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New Features and Benefits with AWS – Quarterly Update – Q1 – 2022

It is that time again and AWS has released several new features and functionality this quarter.  Apps Associates likes to share the knowledge so that you are aware of what it available to you and can leverage what is relevant to your organization to reap the most from your AWS investment.


Introducing Amazon EC2 X2iezn instances – Amazon EC2 X2iezn instances are powered by 2nd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors with an all core turbo frequency of up to 4.5 GHz, the fastest in the cloud. X2iezn instances deliver the highest all-core turbo CPU performance from Intel Xeon Scalable processors in the cloud, and deliver up to 55% better compute price performance than X1e instances.  They are a great fit for electronic design automation (EDA) workloads as well as relational databases that benefit from high single-threaded processor performance and a large memory footprint. The combination of high single-threaded compute performance and a 32:1 ratio of memory to vCPU make X2iezn instances an ideal fit for EDA workloads including physical verification, static timing analysis, power sign-off, and full chip gate level simulation, and database workloads that are license bounded.

Introducing Amazon EC2 X2idn and X2iedn instances – Starting today, memory optimized Amazon EC2 X2idn and X2iedn instances are generally available. X2idn and X2iedn instances are designed for memory-intensive workloads and deliver improvements in performance, price performance, and cost per GiB of memory compared to previous generation X1 instances. These new instances are powered by 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processors (Ice Lake) and deliver up to 50% higher compute price performance than comparable X1 instances. X2idn has a 16:1 ratio of memory to vCPU and X2iedn has a 32:1 ratio, making these instances a great fit for workloads such as in-memory databases and analytics, big data processing engines, and Electronic Design Automation (EDA) workloads.

Amazon EC2 customers can now use Recycle Bin to recover from accidental deletions of Amazon Machine Images – You can now use Recycle Bin for Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) to recover from accidental deletions to meet your business continuity needs. Previously, you could not recover AMIs if you accidentally deregistered them. With Recycle Bin, you can specify a retention time period and recover a deregistered AMI if needed, before the expiration of the retention period. A recovered AMI would retain its attributes such as tags, permissions, and encryption status, which it had prior to deletion, and can be used immediately for launches. AMIs that are not recovered from the Recycle Bin are permanently deleted upon expiration of the retention time.


Amazon RDS for Oracle now supports Oracle Database 21cAmazon Relational Database Service (RDS) for Oracle now supports Oracle Database 21c. You can now launch Amazon RDS instances for Oracle Database 21c.  Oracle Database 21c is the latest innovation release. 21c only supports container architecture. Oracle has announced support for 21c until April 30, 2024.

Amazon RDS Performance Insights now supports query execution plan capture for RDS for OracleAmazon RDS Performance Insights now supports collection and tracking of query execution plans for Amazon RDS for Oracle, so you can more easily identify if a change in the query execution plan is the cause of a worse performing or a stuck query.  Amazon RDS Performance Insights helps you identify the most resource-intensive SQL queries on a visual dashboard in seconds. Now, RDS Performance Insights also collects the query execution plans of those same resource-intensive SQL queries in RDS for Oracle, and stores them over time. You can determine if a change in performance of a SQL query is due to a different query execution plan, and if so, make improvements to your application to optimize the query, add or remove an index, or scale up your database.

Amazon RDS for SQL Server now supports new minor versions for SQL Server 2019 and 2017 – New minor versions of Microsoft SQL Server are now available on Amazon RDS for SQL Server, offering performance and security fixes. Amazon RDS for SQL Server supports the new minor versions for Microsoft SQL Server 2019 and 2017 on the Express, Web, Standard, and Enterprise Editions.

Amazon RDS for SQL Server now supports Always On Availability Groups for Standard Edition 2017Amazon RDS for SQL Server now offers Always On Availability Groups (AGs) for the Multi-AZ configuration in all AWS Regions on Standard Edition. This new high-availability option helps you meet the requirements of enterprise-grade production workloads on SQL Server.  The Multi-AZ deployment option provides enhanced availability and data durability by automatically replicating databases between two AWS Availability Zones (in the same AWS Region). When you create a SQL Server database instance using the Multi-AZ configuration on the SQL Server 2017 version for the Standard Edition database engine, Amazon RDS automatically provisions a primary node in one Availability Zone and maintains a synchronous “standby” replica in a different Availability Zone using AGs. In the event of planned database maintenance or unplanned service disruption, Amazon RDS automatically fails over the SQL Server DB instance to the up-to-date standby so that database operations can resume quickly.

Amazon RDS for SQL Server now supports M6i and R6i instances Amazon RDS for SQL Server now supports M6i and R6i instances. M6i instances are the 6th generation of Amazon EC2 x86-based General Purpose compute instances, designed to provide a balance of compute, memory, storage, and network resources. R6i instances are the 6th generation of Amazon EC2 memory optimized instances, designed for memory-intensive workloads. Both M6i and R6i instances are built on the AWS Nitro System, a combination of dedicated hardware and lightweight hypervisor, which delivers practically all of the compute and memory resources of the host hardware to your instances.  M6i and R6i instances are powered by 3rd generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors with an all-core turbo frequency of 3.5 GHz, delivering improved compute price performance over equivalent M5 and R5 instances. To meet customer demands for increased scalability, M6i and R6i instances provide a new instance size of 32xlarge with 128 vCPUs and 33% more memory than the largest M5 and R5 instances. M6i.32xlarge has 512 GiB of memory and R6i.32xlarge has 1,024 GiB of memory. They also provide up to 20% higher memory bandwidth per vCPU compared to the previous 5th generation instances. These instances give customers up to 50 Gbps of networking speed and 40 Gbps of bandwidth to the Amazon Elastic Block Store, 2x that of M5 and R5 instances.


Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP reduces minimum file system throughput capacity to 128 MB/s – Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP has now reduced the minimum file system throughput capacity from 512 MB/s to 128 MB/s, decreasing the minimum cost of an FSx for ONTAP file system by over 50%.

Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP now provides performance and capacity metrics in Amazon CloudWatch – Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP now provides metrics in Amazon CloudWatch, enabling you to monitor and alarm on performance and storage usage metrics for your file systems and volumes.  Starting today, you can monitor your file systems and volumes without any additional configuration in the Amazon FSx and Amazon CloudWatch consoles. You can also continue to monitor your file systems and volumes with NetApp monitoring tools (such as NetApp Cloud Insights or Harvest with Grafana).

Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP now enables you to grow your SSD storage capacity – Amazon FSx for NetApp ONTAP now enables you to increase your SSD storage capacity with the click of a button, making it even quicker and easier to meet your evolving storage needs over time.  Starting today, you can grow your SSD storage capacity for the active portion of your data.

Announcing the general availability of AWS Backup for Amazon S3 – AWS announces the general availability of AWS Backup for Amazon S3, which adds Amazon S3 to the set of supported services in AWS Backup. This launch makes it easier for you to centrally automate backup and restore of your application data stored in Amazon S3 along with other AWS services for compute, storage, and database. Using AWS Backup’s seamless integration with AWS Organizations, you can centrally create and manage immutable backups of S3 data across all your accounts, protect your data from inadvertent or malicious actions, and restore the data to your specified point-in-time with a few simple clicks.  


AWS WAF adds support for CloudWatch Log and logging directly to S3 bucket – You can now send AWS WAF logs directly to a CloudWatch Logs log group or to an Amazon S3 bucket. With this launch, we’re adding two new optional destinations for WAF logs in addition to Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose, which was already supported. When you use CloudWatch Logs as your WAF log destination, you can search and analyze WAF logs directly in the WAF console using CloudWatch Logs Insights. Using CloudWatch Logs Insights, you can view individual logs, compile aggregated reports, create visualizations, and construct dashboards.

AWS Firewall Manager now supports AWS Shield Advanced automatic application layer DDoS mitigation – AWS Firewall Manager now enables you to centrally deploy AWS Shield Advanced automatic application layer (L7) DDoS protections across accounts in your organization. AWS Shield Advanced automatic L7 DDoS protections block application layer DDoS events with no manual intervention needed. With this launch, security administrators for AWS Firewall Manager can now enable automatic L7 DDoS protections across accounts using the Firewall Manager security policy for AWS Shield Advanced. 


Announcing the new Console Home in AWS Management Console – AWS launched the new Console Home, a customizable home page for the AWS Management Console that offers customers a single place to access the information they need. The new Console Home provides customers the capability to customize their Console Home experience by adding, removing, and rearranging widgets. In some of the widgets, customers can also choose between regular view for a quick summary or an extended view for a more comprehensive overview.  At launch, customers can use 8 widgets: Welcome to AWS, Recently visited, AWS Health, Cost and usage, Build a solution, Trusted Advisor, Explore AWS, and Favorites.

Announcing a new AWS Billing console Home page experience – Starting today, the AWS Billing console has a new Home page experience, providing an at-a-glance view of your AWS charges. The AWS Billing console allows you to easily understand your AWS spend, view and pay invoices, manage billing preferences and tax settings, and access additional Cloud Financial Management services. The Billing console Home page helps Finance, DevOps, or FinOps users quickly understand AWS spend and identify top drivers.  New Billing console Home page graphs provide a summary view of your month-to-date AWS spend and a month-over-month comparison. The new “Cost trend by top five services” graph provides trends for the trailing three or six months by service.

Announcing AWS CloudTrail Lake, a managed audit and security lake – AWS announces the general availability of AWS CloudTrail Lake, a managed audit and security lake that allows you to aggregate, immutably store, and query your activity logs for auditing, security investigation, and operational troubleshooting.  CloudTrail Lake simplifies activity log analysis by integrating collection, storage, optimization, and query in the same product. By consolidating these features into one environment, CloudTrail Lake eliminates the need for separate data processing pipelines that span across teams and products. An integrated SQL experience enables you to more easily query your CloudTrail data. CloudTrail Lake also features sample queries to help you get started with writing queries for common scenarios, such as collecting a user’s activity, that can accelerate security investigations.

I encourage you to review the entire feed from AWS here.

–     Michael Foret: VP Infrastructure/Cloud Services

About Apps Associates

Apps Associates provides services for all things Oracle on AWS. Our team manages the entire AWS environment, enabling significant cost savings, increased agility, and zero business disruption or downtime.  Apps’ technical teams provide expert AWS consulting throughout the entire migration and post-migration process. From Dev Ops, to Managed Services we have you covered.

For Dev Ops Services, we provide expertise in CI/CD, Jenkins, GitHub, Ansible, Python, Terraform, and AWS Cloud formation. AWS components are built/managed by automation with custom Shell / Python code to automate the deployment. We can customize the deployment process based on the application structure and stack, and we can reuse scripts and codes to ensure effective utilization of resources and time.

Our Managed Services is based on our next generation monitoring platform that uses statistical and Machine Learning algorithms to reduce alarm fatigue and focus attention on real issues that need attention.  Staffed by AWS certified engineers, our managed services teams are ready to support you anytime, all the time.  Consider letting us manage your Oracle/AWS systems in the cloud.

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