AWS re:Invent Highlights – Keynote By Werner Vogels

by Steyn Huizinga on 03 December 2021

Werner Vogels’ keynote was, again, everything but boring. Not only does he know how to get us hooked with a proper intro, but also the passion with which he presents announcement upon announcement keeps you on the edge of your seat for two hours. This keynote during the 10th anniversary of re:Invent was fittingly kicked off with the pondering question: “How did this all get started?”. After 15 years on AWS, we have experienced quite some innovation. And as we did with the keynote by Adam Selipsky, we’ll summarize our favourite announcements of Werner’s keynote for you here!

Yet another new ARM-based instance type 

Amazon EC2 M1 Mac Instances 

Tuesday’s AWS EC2 C7g instances are not the only new addition to the EC2 family. AWS has officially announced the availability of EC2 M1 Mac Instances that you can use to develop apps for the Apple ecosystem. As Werner stated, developers can expect a 60% improvement in cost-efficiency over the previous Intel platform. The instances are based on dedicated Mac Mini’s, but behave like traditional EC2 instances. This means faster builds and better price performance for developers that are looking to build Apple applications on AWS.

For more specs and details, read here.

AWS EC2 M1 Mac Instances

The EC2 M1 Mac instances

New Connectivity

30 new AWS Local Zones

It was just a matter of time but we’re almost there, an AWS Local Zone in our beloved Amsterdam! AWS is expanding their local presence by launching 30 new AWS Local Zones, of which 13 are already generally available today. These Local Zones allow you to reduce latency to AWS even further and most importantly allow some of our Dutch customers to adhere to data residency requirements.

Read the full announcement on Local Zones here.

Werner Vogels announces 30 new AWS Local Zones, including Amsterdam!

AWS Cloud WAN

With the announcement of AWS Cloud WAN we finally get a ‘single pane of glass’ for all connectivity services where we can configure, write policies (SD-WAN anyone?) and monitor the full suite of global WAN networking services. It is still in preview but from what we heard and read it brings together Direct Connect (including the announced SiteLink feature), Transit Gateway, VPN and also 3rd party SD-WAN solutions. It will be exciting to play and work with Cloud WAN and see what cool use cases it has!

Read the full announcement here.

New development methods

AWS Amplify Studio

AWS released yet another service that allows more and more people to build on top of AWS. AWS Amplify Studio allows you to develop a full featured serverless web application in a low-code environment. Automatically converting Figma designs to ready to use React building blocks, visually modelling your data, attaching that data to your application and much more without the need to do all the hard coding yourself. AWS Amplify Studio is fully integrated with AWS Amplify so it still allows you to use all the other Amplify features like the recently released CDK integration.

For more details and the available regions, check this page. But sure to check out own blog and guide on AWS Amplify Studio.

AWS Amplify Studio

No code? No problem.

AWS SDK

AWS announced the release of new SDKs in 3 additional languages; Swift, Kotlin and Rust. Most notably would be the SDK release for Rust. Rust has been gaining immense popularity amongst developers due to the high performance with fewer resources (Sustainability pillar anyone?) and safe concurrency and memory management. It is great to see AWS is facilitating use of their SDKs in an increasing amount of languages so that developers can stay within their comfort zone.

AWS SDKs for Swift, Kotlin and Rust

Werner Vogels announces AWS SDKs for Swift, Kotlin and Rust

AWS Cloud Development Kit v2

The AWS CDK v2 is now available in preview! With the release of version 2, the CDK now complies with semantic versioning. This allows us to confidently upgrade to new minor versions without introducing breaking changes. Additionally, dependency management for CDK construct libraries (or construct library from here on out ;)) has been simplified; making it a lot easier to keep downstream dependencies in line when creating CDK constructs.

Get started with AWS CDK v2 by checking out our guide.

AWS Cloud Development Kit v2

Werner Vogels announces AWS Cloud Development Kit v2

AWS Construct Hub

The Construct Hub is now generally available. The Construct Hub gives you a simplified overview of open-source CDK libraries that are available for use in your CDK applications. It indexes constructs for all types of CDK constructs (native, CDK8s, CDKtf) as well as supporting multiple languages! More information about the Construct Hub can be found here.

The Construct Hub is also available as a CDK construct (in Beta) so that you can build your own privately hosted Construct Hub for use within your company.

AWS Well-Architected Sustainability Pillar

A new Shared Responsibility model

The Five Well-Architected Pillars have supported AWS environments worldwide for many years now. In his keynote, Werner introduced an additional layer of support: the Sustainability Pillar. Though cloud computing already is a step up from traditional on-premise computing in terms of energy conservation, there is still a lot to gain by making sure your workloads are as efficient as possible. By now, most are familiar with this concept from a cost optimization standpoint. But with this introduction, AWS will commit itself further to environmental preservation by giving developers advice on these best practices.

With this comes an updated Shared Responsibility model: sustainability in the cloud versus sustainability of the cloud. Learn more about this philosophy here.

AWS Well-Architected Sustainability Pillar

AWS re:Post

AWS has announced a new community platform: AWS re:Post. It is part of AWS Free Tier and meant to be driven by anyone in the AWS community. If you’re ever stuck in a build, need some guidance on best practices or need some extra insight before going into your AWS exams, this is the place to be! By engaging with questions from others, community members can build up a reputation score on the platform, indicating their expert status. And if your question stays unanswered, AWS will forward it to their support engineers!

Join re:Post here.

As a cloud evangelist at Oblivion, my passion is to share knowledge and enable, embrace and accelerate the adoption of public cloud. In my personal life I’m a dad and a horrible sim racer.

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