It’s one of the most wonderful times of the year—AWS (Amazon Web Services) re:Invent 2021. Nestled between holidays, AWS put on its conference for the global cloud computing community that included lots of product announcements around architecture, compute, containers, the IoT (Internet of Things), machine learning, migration and transfer services, security, and quantum technologies, as well as boot camps for attendees looking to sharpen their AWS skills, forward-looking keynotes, workshops, and breakout sessions on topics like AI (artificial intelligence), and, in general, ample opportunities for business owners, developers, IT executives, and others to learn and collaborate.
Some key announcements from the event in the realm of the IoT included the integration of AWS IoT Greengrass and AWS Systems Manager, which simplifies the management and maintenance of system software for edge devices. AWS IoT Greengrass is an open-source edge runtime and cloud service for building, deploying, and managing device software. AWS says thanks to the integration, edge device administrators can now remotely access and securely manage the multitude of devices that they own. They can also automate regularly scheduled operations that maintain edge compute systems. There’s also a new Greengrass Software Catalog—a collection of pre-built Greengrass components on GitHub. The catalog offers developers the option to select software components built by the Greengrass community instead of developing IoT edge applications from scratch, accelerating these projects and making it far simpler.
A new managed service called AWS Private 5G is another highlight of the event. AWS says the service helps enterprises set up and scale private 5G mobile networks in their facilities in just days instead of months, eliminating long planning cycles and complex integrations and offering automated setup. AWS Private 5G allows enterprises to scale network capacity on demand. Plus, enterprises need only pay for the capacity and throughput they use. The Private 5G service opens the door for more enterprises to leverage the benefits of 5G, such as high bandwidth and lower latency.
AWS also launched a public preview of AWS IoT RoboRunner at re:Invent 2021. This new robotics service connects robots and work management systems, making it easier for enterprises to build and deploy applications that help fleets of robots from different vendors work seamlessly together. AWS IoT RoboRunner can enable robot interoperability, optimize robot collaboration, and manage a diverse fleet of robots through a single system view.
During the event, the company announced a new and improved Amazon Inspector—a service originally launched in 2015 to help organizations meet security and compliance requirements for workloads deployed to AWS. New features and enhanced benefits include continual, automated assessment scans; automated resource discovery; new support for container-based workloads; improved risk scoring; and integration with Amazon EventBridge and AWS Security Hub.
AWS partners like Intel put on a good show at re:Invent 2021. In Intel’s case, its presence was virtual but still influential. The company created a custom microsite called “City in the Cloud”—a 3D interactive experience that explores different case studies and showcases how AWS and Intel solutions work together.
Another highlight was AWS DeepRacer, an interactive and fun way for developers of all skill levels to get their hands dirty and experiment with machine learning. Leveraging RL (reinforcement learning) and a cloud-based 3D racing simulator, participants in AWS DeepRacer trained a fully autonomous 1/18th-scale car driven by reinforcement learning to race for real-life prizes. The concept of making machine learning training not only available to more people but also fun enough to attract new talent is a great way to build skills in the up-and-coming tech community.
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