? 

01:48 Major Items

Introducing Amazon CloudFront KeyValueStore: A low-latency datastore for CloudFront Functions

03:43 📢 Ryan – “I found this being announced pre-invent to be kind of shocking, because this is one of those announcements where you could re-architect your entire app for better performance using this type of solution, and it’s not even big enough for the main stage. But there’s huge potential in doing that edge transformation so that you can directly serve at the edge at much lower latency. So it’s awesome.”

Announcing AWS Console-to-Code (Preview) to generate code for console actions 

*No Terraform yet, but hopefully that will come soon! 

05:18 📢 Jonathan – “I think it’s great for learning too, actually. I mean, I use this in the Google console all the time because I try and put together a command line to do something and it fails miserably. And so I go and do it in the console and it generates the command line coding thing. Ah, I missed that thing, which isn’t documented anywhere.”

07:23 Storage

Optimize your storage costs for rarely-accessed files with Amazon EFS Archive

FlexGroup Volume Management for Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP is now available

New – Scale-out file systems for Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP

Introducing shared VPC support for Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP

Announcing on-demand data replication for Amazon FSx for OpenZFS

New – Amazon EBS Snapshot Lock 

Automatic restore testing and validation now available in AWS Backup RL(Maybe?)

08:56 📢 Ryan – “that’s the main reason why I flagged this is that I’ve just done so many tabletop exercises and so many, you know, compliance evidence sessions where you’re screen sharing this restore process and it’s just so painful. And so it’s, I love the fact that this can be automated and sort of just, you know. completed and at that point it’s just sort of monitored. You have this part of your release process where you run through this process and it’s a pass fail on your application and you can respond to it there. And I think that’s a fantastic way of sort of signifying your compliance and your ability to be able to survive a disaster or unintentional failure.”

Amazon EBS Snapshots Archive is now available with AWS Backup – MK My PFR from 2 years ago

10:08 📢 Matthew – I think it was right when they implemented the – they had it for EFS to go down to archive and a few other things. So it was something that I requested for, and we tried to set it up when AWS backup first came out. And I think it was like my PFR about two years ago for a client. So as soon as I saw this release, I pinged my old client and was like, hey, go do this. This will save you lots of money.”

Replication failback and increased IOPS are new for Amazon EFS  

11:06 Serverless & Step Functions

AWS Lambda functions now scale 12 times faster when handling high-volume requests JB

*This definitely would have been on the main stage not too long ago. 

10:08 📢 Jonathan – “For me, scaling up to a tone faster is great, but I think there’s probably very few customers that would really be impacted by not being able to scale up faster than 3,000 every minute or whatever it was. I think for me, what stood out as being an important change was isolating the functions in their own scaling patterns so that the 3,000 per minute, whatever it was, is not across all the functions you have deployed in an account, it’s per function.”

External endpoints and testing of task states now available in AWS Step Functions    

14:26 Finops

New Cost Optimization Hub centralizes recommended actions to save you money

17:15 AI/ML

Amazon CodeWhisperer offers new AI-powered code remediation, IaC support, and integration with Visual Studio  – RL

18:28 📢 Ryan- “I really like the infrastructure’s code support for this. I’ve been using Code Whisperer, my personal projects for coding things, to make up for my shoddy code ability. And now it can make up for my shoddy infrastructure’s code ability, which I really enjoy. So this is awesome.”

Use natural language to query Amazon CloudWatch logs and metrics (preview) – MK

19:18 📢 Matthew – “That’s why I’m so excited for this is, you know, trying to figure out the exact syntax of log of cloud watch log insights. And you know, all these other things, you know, is always a pain in the neck. And you’re like, okay, what are the fields called and everything else to make sure I get it right. And okay, exactly all the things here, at least, you know, you can just tell it what you want and get me 80% of the way there. I can tweak from there to get me what I want. And having that in cloud watch logs is great because you forget that debug mode and leave it on into production. Now you’re like searching for the needle in the haystack, which definitely has never happened to any one of us.”

Amazon Transcribe Call Analytics adds new generative AI-powered call summaries (preview)

Build generative AI apps using AWS Step Functions and Amazon Bedrock  

Build AI apps with PartyRock and Amazon Bedrock JPB

22:54 📢 Ryan – “It’s so much redemption. They took the visual aesthetic of 1980s Macintosh OS and they put it into a modern web application and I just feel like every one of my BS little things that I’ve done is just completely validated now and it didn’t matter that it was terrible and hacky and annoying. Thank you, Amazon.”

22:52 Observability

New Amazon CloudWatch log class for infrequent access logs at a reduced price 

Amazon Managed Service for Prometheus collector provides agentless metric collection for Amazon EKS      

Amazon CloudWatch Logs now offers automated pattern analytics and anomaly detection  – RL

Use Amazon CloudWatch to consolidate hybrid, multi-cloud, and on-premises metrics  – JPB

25:12 Containers

Amazon EKS Pod Identity simplifies IAM permissions for applications on Amazon EKS clusters   

Detect runtime security threats in Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate, new in Amazon GuardDuty

Introducing Amazon GuardDuty ECS Runtime Monitoring, including AWS Fargate 

26:23 Security

IAM Access Analyzer updates: Find unused access, check policies before deployment

Introducing IAM Access Analyzer custom policy checks 

Amazon Detective adds new capabilities to accelerate and improve your cloud security investigations 

Mutual authentication for Application Load Balancer reliably verifies certificate-based client identities – MK

Amazon Inspector expands AWS Lambda code scanning with generative AI powered remediation 

Amazon Inspector agentless vulnerability assessments for Amazon EC2 now in preview JB

AWS Control Tower adds new controls to help customers meet digital sovereignty requirements 

27:51 Misc

Introducing Amazon EC2 high-memory U7i Instances for large in-memory databases (preview) 

New Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client provides cost-effective, secure access to virtual desktops

Announcing cross-region data replication for Amazon WorkSpaces 

Increase collaboration and securely share cloud knowledge with AWS re: Post Private

Use anomaly detection with AWS Glue to improve data quality (preview)  

Check your AWS Free Tier usage programmatically with a new API

Getting started with new Amazon RDS for Db2 JPB

*If this makes Db2 popular again, please avoid Justin. 

Announcing throughput increase and dead letter queue redrive support for Amazon SQS FIFO queues  

Manage EDI at scale with new AWS B2B Data Interchange 

And that’s it for pre-invent! A handful of years ago this would have been the whole conference, so it will be interesting to see what *actually* made the stage! 

32:51 Monday Night Live with Peter Desantis – Infra Keynote

35:10 📢 Justin – “The whole concept of his talk was the journey to serverless and really managed services in general. And he talked too, you know, nice dig at Azure at one point where he said the only true isolation is a hypervisor at level high isolation, which is a dig at Azure, of course. And then, you know, but he basically started talking about RDS and Aurora in particular.”

Amazon ElastiCache Serverless for Redis and Memcached is now available 

Join the preview of Amazon Aurora Limitless Database

37:11 📢 Matthew – “The Aurora Limitless is just fascinating. Like they’re literally taking care of so much stuff that you have to deal with, you know, with, okay, cool. This is now too large. And, you know, the concept of sharding databases just goes away, which is phenomenal because I have, I’ve helped so many people through, ‘okay, we’re going to start to shard in order to scale past this because we can’t handle it one database, even with read-only replicas and everything else’. And the fact that it’s all just taken care of. And the technical way of how they solve those problems is really – like Ryan said – just fascinating. The little problems I have versus the amount of stuff that they deal with; it’s amazing that AWS stays functional, you know with the complexity level that they are dealing with.”

Reserve quantum computers, get guidance and cutting-edge capabilities with Amazon Braket Direct 

44:30 Announced but not mentioned

Amazon CodeCatalyst introduces custom blueprints and a new enterprise tier

AWS Step Functions Workflow Studio is now available in AWS Application Composer 

HashiCorp at re:Invent 2023: A year of collaboration with AWS 

45:10 Tuesday’s Keynote – Adam Selipsky

Announcing the new Amazon S3 Express One Zone high performance storage class 

37:11 📢 Matthew – “It just amazes me that they keep finding places and ways to innovate on S3. The service has been around for, I don’t want to try to make up a number, but enough years where I’m like, okay, it’s stable, like they’re good. And every year there’s always, you know, one announcement. I feel like, you know, it’s object locking. It’s this, you know, it’s just like these small features that just keep making. This core, crock service to pretty much everything else in AWS, just slightly better.”

Join the preview for new memory-optimized, AWS Graviton4-powered Amazon EC2 instances (R8g) 

51:16 AI/Bedrock

Customize models in Amazon Bedrock with your own data using fine-tuning and continued pre-training

Agents for Amazon Bedrock is now available with improved control of orchestration and visibility into reasoning JJB

Guardrails for Amazon Bedrock helps implement safeguards customized to your use cases and responsible AI policies (preview)

54:33 📢 Ryan – “The guardrails is super cool too, just because I think that, um, you know, this is, you know, the first thing I always think of, and I don’t know what, what is wrong with my brain, how I was dropped as a child. But the first thing with new technology is how can I break it? Um, and, and so this is one of those ways that, you know, like putting these guardrails in place so that you can very easily, you know, prevent the, you know, violent content or inappropriate content or what have you, wherever you want to put your guard rails into that, which is just making that an easy button. I think it’s super, super cool. And because it’s kind of a difficult challenge with using just basic AI tools to do that. Right. How do you safeguard against that data? How do you clean your data set enough?”

New generative AI capabilities for Amazon DataZone to further simplify data cataloging and discovery (preview) 

56:06 Q Continuum – A Hackathon project turned into production 

Amazon Q brings generative AI-powered assistance to IT pros and developers (preview)

Improve developer productivity with generative-AI powered Amazon Q in Amazon CodeCatalyst (preview)

Upgrade your Java applications with Amazon Q Code Transformation (preview)

*allegedly

Introducing Amazon Q, a new generative AI-powered assistant (preview)

New Amazon Q in QuickSight uses generative AI assistance for quicker, easier data insights (preview)

New generative AI features in Amazon Connect, including Amazon Q, facilitate improved contact center service

Basically, Q has taken over the world – whether you (or us) like it or not. 

1:04:10 Zero ETL

Amazon DynamoDB zero-ETL integration with Amazon OpenSearch Service is now available  

AWS announces Amazon RDS for MySQL zero-ETL integration with Amazon Redshift (Public Preview)

AWS announces Amazon DynamoDB zero-ETL integration with Amazon Redshift

AWS announces Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL zero-ETL integration with Amazon Redshift (Public Preview)

Amazon Connect provides Zero-ETL analytics data lake to access contact center data (preview)      

Apparently this is a theme – we’re going to see Zero-ETL everywhere. It’s either really easy to integrate, or they’ve been working on it for quite some time. I guess we’ll see…

1:07:09 Swami Keynote (AI)

We aren’t spending a lot of time here…feel free to peruse the links. 

Vector search for Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) is now generally available

Vector engine for Amazon OpenSearch Serverless is now available  

Amazon Titan Image Generator, Multimodal Embeddings, and Text models are now available in Amazon Bedrock

Amazon Bedrock now provides access to Anthropic’s latest model, Claude 2.1  

Announcing Amazon OpenSearch Service zero-ETL integration with Amazon S3 (preview)

Analyze large amounts of graph data to get insights and find trends with Amazon Neptune Analytics 

AWS Clean Rooms Differential Privacy enhances privacy protection of your users’ data (preview)

AWS Clean Rooms ML helps customers and partners apply ML models without sharing raw data (preview)

Amazon Redshift adds new AI capabilities, including Amazon Q, to boost efficiency and productivity  

54:33 📢 Jonathan – “The guardrails is super cool too, just because I think that, um, you know, this is, you know, the fiThe vector search stuff and the vector engine, I think are really good features that people will find useful applications for because in ML models, vectors are everything, but in static datasets like JSON documents and things, it’s really hard to search for things that are like something else, but not exactly the same. Like if you’ve got pictures of buildings and you say, well, give me all the red buildings. Well, which shade of red exactly? What you’re asking for is what Postgres or SQL server would be saying, you know, what’s the RGB color that you’re looking for? Whereas vector searches will let you say, I found all these results and these are the closest things to what you’re asking for that I can find. Or these are the 10 closest things I can find. And so it lets you search for things that are like other things without having to search for them precisely.” 

1:09:48 Not in Keynote: 

Introducing Amazon SageMaker HyperPod, a purpose-built infrastructure for distributed training at scale 

Package and deploy models faster with new tools and guided workflows in Amazon SageMaker

Use natural language to explore and prepare data with a new capability of Amazon SageMaker Canvas

Amazon SageMaker adds new inference capabilities to help reduce foundation model deployment costs and latency

Leverage foundation models for business analysis at scale with Amazon SageMaker Canvas

Introducing highly durable Amazon OpenSearch Service clusters with 30% price/performance improvement JPB

You can now get a better price for all your OpenSearch needs – and Justin is *very* excited about this one. 

Amazon SageMaker Clarify makes it easier to evaluate and select foundation models (preview)

Evaluate, compare, and select the best foundation models for your use case in Amazon Bedrock (preview)

Easily deploy SaaS products with new Quick Launch in AWS Marketplace         

1:13:00 Werner’s Keynote

Basically, we got a sustainability and cost management talk – which is better than AI, which is what we were expecting. 

https://thefrugalarchitect.com/

Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals for automatic instrumentation of your applications (preview)

New myApplications in the AWS Management Console simplifies managing your application resources   

Amazon SageMaker Studio adds web-based interface, Code Editor, flexible workspaces, and streamlines user onboarding  

IDE extension for AWS Application Composer enhances visual modern applications development with AI-generated IaC

Three new capabilities for Amazon Inspector broaden the realm of vulnerability scanning for workloads

1:28:10  Not mentioned in Keynote 

Use AWS Fault Injection Service to demonstrate multi-region and multi-AZ application resilience -MK

Zonal autoshift – Automatically shift your traffic away from Availability Zones when we detect potential issues  – MK

54:33 📢 Justin – “When I first read this, I was kind of like, I don’t, I don’t think I understand it very well, but then I kind of clicked in my head. I was like, oh, well if RDS is broken and AZ one, but everything else is working right. I’m still routing traffic in the front end to this thing that’s going to hit a RDS node that’s dead. And that’s not so great. So if I can at least turn it off on a DNS level, then I can shift all the components that are living in a single AZ to the other AZs that I know are fully working and fully operational. And think about it from a full stack health perspective versus a partial.opponent level health perspective. And so it does make a lot of sense why you would want this. And so this is a nice improvement. Now that I understand it, when I first read it, I was like, I didn’t get it. But it clicked with me earlier.”

AWS Predictions

Jonathan

  1. GPU Support for Lambda functions  
  2. Chat Bot integration for the support portal that pulls from documentation
  3. New Baremetal Instance with more GPU’s for AI Training

Justin

  1. Graviton AI Chip Capabilities
  2. Olympus with a bigger data set than Open AI and publicly available
  3. Major Improvements to Quicksight

Ryan

  1. AppMesh will support serverless workloads
  2. Data Sovereignty on stage
  3. Just in time IAM Permissions powered by AI

Matt

  1. AI Chat feature in the AWS Console
  2. Carbon Emissions and Green Technology talked about during the keynote. 
  3. Predictive typing thing integrated into AWS Shell (cloud 9). 

Tie Breaker:   Number of times the word Artificial Intelligence and/or AI.  

Matt – 72

Ryan – 563

Justin – 142

Jonathan – 90

Results:

MNL – 2

Adam S – 109

Swami – 65

Werner – 29

Total – 204 Times

Honorable Mentions:

Reinvent announcement of Clippy/Mascot (Jonathan)

Chip Fab (Jonathan)

Astro Bot upgrade (Ryan)

Astrobot Robot Wars (Ryan)

Extra effort/hardware on energy usage (Jonathan)

IAM Permissions reducer (Matt)

Security/Guardduty/SOC AI (Justin)

DuckDB (Justin)

AI for Opensearch (Justin)

Werner masterclass on AI (Justin)

Simulated worlds (Jonathan)

Closing

And that is the week in the cloud! We would like to thank our sponsors Foghorn Consulting. Check out our website, the home of the Cloud Pod where you can join our newsletter, slack team, send feedback or ask questions at theCloud Pod.net or tweet at us with hashtag #theCloud Pod

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