Amazon is upgrading its compute power to court more cloud-hosted graphics-intensive workloads, seeking to benefit from the high cost customers pay for that heavy compute power.
AWS has added a new G3 instance to its graphics-optimized Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, to power 3-D rendering or visualization, computer-aided design, video encoding augmented / virtual reality workloads. While the hardware upgrade could entice enterprises, IT teams should be wary of high costs and processing times with the instances.
The largest of the three G3 instances contains twice the CPU processing power and eight times the memory of the previous G2 generation. The instances, which provide enhanced video encoding and networking features, run on Intel Xeon E5-2686 v4 (Broadwell) processors and backed by NVIDIA Tesla M60 GPUs.
AWS customers can launch EC2 instances from the AWS Management Console, AWS software development kits, AWS Command Line Interface and other libraries.
New features and support
- Amazon Inspector adds triggers. The Amazon Inspector service, which assesses security vulnerabilities in AWS deployments, can launch automatic scans through integration with CloudWatch Events. With Assessment Events, a customer can create event rules in CloudWatch that notify Inspector to run an assessment on a cloud environment. Users can also schedule recurring assessments and monitor other services to look for event triggers. Inspector displays Assessment Events in its console so a user can see all the triggers assigned to an assessment.
- Visualize resource configurations. A dashboard for AWS Config summarizes account resources and makes configuration history easily accessible. The dashboard displays the number of resources in an account and resources by type, so an administrator can quickly identify resources that fail to comply with AWS Config Rules.
- CloudWatch gains speed. Amazon CloudWatch now supports high-resolution custom metrics and alarms,enabling SysOps to monitor deployments in seconds. Metrics publish in as little as one second and alarms occur in as few as 10 seconds, for more immediate and granular visibility into a cloud environment. The support also includes dashboard widgets.
- Spot Fleets improve tagging. Users can now apply up to 50 tags to EC2 instances launched in a Spot Fleet, to quickly identify specific instances and improve access control, compliance protocols and cost accounting for those compute resources. SysOps defines which tags they want to apply to Fleets, which apply those tags to individual instances. The tagging feature is available in all regions.
- New HIPAA eligibility. Two Amazon services gained HIPAA eligibility and PCI compliance. Amazon WorkSpaces is a desktop as a service that enables administrators to deploy HIPAA-compliant work environments for employees. The service also adheres to Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standards, which lets applications and files safely interact with data from card holders. Amazon WorkDocs, a file sharing and collaboration service, can safely handle sensitive health or cardholder information with HIPAA eligibility and PCI DSS compliance. Both updates help AWS customers, particularly in the healthcare field, conform to strict compliance standards.
- Lambda@Edge goes GA. Eight months after its unveiling, the AWS Lambda@Edge service is generally available for developers who want to run Node.js-based Lambda functions across AWS edge locations. Developers upload code to Lambda and configure it to trigger CloudWatch Events. AWS then routes the request to the edge location that’s geographically closest to the customer and executes it. For example, an IT team can create custom web pages and logic at lower latencies for individual Lambda requests based on their geographic origins.
- Reduce unwanted email. An added flow rules feature in Amazon Workmail enables an IT team to filter inbound email traffic to reduce unwanted email messages from specific senders, route email to junk folders and ensure delivery of priority email. Rules can apply to individual email addresses and entire email domains that AWS hosts.