AWS Launches Amazon Athena
Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company has announced Amazon Athena, a serverless query service that makes it easy to analyze data directly in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) using standard SQL. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, customers can point Amazon Athena at their data stored in Amazon S3 and begin using standard SQL to run queries and get results in seconds. With Amazon Athena there are no clusters to manage and tune, no infrastructure to setup or manage, and customers pay only for the queries they run. Amazon Athena scales automatically – executing queries in parallel – so results are fast, even with large datasets and complex queries.
Amazon Athena uses Presto with full standard SQL support and works with a variety of standard data formats, including CSV, JSON, ORC, and Parquet. And, while Amazon Athena is ideal for quick, ad-hoc querying and integrates with Amazon QuickSight for easy visualization, it can also handle complex analysis, including large joins, window functions, and arrays.
Customers can start using Amazon Athena using the AWS Management Console. Amazon Athena is currently available in the US East (N. Virginia) and US West (Oregon) Regions, and will expand to additional Regions in the coming months.
AWS Announces Three New Amazon AI Services
AWS, announced three Artificial Intelligence (AI) services that make it easy for any developer to build apps that can understand natural language, turn text into lifelike speech, have conversations using voice or text, analyze images, and recognize faces, objects, and scenes. Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, and Amazon Rekognition are based on the same proven, highly scalable Amazon technology built by the thousands of deep learning and machine learning experts across the company. Amazon AI services all provide high-quality, high-accuracy AI capabilities that are scalable and cost-effective. Amazon AI services are fully managed services so there are no deep learning algorithms to build, no machine learning models to train, and no up-front commitments or infrastructure investments required. This frees developers to focus on defining and building an entirely new generation of apps that can see, hear, speak, understand, and interact with the world around them.
- Intelligent conversations with Amazon Lex
Amazon Lex is a new service for building conversational interfaces using voice and text that is built on the same automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology and natural language understanding (NLU) that powers Amazon Alexa. Amazon Lex makes it easy to bring sophisticated, natural language capabilities to virtually any app.
- Intelligent Speech with Amazon Polly
Amazon Polly makes it easy for developers to add natural-sounding speech capabilities to existing applications like newsreaders and e-learning platforms, or create entirely new categories of speech-enabled products – from mobile apps to devices and appliances. Amazon Polly is easy to use; developers can send text to Amazon Polly using the SDK or from within the AWS Management Console and Polly immediately returns an audio stream that can be played directly or stored in a standard audio file format. With 47 lifelike voices and support for 24 languages, developers can choose from both male and female voices with a variety of accents to make applications for users around the globe.
- Intelligent Image Analysis with Amazon Rekognition
Amazon Rekognition enables developers to quickly and easily build applications that analyze images, and recognize faces, objects, and scenes. Amazon Rekognition uses deep learning technologies to automatically identify objects and scenes, such as vehicles, pets, or furniture, and provides a confidence score that lets developers tag images so that application users can search for specific images using key words. Amazon Rekognition can locate faces within images and detect attributes, such as whether or not the face is smiling or the eyes are open. Amazon Rekognition also supports advanced facial analysis functionalities such as face comparison and facial search. Using Rekognition, developers can build an application that measures the likelihood that faces in two images are of the same person, thereby being able to verify a user against a reference photo in near real-time.
AWS Announces Seven New Compute Services and Capabilities to Support an Even Wider Range of Workloads
AWS, announced the next generation of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Memory Optimized, Compute Optimized, and High input/output (I/O) instances, and added two new hardware acceleration options to its range of compute services. The new F1 instance is the cloud’s first customer-programmable, hardware-accelerated compute instance with Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). Amazon EC2 Elastic GPUs allow customers to easily attach low-cost, professional grade graphics acceleration to Amazon EC2 instances. AWS also announced Amazon Lightsail, a new way to get started with AWS that makes it easy to spin up powerful virtual private servers (VPS) that have bundled storage and networking with simple, monthly pricing.
- Amazon t2.xlarge and t2.2xlarge: Two New Larger Burstable Amazon EC2 Instances
Two larger sizes of T2 Burstable Performance Instances, which provide a baseline level of CPU performance with the ability to burst to full core performance when needed. The new t2.xlarge offers 16 GiB of memory and 4 vCPU, and the new t2.2xlarge offers 32 GiB of memory and 8 vCPU. Customers with existing T2 workloads can now scale up to the larger T2 sizes if desired.
- Amazon EC2 R4 Instances, the Next Generation of Memory-Optimized Instances
R4 instances are designed for high performance databases, distributed memory caches, in-memory analytics, genome assembly and analysis, and other enterprise applications. They feature a larger L3 cache that is twice the size of the previous generation (R3), a new 16xlarge size that offers twice the memory as the previous generation with 488 GiB of fast, DDR4 memory, and 64 vCPUs (two times as many as the largest R3) – all for 20 percent less per GiB of RAM than the previous generation R3 instances.
- Amazon EC2 C5 Instances, the Next Generation of Compute Optimized Instances
Coming in early 2017, C5 instances include the next generation of the Intel Xeon Processor family (code named Skylake) with AVX 512 and up to 72 vCPUs (twice that of previous generation C4 compute-optimized instances), and 144 GiB of memory, making them the best price to compute performance of any Amazon EC2 instance. C5 instances also feature new AWS hardware acceleration that delivers three times the Amazon EBS bandwidth of C4 instances for workloads that require high amounts of IOPs. C5 instances are ideal for batch processing, distributed analytics, high performance science and engineering applications, ad serving, massively multiplayer online (MMO) gaming, and video encoding.
- Amazon EC2 I3 Instances, Next Generation Storage Optimized High I/O Instances
Coming in early 2017, I3 instances are ideal for the most demanding I/O-intensive relational databases, NoSQL databases, transactional systems, and analytics workloads. I3 instances feature twice the memory and vCPUs as the previous generation high I/O instance family (I2), and over two times the storage as the previous generation with 15.2 TB of fast, low latency locally attached storage backed by Non Volatile Memory Express (NVMe)-based SSDs. Additionally, I3 instances deliver up to nine times the IOPs as the previous generation with 3.3 million random IOPS at 4 KB block size, and offer total I/O throughput of 16 GiB per second.
- F1 instances – custom FPGA hardware acceleration for all
A growing set of applications such as genomics research, financial analysis, and video processing push the boundaries of what customers can do with a CPU. For these applications, developers can program acceleration algorithms that are custom-tailored for their specific workloads directly into silicon by using FPGAs. Customers can program their own FPGAs to increase performance by as much as 30x over general-purpose CPUs. The F1 instance FPGA Developer AMI and Hardware Developer Kit include everything a developer needs to develop, simulate, debug, and compile hardware acceleration code. Once the FPGA design is complete, developers can save it as an Amazon FPGA Image (AFI) and deploy it to an F1 instance with just a few clicks. Developers can also bring their own FPGA designs, or go to the AWS Marketplace to find pre-built AFIs that include common hardware accelerations.
- Elastic GPUs – high performance graphics acceleration for Amazon EC2 Instances
Amazon EC2 provides two families of GPU-based instances today: G2 instances for graphics-intensive applications like 3D application streaming, video encoding, and other server-side graphics workloads, and P2 instances for general-purpose GPU compute applications like machine learning, high performance databases, and other server-side workloads requiring massive parallel floating point processing power. Elastic GPUs is a new Amazon EC2 feature that provides flexible, workstation-quality GPUs that customers can attach to existing Amazon EC2 instance types in much the same way as customers can attach Amazon EBS volumes. With Amazon Elastic GPUs, customers can configure the right amount of graphics acceleration for their particular workload without being constrained by fixed hardware configurations and limited GPU selection. Amazon Elastic GPUs are planned to support OpenGL and offer up to 8 GiB of GPU memory, making them ideally suited for any workload that needs additional GPUs such as gaming, industrial design, HPC visualization, 3D modeling, rendering, or virtual desktops.
- Amazon Lightsail – Powerful VPS made easy, starting at $5 per month
Sometimes, developers just want a server in the cloud to deploy their code or run their software, and Amazon Lightsail provides the easiest way for them to launch a VPS with just a few clicks. Amazon Lightsail includes everything customers need for projects such as web sites, blogs, custom applications, or development servers. Customers can get started with just three clicks; they simply choose a virtual private server image from a menu of over 10 images that includes Linux, WordPress, Drupal, and others, and select one of five server sizes. Amazon Lightsail automatically launches the VPS, attaches the SSD-based storage, sets up the security groups, creates a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), and then makes it simple for developers to set up the DNS and IP addresses. With Amazon Lightsail, customers can use preconfigured operating system templates or pre-installed popular application setups. Amazon Lightsail runs on the AWS Cloud, making it easy for customers to connect to the more advanced services when they are ready. Amazon Lightsail is available immediately, and customers pay a simple monthly fee for each virtual private server, starting at $5 per month.