It’s the time of the year again when AWS releases a huge amount of new products and features at the re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. We have been following re:Invent closely at Clouden and we’ve made a list of our favorite product launches.
API Gateway HTTP APIs
HTTP APIs are a new cost-effective alternative for traditional REST APIs in Amazon API Gateway. You can use them to create more lightweight serverless APIs in front of Lambda functions when you don’t need any advanced API management features like Custom Authorizers, API Keys or Usage Plans.
HTTP APIs cost $1.11 per 1.000.000 requests in the Ireland region, while the traditional REST APIs cost $3.50 for the same number of requests.
Step Functions Express Workflows
Express Workflows are a new, lightweight way of executing AWS Step Functions. They provide a compelling “lowcode” alternative for implementing business logic, instead of programming it using a traditional programming language and running it in Lambda functions or containers.
Express Workflows can last a maximum of 5 minutes and are charged by the number of invocations and memory used (with a minimum of 64MB and 100ms per invocation). In the Ireland region, you will get 1.000.000 invocations for about $1.10.
For longer tasks you can still use Standard Workflows, which can last up to a year and are charged by the number of state transitions. The cost of 1.000.000 state transitions is $25.
Provisioned Concurrency for AWS Lambda
Provisioned Concurrency helps eliminate the cold-start time that occurs when Lambda functions are started for the first time after being idle for a while, or when a user load peak causes Lambda to provision more concurrent instances.
You can configure a Lambda function to always keep a specified number of instances ready for execution. The cost is about $12/month per 1GB function instance in the Ireland region, but you also get some of the cost back in the form of lower execution pricing.
Amplify DataStore is a new offline data store for iOS and Android applications. It promises to make it much easier to synchronize data between smartphones and the cloud, so that your application keeps working when the phone is offline or has a slow connection.
Previously Amplify has already had support for caching GraphQL queries and mutations. The problem with that is that all the queries need to be executed once while online, so that their results are available in the cache while offline. DataStore should make it much easier for all the content to be available automatically.
Wavelength is Amazon’s solution to the problem of offering low-latency cloud services in 5G networks. It promises single-digit latency by allowing applications to run on EC2 instances in the 5G network operator’s premises. These instances are connected to a VPC network, allowing them to communicate with the rest of the cloud application that runs in a regular AWS region.
It will probably take a while for Wavelength to be available in Europe, but it will be very interesting to see what kind of applications it will be used for.
AWS Braket Quantum Computing
AWS Braket is not a new service in itself, but it provides access to third party quantum computing services from D-Wave, IonQ and Rigetti. Braket will probably be just a simple “Quantum IDE” in the beginning, but it will be interesting to see if AWS can integrate quantum computing to its other cloud services later on.
DeepComposer is a fun-looking device and a related cloud service that use GAN-based machine learning to produce music from simple melodies entered by the user. The device is most likely just a simple USB MIDI keyboard, but it will be interesting to play with the cloud service and see if it can be customized to produce many styles of music.