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Catch up on all the gossip from AWS re:Invent

An exciting time of the year for cloud computing professionals! The AWS re:Invent conference took place in Las Vegas earlier this month and there's a lot of exciting changes to discuss. Without further ado lets get to it.

Reinvent AWS
Myles Payne 400 x 400

Myles Payne

AWS Solution Specialist

All the gossip from AWS re:Invent

Compute gets Graviton3 chip, AWS storage world and more.

Technology aside, there were 2 big differences for us at re:Invent 2020 this year. Firstly, guess who made the big screen!?

It was lovely to see ourselves on the big screen during AWS Partner Keynote with Doug Yeum.

This talk focused on AWS's ever-growing partner network where Doug highlighted how in 2020, AWS signed 25 strategic collaboration agreements and an additional 27 in 2021. Out of those 52 partners, we were ecstatic to see our name in the spotlight.

Secondly, it was lovely to see the event go from a virtual one to a live one in Las Vegas in early December, featuring multiple sessions and keynotes including a first for their new CEO Adam Selipsky. During the event, AWS announced new features and improvements, with a focus more on packaged solutions than new tech.

Let’s take a look shall we?

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The weeklong event introduces us to new technologies and packages services in almost every category of AWS. Some of these launches were more relevant to us at Softcat and our customers. Below is a review of the main launches impacting, Compute, Storage, Database, Architecture, Network and Security.

Compute: launch of Graviton3 chip

The big news from reinvent with regards to compute was the launch of the Graviton3 chip.

This new generation of ARM processor can be previewed on Amazon EC2 C7g instances. These instances are going to be a great match for our customer's compute-intensive workloads.

We were also introduced to a new Storage optimized EC2 instance (Im4gn and Is4gen) powered by AWS Graviton2 Processors. Both Im4gn and Is4gen offer up to 30 TB of NVMe storage using AWS Nitro SSD devices that are custom-built by AWS.

Finally, for our Mac-centric customers, we are now able to offer EC2 Mac1 Instances which allow us to re-architect their applications to natively support Macs with Apple silicon, we can now build and test apps and take advantage of all the benefits of AWS.


As a storage competency partner, we got very excited about new services to AWS Sotrage World.

We want to utilise them as quickly as possible. It just so happens that this year's re:invent has given us lots to talk about with our customers.

The most exciting introduction for our team was the new S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval Storage Class. This new archive storage class delivers the lowest cost storage for long-lived data that is rarely accessed and requires millisecond retrieval. In comparison to the existing S3 Glacier tier, which can take up to 12 hours to retrieve data, this new class will allow customers with unpredictable data retrieval requests to keep costs low.

Alongside this launch, AWS also introduces Amazon EBS Snapshots Archive and a new Amazon S3 Object Ownership setting that allows you to disable ACLs, and the Amazon S3 console policy editor now reports security warnings, errors, and suggestions powered by IAM Access Analyzer.


This year, the advances in AWS Database offerings were mainly based around cost savings.

With the introduction of Amazon DynamoDB Standard-Infrequent Access (DynamoDB Standard-IA), our customers can reduce storage costs by 60% compared to existing DynamoDB Standard tables, and that delivers the same performance, durability, and scaling.

Alongside this AWS announced the general availability of Amazon RDS Custom for SQL Server to support applications that depend on specific configurations and third-party applications that require customizations in corporate, e-commerce, and content management systems, such as Microsoft SharePoint. With this new tool we can now do the following: enable features that require elevated privileges like SQL Common Language Runtime (CLR); install specific drivers to enable heterogeneous linked servers; have more than 100 databases per instance.


Within the last couple of months, our AWS team have seen an influx in Well Architected Review request from our customers. This process currently involves us comparing our customers' AWS infrastructure against the Well Architected Framework which consists of five pillars (Operational Excellence, Security, Reliability, Performance Efficiency and Cost Optimization).

This year, AWS has announced the sixth pillar. The sustainability pillar focuses on minimizing the environmental impacts of running cloud workloads. Topics include a shared responsibility model for sustainability, understanding impact, and maximizing utilization to minimize required resources and reduce downstream impacts. This is music to our ears, as Softcat are motivated to drive change within our organisation whilst working with our partners, our supply chain, and supporting our customers on their socially responsible journey through the technology we provide.

Networking & Content Delivery

This year AWS announced the launch of their AWS Direct Connect SiteLink, a new capability of AWS Direct Connect that lets you create connections between your on-premises networks through the AWS global network backbone. Up until December, when our customers needed direct connectivity between their data centres and branch offices they had to rely on public internet or expensive and hard-to-deploy fixed networks. This new introduction allows them to connect their sites through Direct Connect locations, without sending your traffic through an AWS Region.


Security is always at the forefront of customer concerns when it comes to Cloud, and it's understandable why. When you are used to having your infrastructure within reach, it's a huge commitment to have it migrated to an inaccessible environment. Each year at re:invent, AWS give customers more reasons to feel safe in the cloud by introducing new detection and monitoring tools. This year, AWS have improved, automated vulnerability management for Cloud workloads with a New Amazon Inspector. Since the launch of Amazon Inspector in 2015, AWS have delivered several customer-requested features. This year, they have they recognized that there were new requirements to meet: enabling frictionless deployment at scale; support for an expanded set of resource types needing assessment; and a critical need to detect and remediate at speed. During this year's event, they announced that these requirements have been met through multiple new features.

Unfortunately this year, due to Covid19 restrictions, our AWS team was not able to attend re:invent, however, we managed to attend some talks virtually. Thankfully for us, AWS have been documenting their new launches through the article Top Announcements of AWS re:invent 2021. Here you can find a full list of this years new features and improvements. Be sure to check it out for full breakdowns of their new projects.