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AWS news: Data Exchange for Redshift, new AWS Solutions, EC2 launch config reminder

This week in AWS: Third-party data access gets easier for Redshift, nifty new AWS Solutions, and it's time to migrate those EC2 launch configurations.

Jun 08, 2023 • 4 Minute Read

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What's new with AWS this week? Third-party data access gets easier for Redshift, we have some nifty new AWS Solutions to play with, and the time has finally come to migrate those EC2 launch configurations.

I'm Scott Pletcher, and fortunately, the AWS certification process has deemed me fit to serve another three years as an AWS Certified Solutions Architect Professional! While I've re-certified several times, it was my first experience with remote proctoring. You can read all about my near-disaster AWS recertification experience — it's a harrowing tale of intrigue and panic.

But enough about me. Read on for the news!

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AWS Data Exchange for Amazon Redshift

Recently, AWS announced the public preview of AWS Data Exchange for Amazon Redshift.

AWS Data Exchange is a service that allows those who have useful data to share it via the AWS Marketplace, sometimes for free or as a subscription. Prior to this release, nearly all of the datasets were made available via S3. You could use Athena or Redshift Spectrum to get at that data, but that's not ideal from a performance standpoint.

Alternatively, you could use some batch ETL process to import the data into your existing Redshift warehouse.

This preview of Data Exchange for Redshift aims to solve the performance challenge and remove the ETL steps by allowing customers to directly query and publish other RedShift-based datasets.

Since you're essentially reaching into the data provider's Redshift instance, the data is always up-to-date and will be much more performant than S3-based datasets. In other dataset news, AWS has added some new public datasets to their Open Data Registry.

New AWS Solutions

For those aspiring cloud architects, AWS Solutions might just be the most wonderful resource that you may have never heard of.

Think of AWS Solutions as a big database of recipes, but instead of helping you create a tasty meal, they can help you create an equally tasty cloud-based application. They generally consist of a CloudFormation template and deployment guide, which stitch together multiple AWS services into a complete solution. Usually, the solution can be deployed with little more than a mouse click.

These solutions are vetted by professional AWS architects, so they tend to adhere to best practices and can be very useful learning tools.

Recently, AWS announced some new and improved AWS Solutions that might be worth a look. There is a distributed load testing solution that can help you find weak points and vulnerabilities in your applications. We also now have a Q&A chatbot solution, and an updated version of AWS Perspectives — a solution that helps inventory and visually document your existing AWS landscapes.

If you haven’t explored AWS Solutions, do have a look!

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Time to migrate those EC2 launch configurations

Just a friendly EC2 service reminder, if you’re still using Launch Configurations for your EC2 Auto-scaling groups, the time has come for you to migrate those over to Launch Templates.

AWS announced recently that they would no longer be building new features into Launch Configurations and instead focus on Launch templates. Now you do have some time as AWS expects all customers to be migrated by the end of 2022 but come on, launch configurations are so 2010.

My recertification ordeal might have been white-knuckle, but yours doesn't have to be. Drop by our Certification Office Hours Wednesday, October 26, at 5:30 EST on our Discord Server. Mattias Anderson, Lars Klint, and I will be hanging around ready to answer questions, share exam strategies, or talk about whatever else is on your mind. Any time the three of us get together, you can be assured silliness will ensue.

Keep up with all things AWS

And don't forget that we have a free plan (no credit card required) offering here at ACG. This is perfect if you're someone who likes to try before you buy. We include a bunch of new free courses each month.

That, my friends, is all the AWS news fit to print this week. Stay safe, take care of one another, and keep being awesome, cloud gurus!

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