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AWS re:Invent 2019: The 9 Most Impactful Announcements

The biggest cloud event of the year is always full of new offerings and this year was no different, with more than 250 announcements made over five days. Our team has uncovered the new services and offerings that have the biggest impact for enterprises.

1. Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service

Amazon Managed Apache Cassandra Service is a scalable, highly available, and managed Apache Cassandra-compatible database service. This allows you to run Cassandra workloads on AWS using the same Cassandra application code and developer tools you use today. 

Why this is impactful:

Because there are no provisions, patches, or managed servers required, you don’t have to install, maintain, or operate software. It offers consistent, single-digit-millisecond response time, at any scale, without the overhead of extra software. Enterprises who are using (or considering using) Cassandra will want to take a look a this powerful offering.

2. Advanced Query Accelerator (AQUA) for Amazon Redshift Preview

AQUA is a new distributed and hardware-accelerated cache that enables Redshift to run up to ten times faster than any other cloud data warehouse. 

Why this is impactful:

As data warehouse usage and demand continues to rise, enterprises will enjoy and appreciate the high performance power of AQUA, which acts as a hardware-accelerated cache. Its tremendous power prevents query performance bottlenecks that can result from overwhelmed networks.

3. AWS License Manager Adds Dedicated Host Management Capabilities for Simplified BYOL

AWS now provides a new Bring Your Own License (BYOL) experience for software licenses, such as Windows and SQL Server, that require a dedicated physical server. Enterprises can now enjoy the flexibility and cost effectiveness of using their own licenses on Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts, but with the simplicity, resiliency, and elasticity of AWS. Customizations are available for Dedicated Host management preferences like host allocation, host capacity, utilization, and instance placement in AWS License Manager.

Why this is impactful:

Dedicated Hosting is an intelligent, lesser-known service that is particularly useful for businesses that have software licensing challenges and need dedicated infrastructure to comply with BYOL. AWS License Manager, which is a free service from AWS, allows reporting on overall licensing compliance and posture. By adding Dedicated Hosts into the product, the coverage model is wider and more relevant.

4. Amazon CodeGuru for Automated Code Reviews

Amazon CodeGuru is a new machine learning service for development teams who want to automate code reviews, identify the most expensive lines of code in their applications, and receive intelligent recommendations on how to fix or improve their code. 

Why this is impactful:

Engineers can now get insight into the coding of their applications and discover opportunities to improve performance as well as identify potential bottlenecks in how the code is written. This will be an enormous asset for helping code teams identify issues and enhance performance. One thing to watch on this one is how CodeGuru will handle “sensitive data” within code. 

5, 6, and 7. A Trio of New Networking Features

Inter-Region Peering eliminates the need for VPN connections that were previously required to route traffic between regions as part of a Transit Gateway architecture. VPC Ingress Routing simplifies firewall designs and will reduce the number of cases where backhauling of traffic back to on-prem is required to meet security inspection requirements. Multicast support for Transit Gateway will help reduce latency and complexity, and lower costs for high-frequency workloads that have been a challenge for customers in the past.

Why these are impactful:

These new features help reduce design complexity and increase the performance of the hybrid transit networks that are increasingly common across enterprises. It’s clear that AWS is focused on enhancing efficiency and ease-of-use for hybrid network users.

8. Transit Gateway Network Manager to Centrally Monitor Global Networks

Transit Gateway now enables you to centrally manage and monitor global networks across AWS and on-premises.

Why this is impactful:

As enterprises work to deploy complex hybrid networks, of which AWS is a single component, consistency of tooling and operational monitoring across all endpoints are highly valued. The Network Manager feature will provide teams with AWS-native dashboarding and monitoring of Transit Gateway networks at a lower cost than options. In addition, it will allow the integration of vendor solutions such as SD-WAN and Aviatrix.

9. Run Serverless Kubernetes Pods Using Amazon EKS and AWS Fargate

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) can now be used to run Kubernetes pods on AWS Fargate, the serverless compute engine built for containers on AWS.

Why this is impactful:

Kubernetes is emerging as the standard orchestration platform for container workload deployment. However, the effort involved in support of the underlying server-based pod infrastructure has involved a lot of effort, complexity, and rigidity. By adding a serverless deployment option to Fargate, AWS has removed the undifferentiated heavy lifting from Kubernetes deployments with a platform that obviates the need to manage servers for container platforms, while ensuring the right capacity is available, automatically.