The AWS re:Invent cloud technology event launched just yesterday, and Amazon was quick to announce a number of updates to its products, performance improvements and better integration between services.

Here are some of the highlights Amazon mentioned during the event

Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client
Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client provides easy-to-manage and affordable virtual desktops. Thin Client devices are pre-configured devices that can work with Amazon WorkSpaces that are shipped directly to the end user. Once received, they require no additional setup steps and can begin being used immediately.

The device can be connected to peripherals such as a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

The company also announced support for cross-region data replication in Amazon WorkSpaces. Snapshots are taken every 12 hours and replicated to the desired region. This enables a recovery point goal of 12-24 hours, the company explained.

Better integration between Amazon Bedrock and AWS Step Functions
Amazon Bedrock is the company’s generative platform for developing applications with artificial intelligence, and AWS Step Functions is a workflow orchestration tool. Two new API actions have been added to AWS Step Functions to use with Amazon Bedrock.

InvokeModel can be used to “invoke a model and execute inferences with the input provided in the parameters”. CreateModelCustomizationJob (Create Model Customization Job) runs a fine tuning job that can be used to customize a base model.

Cost Optimization Hub provides recommendations for cost saving
The Cost Optimization Hub, a recent addition to the AWS Billing and Cost Management console, offers guidance on cost-saving measures. It furnishes recommendations on optimizing billing, enabling users to assess potential savings for each suggested action.

Presently, the tool offers six categories of cost optimization actions, including halting idle resources, right-sizing, transitioning to a newer-generation product, Graviton migration, utilizing savings plans, and acquiring reserved instances.

Amazon Detective adds new features for cloud security investigations
Amazon Detective introduces enhanced capabilities for cloud security investigations. The Detective Investigations for IAM now offers insights into AWS IAM objects, such as users and roles, to identify tactics outlined in the MITRE ATT&CK framework—a knowledge base encompassing malicious tactics used in security attacks.

Additionally, Detective Finding Group Summaries analyze finding groups and deliver insights in natural language, streamlining the pace of security investigations.

Furthermore, the company has unveiled support for investigations pertaining to threats detected by Amazon GuardDuty ECS Runtime Monitoring, along with integration capabilities with Amazon Security Lake.

AWS Lambda functions now scale 12 times faster
AWS Lambda functions exhibit a 12-fold increase in scaling speed. As per the company’s update, each synchronously invoked function will now scale at a rate of 1,000 concurrent executions per 10 seconds, progressing until the account’s concurrency limit is attained.
In contrast to the previous scaling mechanism, where functions would scale by 500-3,000 concurrent executions in the initial minute and 500 every subsequent minute until the account’s limit was reached, the new setup ensures a faster and more efficient scaling process.

Furthermore, functions now autonomously scale irrespective of other functions, regardless of how they are invoked.

Amazon CloudWatch Logs updates
Amazon CloudWatch Logs has undergone significant updates, incorporating a range of new features. Notably, automated pattern analytics and anomaly detection have been introduced, empowering developers to scrutinize patterns and trends in logs. This includes the ability to compare query results within a specified time range and identify anomalies within logs.

Metrics can now be aggregated across diverse data sources, spanning hybrid, multi-cloud, and on-premises environments, facilitating uniform processing.

A novel log class, designed for infrequently accessed logs, has been unveiled. The new Infrequent Access class is not only more cost-effective but also enables customers to consolidate logs efficiently. Amazon asserts that this class is 50% cheaper per GB ingestion compared to the Standard log class. It comes with a customized set of capabilities, ensuring customers only pay for features they actually use.

Furthermore, the introduction of Generative AI capabilities allows for querying CloudWatch logs and metrics using natural language prompts. Although this feature is currently in preview, it provides three main capabilities: the ability to generate queries from a description or question, explanation of queries, and the capability to refine queries through guided iterations.

Amazon FSx gets several improvements
The company’s file server has undergone several enhancements, including the capability to transmit snapshots between file systems in Amazon FSx for OpenZFS.

In addition, Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP has been upgraded to support the creation of Multi-AZ FSx in ONTAP file systems within shared VPC environments. This enhancement facilitates a clear segregation of responsibilities between network administrators and storage administrators. Furthermore, customers now have the ability to create scale-out file systems, resulting in a remarkable 9x improvement in performance.

Lastly, the company has introduced support for the creation, management, and backup of Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP FlexGroup volumes through the AWS Management Console, Amazon FSx CLI, and AWS SDK. This expands the capabilities, as previously, these volumes could only be created using the ONTAP CLI or ONTAP REST API. Notably, FlexGroups can now reach a size of up to 20 petabytes.

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