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Cloud Month in Review — January 2018

Amazon Linux 2 Launched

AWS has announced the release of Amazon Linux 2, a great update that provides safety and stability while adding new features. Here are its salient features:

  • Linux Extras Library – provide you access to tools you need without impacting your OS stability. The OS library contains open source databases, languages, etc. without any dependencies required.
  • Tuned Kernel – access to 4.9 LTS Kernel, optimized for virtual environments like AWS and supporting EC2 features.
  • Systemd init system – gives superior boot speed and control over individual services and groups of interdependent services. You can designate, for example, the order in which services intiate, or triggers for when they will activate.
  • Availability – Amazon Linux 2 is available as AMI or Docker image in all AWS Regions. You may also obtain virtual machine images for Hyper-V, KVM, VirtualBox, and VMWare.
  • AWS Support – includes security updates, bug fixes, user-space Application Binary Interface (ABI), and User-space Application Programming Interface (API) compatibility for 5 years. Amazon Linux 2 is recommended for situations when you want to stay with one major version Linux for a long time. The current build of 2017.12 is a candidate for LTS status, depending on feedback from the Linux user forums.

Amazon New Unified CloudWatch Agent

AWS is proud to announce an improvement on the Amazon CloudWatch agent. The unified CloudWatch agent may be run on the cloud or on-site, and has the following salient features:

  • Simplified agent – only a single agent is used to collect metrics and logs, simplifying installation and collection.
  • Cross-platform – you may install the agent on either 64-bit Linux or Windows. It also includes HTTP proxy server support.
  • Configurable – agent automatically tracks useful system metrics, but may be modified to collect others such as CPU threads, mounted filesystems, and network interfaces.
  • CloudWatch – supports the normal 1-minute metrics and the new 1-second high-resolution metrics option. Includes EC2 dimensions like Instance ID, Image ID, and Autoscaling Group Name, as well as custom dimensions.
  • Migration – You may migrate existing AWS SSM and EC2Config settings for the new agent.

AWS Enables Connected Vehicles at CES

AWS is well known for a host of services that enable AWS IoT, edge computing, Amazon Machine Learning, AWS Greengrass, and Alexa for connected vehicles. AWS clients have eagerly adopted these technologies to create the future of transportation, particularly the ACES initiative.

AWS Greengrass, in particular, has been in demand in terms of automated vehicles. Aptiv has been using it for their Automated Mobility on Demand service. Meanwhile, Denso of Japan employs both Greengrass and AWS IoT to support their Mobile as a Service venture.

 

AWS Adds Unified Scaling for Apps

Auto-scaling for cloud servers and resources involves paying for only the amount of resources that you need to use, and nothing more. AWS has made this easy for consumers with the simultaneous launch of services such as Elastic Load Balancing, EC2 Auto Scaling, and Amazon CloudWatch. AWS has since applied Auto scaling to ECS Spot Fleets, DynamoDB, Aurora, and many other services. To make it simpler to use, AWS has developed unified scaling, wherein you may apply auto-scaling features of several AWS services through one user interface.

 

AWS EC2 Gains Higher Network Bandwidth

AWS had announced the Elastic Network Adapter back in 2016, a service that provides high throughput and low latency while easing the load on its host processor. With features such as intelligent packet routing and multiple transmit and receive queues, ENA can work with multiple vCPUs. Now, AWS has announced that it is providing even more network bandwidth for AWS EC2.

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