At its annual conference AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services did not limit itself to one or two announcements. From the IoT to the cloud, mobile, developers and beyond, here is all what has been said.

AWS has made 50 announcements at the sixth AWS re:Invent hosted in Las Vegas, US, which included the launch of new products, the extension of existing services, customer enhancements, and much more.

New tools for cloud developers and applications builders, containers, huge data trucks; the 2016 edition of the show did not disappoint and AWS executives were well prepared to deliver a world-class event that shows similarities with rival shows from Google and Microsoft.

With a deluge of announcements, Data Economy extracts the most important topics out of all the 50 made last week.

Note to readers: To make it easier to the eye, we broke down the announcements into five pages. The 50 announcements only include AWS’ ones and not releases from partners and/or customers.


AWS Snowmobile

snowmobileIt’s a data centre on wheels; it’s a container; it’s the future. Snowmobile is that and much more.

One of the major announcements AWS made at re:Invent was the unveiling of Snowmobile, a data truck (literally a truck!) that stores up to 100 PB of data and which can move exabytes to AWS in a matter of weeks.

Designed to meet customers’ needs in the financial services, media & entertainment, scientific, and other industries, Snowmobile attaches to users’ network and appears as a local, NFS-mounted volume.

Customers can use their existing backup and archiving tools to fill it up with data destined for Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) or Amazon Glacier.

Physically, Snowmobile is a ruggedised, tamper-resistant shipping container 45 feet long, 9.6 feet high, and 8 feet wide. It is water-proof, climate-controlled, and can be parked in a covered or uncovered area adjacent to customers’ data centres.

Each Snowmobile consumes about 350 kW of AC power. AWS has also generators available for customers who do not have the power needed to run the machine.

AWS Snowball Edge

At the event, AWS introduced the AWS Snowball Edge, a 100TB data transfer device with on-board storage and compute.

Customers can use Snowball Edge to move large amounts of data into and out of AWS, as a temporary storage tier for large local data sets, or to support independent local workloads in remote locations.

Snowball Edge connects to existing applications and infrastructure using standard storage interfaces, streamlining the data transfer process and minimizing setup and integration.

The solution can cluster together to form a local storage tier and process data on-premises, helping ensure applications continue to run even when they are not able to access the cloud.

Regional Edge Caches for Amazon CloudFront

AWS announced that Amazon CloudFront has added a new type of edge location called Regional Edge Cache to improve performance for viewers.

Regional Edge Caches help reduce the load on users origin resources, minimising operational burden associated with scaling their origin and reducing their origin costs.

Regional Edge Caches are turned on by default for CloudFront distributions.

The nine new Regional Edge Cache locations are in Northern Virginia, Oregon, São Paulo, Frankfurt, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, Mumbai, and Sydney.

These locations sit between users’ origin webserver and the 68 global edge locations that serve traffic directly to their viewers.

EC2 Systems Manager

Amazon EC2 Systems Manager is a management service that helps users automatically collect software inventory, apply Windows OS patches, create system images, and configure Windows and Linux operating systems.

The company introduced the system manager to help customers define and track system configurations, prevent drift, and maintain software compliance.

The product provides a management approach that is designed for the scale and agility of the cloud but extends into customers’ on-premises data centre.

Amazon Lightsail

Part of the AWS Compute family, Amazon Lightsail has been designed to be the easiest way to launch and manage a virtual private server with AWS.

The new product has been developed to allow customers to deploy a virtual private server with just a few clicks using preconfigured templates for their main Linux distribution, application, or dev stack, including WordPress, Magento, LAMP, and more. O

Being a scalable solution, Lightsail virtual private servers run on the same AWS cloud infrastructure.


AWS introduced Blox, a collection of open source projects for container management and orchestration on Amazon ECS.

The company said Blox gives more control over how customers’ containerised applications run on Amazon ECS, and it enables them to build schedulers and integrate third-party schedulers on top of ECS, while leveraging Amazon ECS to fully manage and scale their clusters.

All projects under Blox are released under Apache 2.0 and the usual Apache Contributor Agreements apply for individual contributors.

Projects are also maintained in public on GitHub, issues and pull requests use GitHub, and discussions use our Gitter channel.

AWS Competency Program & IoT Partners

tom-soderstrom-jpl-it-chief-technology-and-innovation-officer-nasa-jet-propulsion-laboratory-2The AWS Partner Network (APN) announced the launch of the new AWS IoT Competency.

The AWS Competency Program is designed to highlight APN Partners who have demonstrated technical proficiency and proven customer success in specialised solution areas and categories.

The AWS IoT Competency Partner ecosystem is made up of consulting and technology partners with solutions or practice areas that provide technology and/or implementation capabilities for a variety of use cases including (though not limited to) intelligent factories, smart cities, energy, automotive, transportation, and healthcare.

Some of the technology partners include Intel, Microchip Technology, MachineShop, Bsquare Corporation, C3 IoT, Splunk, Inc., Thinglogix, PTC, Amdocs, Inc., Asavie, Eseye, and SORACOM.

Consulting partners as of the launch include Accenture, Aricent, Cloud Technology Partners, Luxoft, Mobiquity Inc., Solstice, Sturdy, and Trek10.

Amazon Athena

AWS has also introduced the Amazon Athena, a serverless query service that lets users analyse data directly in Amazon S3 using standard SQL.

Customers can point Athena at their data stored in S3 and begin using standard SQL to run ad-hoc queries and get results in seconds.

Amazon said that with Athena, there are no clusters to manage and tune, there is no infrastructure to setup, and customers pay only for the queries they run.

It scales automatically, executing queries in parallel, and uses Presto with full standard SQL support, working with a variety of standard data formats, including CSV, JSON, ORC, and Parquet.

AWS Service Delivery Program

The AWS Partner Network (APN) team announced the launch of the AWS Service Delivery Program, a new program to help AWS customers quickly locate APN Partners who have proven expertise delivering specific AWS services such as Amazon Aurora, or AWS Lambda.

AWS services included at launch include Amazon Aurora, Amazon RDS PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Redshift, AWS Database Migration Service, AWS Server Migration Service, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon EMR, AWS Lambda, Amazon Machine Learning, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon CloudFront, AWS WAF, and AWS GovCloud (US).

Click through to the next page to keep reading more announcements from AWS re:Invent 2016.