At the end of last month at the re:Invent 2018 cloud technology conference, Amazon announced new AWS services which will change the current understanding of the world of hosting. Klemens Arro, the head of ADM Hosting, Amazon’s only consultation partner status firm in Estonia, summarizes what the hosting giant will soon be offering its clients.
Of all the new services Amazon rolled out in Las Vegas, Forecast is certainly one of the most important, since it has a significant impact on clients of all sizes. To make a prognosis on demand, deliveries, finances, and other areas of importance, businesses usually use all kinds of tools from simple Excel spreadsheets to complex financial planning software. These models are based upon past events or historic data and are therefore predicated on the assumption that history will repeat itself. Traditionally the prognosis does not factor in changing indicators like product functionality, price and discounts, web traffic statistics, number of employees, location of stores, fashion trends, etc. AWS Forecast bases its prognoses on historic data (i.e. last year’s sales numbers) as well as all kinds of other information that the user feels might influence the result. As all the data is fed into Forecast, it automatically decides what is needed, analyses it, and then creates a model which can produce predictions that are 50% more accurate than those based on historic data alone.
Although the use of models like this is indeed not brand new, since prognoses have been made on the basis of different data before, still it has until now been the playing field of large corporations due to the very high cost of admission. The difference now is that with just a few clicks, even small Estonian businesses can generate very thorough prognoses. Furthermore, such models can be produced on a regular basis, according to the user’s schedule, so that the prognoses are always timely.
Forecast is suitable for planning demand, resources, and finances.
For more information see AWS.amazon.com/forecast.
It would be great if all online stores worked as well and as intelligently as Amazon.com, whose algorithms can make appropriate suggestions and display for customers just the products which really interest them. Undoubtedly a personalized shopping experience is one of the foundations of an e-store or e-service, upon which is based customer loyalty or repeat business, greater profit and a higher recommendation index.
Now Amazon has released Personalize, a service based on machine learning which uses the data saved in Amazon S3 and artificial intelligence to create content and suggestions for users – be it search results, appropriate purchase suggestions or precision-targeted marketing campaigns. Previously these were all available only to companies with large IT budgets, but now even small enterprises can take part. Personalize gathers and analyzes user demographics and activities, statistics and extant products, selects the right algorithms and then creates and optimizes a personalization model according to available data. This process used to take months, but now can be done with just a few clicks – and crucially – with just a fraction of the budget.
Among the new services, Amazon Managed Blockchaind serves to also be mentioned; a fully managed service facilitating the easy creation and management of scaleable blockchain networks with users and certificates and the monitoring of computing, memory, and archiving resources. This will be done using the open source frameworks Hyperledger Fabric and the forthcoming Etherium.
Big data, analytics, and security
The new AWS Control Tower service saves valuable work hours and increases security.
Traditionally when businesses migrate their systems to AWS, they have many different applications and large teams, and different accounts are created for all their members. This is a common solution when the goal is to allow teams and team members to work independently while also maintaining high security. In order to control work flow and security, AWS Organizations, AWS Service Catalog, and AWS Config services are also used. Control Tower resolves this situation by automatically creating a unified “landing zone” for all users with the best security and a consistent set of rules.
Thanks to Control Tower, control can be maintained over the environment while continuing to give speed and agility to the development team, as in adding new teams and team members.
AWS Security Hub is also focused on security – it gathers the security information for all AWS accounts into one place and displays the result on one worktable. This helps improve the effectiveness with which security issues pertaining to all accounts and services can be monitored and prioritized. Automated security checks can be easily run, and the current status of all accounts can be seen on one worktable. This simplifies and significantly accelerates the ability to deal with the hundreds and thousands of everyday security alerts across different accounts and services. Starting up is as simple as activating Security Hub in the Management Console, and all the information is in the palm of your hand.
One more new AWS service – Lake Formation – allows the simple establishment of data lakes many times faster than before; in days instead of months. This provides faster collection of data and combination of different analytics, which means that better business decisions can be made much more quickly.
Lake Formation solves many problems with just a couple clicks – defining the location of data, access and security policies, gathers and catalogues existing data, elevates data to S3 data lakes and classifies data using machine learning algorithms. Therefore the implementation of security policies is simplified, since it no longer has to be done based on different services, but rather can be done quickly and from one place.
Expanded Amazon Translate
Amazon’s translation service Translate is of course not new, but it has been significantly expanded and deserves to be mentioned. In particular, Amazon has added Custom Terminology, or the ability to add business-specific vocabulary to the automatic translation service. By uploading your own Custom Terminology, there is no longer any worry about mistranslation of your brand, product, or any other specific term.
For example, after translation ADM Hosting should never take on a meaning of some sort of hospitality service, but rather remain in its original form.
Until now, this meant that all translations had to be manually checked and edited. By uploading this exception into the AWS cloud service using the AWS console, the persistence of the term is ensured. Since translation occurs automatically, it is necessary to first make sure that the Custom Terminology is presented to the machines in a form they can understand. That can be done very simply here: docs.aws.amazon.com/translate/latest/dg/how-custom-terminology.html.