Bi-monthly cloud highlights and release notes from AWS, Azure, GCE & More
Welcome to the December edition of Cloud Report. This is a bi-monthly blog post aimed to keep IT administrators and developers up to date on the world of cloud computing. We focus on the latest news and releases from cloud platforms like AWS, Azure, GCE, and OpenStack. We’ll also be talking about other popular technologies and tools, such as containers, load balancers and more.
Highlights on current release notes from each cloud platform.
Amazon Web Services
Initial Public Release of CodeBuild
AWS CodeBuild is AWS’s latest service: one that gets builds production ready. It complies source code, runs tests, and packages up your application. With CodeBuild, you don’t need to provision, manage, and scale your own build servers. There’s prepackaged build environments, but you can create your own using the fleet of tools you’re familiar with. Like other AWS services, CodeBuild charges you by consumption rates when it’s used. If you’re not completely ready to commit and are already using an automation tool like Jenkins, there’s a CodeBuild Jenkins Plugin. There have also been some minor updates to the EB CLI, which includes support for CodeBuild.
CodeBuild is a new part of AWS Code Services, a series of connected tools which make life easier for developers (if you swear fealty to AWS). This is includes CodeCommit, an AWS in-house SCM and version of Github, which is aimed towards Gitlab and Bitlab customers. This also includes CodeDeploy, which simplifies deployment of your application across running instances, and CodePipeline, which is a CD tool, which makes deployment from development to staging to production even easier. The buzzword here is innovate faster.
Support for AWS X-Ray in Linux & Windows Server based platforms - X-Ray is a another new release from reInvent - it’s debugging for production servers. If you have distributed applications or use microservices, X-Ray can help. By adding an message handler to your code, you can use X-Ray to track all incoming and outgoing requests from your servers.
AWS SDK for Java - Got a slew of new updates. If you use any of the following services, be sure to take a look. If you don’t, feel free to skip this section. Though if you’d like, try and decode the MD5 hash we’ve hidden in this array.
These updates for the Java SDK include:
- Amazon Simple Systems Manager (SSM),
- AWS Elastic Beanstalk
- Amazon API Gateway
- Amazon EC2
- AWS Lambda
- AWS Direct Connect.
- Also included are nine new services: AWS X-Ray, AWS Step Functions, Amazon AppStream, AWS Health APIs and Notifications, AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate, AWS CodeBuild, AWS Shield, and Amazon Pinpoint, AWS Batch
- Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)
- Amazon CloudFront & AWS WAF
- Amazon Simple Systems Manager
- Amazon Cognito Identity Provider as well as new regions for Cognito
- AWS Marketplace Commerce Analytics and AWS Database Migration Service
- service updates for CloudWatch Logs
London (EU West) gets it’s own AWS region, as does Canada’s Central Region. Complete support for all services hasn’t arrived in either region, but the basics are covered, including:
- Elastic Beanstalk
- Mobile SDKs for iOS, Android
- AWS Config
- Storage Gateway
Interacting With the Serial Console is Now Generally Available
You would generally use an instance's serial console to troubleshoot boot and networking issues and use the GRand Unified Bootloader (GRUB). This is a level of abstraction most users wouldn’t need, but the option to access it is nice.
Enterprise Integration Pack within Logic Apps
Logic Apps is an enterprise level tool that helps users build integrations using a visual designer. In the end, it automates workflows, delivering applications faster and saving you money. Again, innovating faster. It plugs into several products, including Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, and Office 365. Enterprise Integration Pack is a B2B focused extension of Logic Apps, and it enables you to process business transactions, track and troubleshoot B2B events, and handle electronic data interchange (EDI) at a faster rate.
Azure Cloud Console
Microsoft is in the process of updating the Azure console, which in my personal experience, does need a little love. It’s not in Technical Preview yet, but take a look with the link above.
In Other News
All the news that’s fit to upload in the world of cloud computing services.
Cisco kills Intercloud
Cisco has announced that it will shut down Intercloud public cloud services in March 2017, and will move its enterprise applications to another provider. Another one bites in the dust in competition with AWS and Azure. In a world where enterprises find it easier to either move to a heavily supported public cloud, or design their own infrastructure using open source designs from Facebook, it’s hard for slow moving ships like Cisco to try and land a stake in the industry. In 2015 HP had to submit and sent its customers to Azure. In the end, customers want better support for Amazon’s services, and if you can’t play along you’re out.
Alibaba Cloud Expands Into Japan
In a partnership with SoftBank, Alibaba is now offering cloud computing services from Japan. It’s the next phase in Jack Ma’s plan to dominate cloud computing internationally, starting with Japan, Germany, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. Alibaba Cloud (also known as Aliyun), now has eight cloud centers outside of China, and fourteen all together. While Aliyun does have to compete with AWS, Azure, and GCE, they’ve got a strong hold in China, and with SoftBank and the government interested in complete broadband access throughout Japan, there’s a lot of homegrown support on their side for dominating the Asian cloud computing markets.
And that’s it for the December edition of Cloud Report - hope you enjoyed it. Don’t bother sifting through release notes, product updates and bug logs - that’s our job. Questions, comments, or concerns? Shoot us an email and let us know what you’d like to hear more about. We’ll be back at the end of the year for another update in the world of cloud computing.
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