5 AWS Services you don’t know about

Trucks, space, video games and more

No big introduction today because it is not needed!

You probably know that Amazon Web Services provides a lot of services.

Let me present you five you probably don’t know a lot about.

Snowmobile

AWS-Snowmobile_light-bg.png

Did you ever heard of the “Snow” family? Let me introduce you to one of John’s brothers…

What?

Snowmobile is one of the data-transfer solutions provided by AWS.

When transferring data from your data-center to AWS, you can chose to use the internet, or the AWS backbone network. This is fine for small datasets and even medium ones. But what if you need to upload a very large amount of data in a small time window? This network solutions won’t be enough.

That’s when you are going to check Snowmobile!

The goal is to provide data-transfer service for very large amount of data. We are talking about up to 100PB!

It consists of a physical container pulled by a semi-trailer truck who will come to the company to help you transfer data more quickly than through the network. The truck will then go back to AWS and the data is put in S3 to be available.

Snowmobile should be used for datasets larger than 10PB. If you have less than that and still struggle to use the network, you can have a look to AWS Snowball.

How?

  • Request the service using AWS specific form
  • You are contacted by AWS team to schedule the transfer, discuss logistics…
  • The truck go to your company
  • AWS team connect the Snowmobile to your infrastructure
  • Transfer data to the Snowmobile
  • The container is drove back to your AWS region
  • Data is loaded into S3 or Glacier
  • AWS team check with you if everything is fine

Cost

The cost will be around $0.005/GB/month but you will probably discuss these considerations with the AWS teams before ordering. A specific form is available to request Snowmobile, Snowball and Swowball Edge.

Outposts

AWS-Outposts_light-bg.png

Did you heard about Hybrid Cloud?

What?

Outposts is the way to integrate AWS Services into your data-center.

This is your best choice if you need low latency or local data treatment.

You can control where your compute and storage is living, while benefiting from the main AWS Services (compute, database, storage…).

How?

  • Order your storage and compute capacity
  • AWS team is coming to your site to connect your Outposts hardware to power, AWS network and your infrastructure
  • Launch your resources on Outposts
  • Start using your services and building applications

Cost

Pricing is based on the configuration you order. You will have an initial cost and then an additional cost based on the configuration you choose.

Details can be found here.

Ground Station

This is my favourite!

AWS-Ground-Station_light-bg.png

I’m pretty sure you didn’t know that AWS have a service about satellites. Crazy, right?

What?

With Ground Station, you can use data coming from satellites without needing to have your own infrastructure. The service provides you with antennas, modems, everything you need to connect other AWS Services or your own data-center to your satellite data.

An EC2 instance from a specific AMI is connecting to the antenna over an ENI connection.

Ground stations are fully managed and are inter-connected using the low latency AWS network backbone. To use the service, you reserve antenna time to connect tot the satellite.

How?

  • Register your satellite(s)
  • Schedule a satellite contact based your satellite(s) contact windows
  • Use Ground Station to control, download data and send command to your satellite(s)
  • Use other AWS services to process and distribute the received data

Cost

AWS bill you by the minute on the actual time you use the antenna.

Cloud Map

AWS-Cloud-Map_light-bg.png

What?

Cloud Map is a mapping service to help with naming in the Cloud.

It is particularly useful with micro-service architectures. All the components can be by definition dynamics.

Cloud Map acts as the glue between your components, it is a registry keeping track of the latest versions of the architecture components. It works like a facade to other components and can provide health-check support.

When your application use Cloud Map, it will always try to get the latest resources. It is a strategy to increase the high availability of your service.

Even if your resources change dynamically, Cloud Map will keep the link up-to-date.

You can declare different resource types into Cloud Map: databases, micro-services, queues, lambdas, ECS clusters…

Health check capabilities

How?

  • Create a namespace
  • Create services
  • Register service-instances
  • Use API calls in the application to discover service instances

Feel free to check this article and this AWS blog post

Cost

The service is billed 1$ per million requests and 0.10$ per DNS registered resource. Check details here.

Amazon Lumberyard

aws_lumberyard.jpg Video game creators, this one is for you !

What?

Amazon Lumberyard is a free AAA game engine. The service is fully integrated with the AWS and Twitch environments.

You can integrate AWS services in your game: leader-boards using DynamoDB, Server side combat resolution…

You can develop for several platforms: PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4, iOs, Android… MacOS is not supported at the moment but is on the roadmap.

Another interesting point: you can have a look to the C++ project on Github.

How?

  • Download the engine
  • Configure it to build your game
  • Develop your game
  • Publish it

AWS provides a free course to start using Lumberyard, check it here.

Cost

Amazon Lumberyard is free to use, without any paid license. You only pay for other AWS services you choose to integrate to your game.

Conclusion

AWS has so many services that we can regularly find new ones to dig into. We can always have some nice surprises and that was the goal of this article !

Keep learning and let your journey be astonishing !

Feel free to react to this article here and to reach me on Twitter (@FlolightC) to tell me about the incredible AWS service you discovered yesterday or to ask me questions ! I’m always happy to discuss with you !

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