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Cloud Month In Review — June 2016

This June we see Amazon providing even more improvements, this time with existing database technology:

First off, Amazon Elastic Map Reduce 4.7.0 now includes support for Apache Tez and Phoenix. Faster than Hadoop, Tez lets you define a Directed Acyclic Graph for data processing tasks. You can also use it in conjunction with both Hive and Pig.

As for Phoenix, it provides rapid SQL as well as complete ACID functionalities. It compiles all queries into HBase scans, run them in parallel, and compiles the data to rapidly come up with a results set.

Still on database advancements, AWS ElastiCache now lets you export Redis snapshots to S3 buckets within the same region. This means you can use Redis snapshots for disaster recovery. You may use it as a seed for another Redis cache cluster in a different region. Finally, you can analyze the snapshot for usage patterns.

Finally, Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL announced that it supports the creation of cross-region read replicas for your AWS RDS for PostgreSQL database instances. This makes it easier for your customers in regions outside of your own to access your database. It’s also another easy way to create backups or to migrate your database to another region.

We’ve seen cloud technology advance rapidly over the years, but how does it apply to real world scenarios?

Success Stories

EC2 Spot Instances generated buzz this month by providing support for semi-autonomous driving. Mapbox, an online navigation map service that uses a network of mobile devices, cars, and other devices as sources of driving information. With the huge amount of driving data streamed by modern cars (about 11 million miles), Mapbox needs a way to process all that information rapidly and cost-effectively.

They turned to EC2 Spot Instances, which processes billions of data sources at once, allowing them to map streets, detect traffic speed, and connect individuals to the road network. And by relying on the EC2 Spot market, they can scale their data processing and still reduce cost to 10% of what they would have spent without cloud computing. In the Spot market, clients can bid on unused EC2 instances.

Amazon WorkSpaces is being used all around the world as a virtual desktop, an alternative to provisioning equipment to employees. It lets you work from home or abroad, with access to documents, applications and resources using any supported device.

AWS has since made WorkSpaces even better by increasing its root volumes from 60 to 80 GB, meaning more space for installing applications or storing data.

Finally, dovetailing with the advancements on database technology, AWS is proud to work with Zynga Games as a cloud database provider. Zynga previously relied on Amazon RDS for MySQL. However, due to added latency for traditional databases, they decided to try another solution. They turned to Amazon Aurora, a MySQL compatible cloud database that does better than MySQL on SSDs, while having the same automation features of RDS.

Join us again next month for more cloud news!



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