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Latest AWS News: Five Updates for Businesses

It’s time for another round up of the latest and greatest in AWS, and how new and improved services from the world’s most popular cloud provider could potentially help your business. We’re proud partners of AWS, so we’re always tuned into the latest news that could be useful for our customers.

Last week we had a look at the latest news from Azure, so check out Latest Azure News: Five Updates for Businesses if you’re an Azure customer too (or interested in their services).

Backups made easier: New AWS Backup features

Good news for customers of AWS Backup, or those who are looking into using the service. AWS Backup is a backup service released last year, designed to replace or complement your existing off-site backup method. There are three new features released recently that may be a welcome addition to your backup methods:

  • The ability to backup complete EC2 instances

This makes restoration of instances a much easier process than previously possible.

  • The ability to copy backups to different AWS regions

This helps in compliance activities whereby duplicate remote backups need to be separated by a certain distance for redundancy.

  • Restoring a single file from Elastic File System, rather than the entire file system

This makes restoration of accidentally deleted or corrupted files or folders within an Elastic File System far more efficient.

Enhanced customer service: Amazon Lex chatbot

Nobody likes waiting on hold for hours waiting for a customer service representative, or a frustrating online chatbot that doesn’t understand what you’re trying to ask. If you haven’t yet heard of Amazon Connect, it’s the Amazon product that helps manage voice and chat channels, offering a workflow GUI editor, and the ability to tailor experiences to each customer.

While Connect has been around for a while, it’s Amazon Lex that is a new product in the region. Amazon Lex is a natural language chatbot that has the same AI running as Alexa. You can now integrate Amazon Lex into Connect, allowing customers to speak and make requests or questions naturally, rather than having to wait and listen to menus.

End of technical support for Windows Server 2008: Migration program

Just because it’s 2020 doesn’t mean that plenty of organisations aren’t still running Windows Server 2008. However, it’s the end of the line for technical support for the product. That means no more updates or patches: it’s time to migrate to ensure the ongoing viability of your systems and applications.

AWS is happy to help, with their End-of-Support Migration Program which helps migrate legacy Windows Server products to newer versions running on AWS – without any refactoring. The service identifies all dependencies, then packages applications so they can be migrated to newer Windows Server versions without having to upgrade the applications themselves. This means that legacy applications can be still be supported with minimal disruption.

Identity management: AWS Single Sign-On + Azure AD

Yes, AWS is happy to play nice with their competitors to try and enhance the AWS experience for their own customers. That’s why the announcement of AWS Single-On Integration with enterprise Azure Active Directory was a no-brainer.

This new integration allows you to automatically sync user identities and groups between Active Directory and AWS Single Sign-On – no more needing to remember different user names and passwords. On the administrator side, it means that you can automatically assign groups to AWS services based on Azure privileges.

With plenty of organisations using a multi-cloud environment, having these sort of integrations just makes work that much smoother.

Just for fun: AWS Deep Composer

This latest addition to the AWS family probably isn’t going to be very handy in your business (unless you’re in the music industry), but it is a fun way to start exploring machine learning. AWS Deep Composer is a musical keyboard-based generative machine learning tool – which means you can start playing a tune, then the AI will take over to write the rest for you.

AWS Deep Composer allows you to get started with Generative Adversarial Networks (two different neural networks) to create original music from your input. You’re then able to train and optimise these networks to allow them to get better at generating the type of music you want to produce. Can AI write music? Apparently so, if you train it well enough.

AWS + A1T

If you need help with these services, or any other AWS products, then reach out to us here at A1 Technologies. It’s our business to help in cloud services assessment, migration, the rollout of new cloud services, employee training for new cloud products, and/or full management of your cloud infrastructure.

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