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Here’s what’s new at AWS: a massive re:Invent wrap-up

Here’s what’s new at AWS: a massive re:Invent wrap-up

All the major products, services and offerings revealed during Amazon Web Services’ annual re:Invent event in Las Vegas

Andy Jassy - CEO, Amazon Web Services

Andy Jassy - CEO, Amazon Web Services

Credit: Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is no slouch when it comes to announcing new updates, products and services, with most days seeing at least a few, but as the company settles into the rhythm of its latest re:Invent event in Las Vegas, which kicked off on 2 December and wraps up on 6 December, the company has shifted its new announcements into overdrive.

Here is a wrap-up of some of the more notable announcements made by the cloud services giant so far during this year’s re:Invent event: 

General availability of AWS Outposts

Starting 3 December 2019, AWS Outposts can be installed and operated in the United States of America, all EU countries, Switzerland, Norway, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.

With general availability of AWS Outposts, Amazon is touting the offering as a new fully managed service that extends AWS infrastructure, AWS services, APIs, and tools to virtually any customer datacenter, co-location space, or on-premises facility for a truly consistent hybrid experience. 

“AWS Outposts is ideal for workloads that need low latency access to on-premises applications or systems, local data processing, or for local data storage needs,” the company said.

Users can now run Amazon EC2, Amazon EBS, container-based services such as Amazon ECS and Amazon EKS, database services such as Amazon RDS on AWS Outposts, and analytics services such as Amazon EMR locally on Outposts. 

To order your Outpost, users can log-in to the AWS Management Console and select from a range of pre-validated Outposts configurations offering a mix of Amazon EC2 and Amazon EBS capacity that best suits their application needs and site characteristics.

Amazon RDS on Outposts is available in preview

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) on Outposts is now available in Preview, allowing users to deploy fully managed Amazon RDS database instances in their on-premises environments.

According to AWS, the Outposts offering brings native AWS services, infrastructure, and operating models to virtually any data centre, co-location space, or on-premises facility. 

Users can deploy Amazon RDS on Outposts to set up, operate, and scale relational databases on premises, just as they would in the cloud, the company said.

Amazon Braket

Amazon Braket is a fully managed service that makes it easy for scientists, researchers, and developers to build, test, and run quantum computing algorithms. 

As reported by ARN, the new offering is designed to help IT professionals get started learning about quantum computing by providing a development environment to build quantum algorithms, test them on simulated quantum computers, and run them on your choice of different quantum hardware technologies.

“Amazon Braket lets you design your own quantum algorithms from scratch or choose from a set of pre-built algorithms. Once you define your algorithm, Amazon Braket provides a fully managed simulation service to help troubleshoot and verify your implementation,” Amazon said. 

Amazon Detective 

Amazon Detective is a new service, currently in preview that makes it easy to analyse, investigate, and quickly identify the root cause of potential security issues or suspicious activities. 

“Amazon Detective automatically collects log data from your AWS resources and uses machine learning, statistical analysis, and graph theory to build a linked set of data that enables you to easily conduct faster and more efficient security investigations,” Amazon said.

The company said that Amazon Detective can analyse trillions of events from multiple data sources such as Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Flow Logs, AWS CloudTrail, and Amazon GuardDuty, and automatically creates a unified, interactive view of resources, users, and the interactions between them over time. 

During the preview, it is available in US-East (N. Virginia), US-East (Ohio), US-West (Oregon), EU (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo).

Amazon Transcribe Medical - medical speech recognition

A new offering, Amazon Transcribe Medical, is now available. According to Amazon, it is a new speech recognition capability of Amazon Transcribe, designed to convert clinician and patient speech to text. 

“Amazon Transcribe Medical makes it easy for developers to integrate medical transcription into applications that help physicians do clinical documentation efficiently,” the company said. “It can automatically and accurately transcribe physicians’ dictations, as well as their conversations with patients, into text. Moreover, the service enables automatic punctuation and capitalisation, allowing physicians to speak naturally when transcribing voice notes.”

At launch, Amazon Transcribe Medical is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) eligible -- in the United States -- and offers an easy-to-use API that can integrate with voice-enabled applications and any device with a microphone. 

Output transcripts will support word-level time stamps and confidence scores. Users can call the API to open a secure connection over WebSocket protocol and start passing a stream of audio to the service. In return, users receive a stream of text in real time. The raw text can be sent into downstream text analytics services, Amazon Comprehend Medical, to extract valuable medical insights.

Seneca for Amazon Connect

Seneca for Amazon Connect is a new set of natively integrated artificial intelligence (AI) analytics capabilities for Amazon Connect that, according to AWS, gives contact centres the ability to understand the sentiment, trends, and compliance of customer conversations to improve customer experience and identify crucial customer feedback.  

Moreover, expected to arrive in mid-2020, Seneca for Amazon Connect will also provide the ability for supervisors to be alerted to issues during in-progress calls, giving them the ability to intervene earlier when a customer is having a poor experience. 

The company said that Seneca for Amazon Connect’s fully managed machine learning (ML)-powered analytics capabilities let contact centres professionals and their non-technical staff to use the power of AI with just a few clicks – no coding or ML experience required.  

AWS Compute Optimizer

Also freshly announced is AWS Compute Optimizer, a new machine learning-based recommendation service that makes it easy for users to ensure that they’re using optimal AWS Compute resources.  

“Over-provisioning resources can lead to unnecessary infrastructure cost, and under-provisioning can lead to poor application performance,” Amazon said. “AWS Compute Optimizer delivers intuitive and easily actionable Amazon EC2 instance recommendations so that you can identify optimal Amazon EC2 instance types, including those that are part of Auto Scaling groups, for your workloads, without requiring specialized knowledge or investing substantial time and money."

Compute Optimizer delivers EC2 instance type and size recommendations for standalone EC2 instances of M, C, R, T, and X instance families, the company said. It also delivers recommendations for auto scaling groups with a fixed group size, where all member instances are of the same instance type and size. It is now available in five AWS regions at no additional charge.

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