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Amazon EC2 February 2020 Update

Released on February 24th, 2020

Amazon EC2 Adds the Ability to Easily Query the Billing Information of Amazon Machine Images (AMIs)

You can now use the DescribeImages API to determine the billing product information associated with an Amazon Machine Image (AMI). By making it easier to obtain the platform details and billing information of AMIs, this release reduces the chances of erroneously launching instances from incorrect AMIs, and assists with inventory planning and reporting. Starting today, this capability is available in all AWS commercial Regions and AWS GovCloud (US) Regions from API and CLI. Visit the Amazon documentation page to learn more.

Amazon EC2 vCPU-Based On-Demand Instance Limits are Now Available in GovCloud (US) Regions

Amazon EC2 is transitioning On-Demand Instance limits from the current instance count-based limits to new vCPU-based limits to simplify the limit management experience for AWS customers. Usage toward the vCPU-based limit is measured in terms of number of vCPUs (virtual central processing units) for the Amazon EC2 Instance Types launched. 

On-Demand Instance usage toward the vCPU-based limit is measured in terms of the number of virtual central processing units (vCPUs) attached to your running instances, making it easier to take advantage of Amazon EC2’s broad selection of Instance Types. In addition, there are only five different On-Demand Instance limits—one limit that governs the usage of standard instance families such as A, C, D, H, I, M, R, T, and Z, and one limit per specialized instance family for FPGA (F), graphic-intensive (G), general purpose GPU (P), and special memory optimized (X) instances. You can continue to view and manage your limits from the Amazon EC2 console. With Amazon CloudWatch metrics integration, you can also monitor EC2 usage against limits as well as configure alarms to warn about approaching limits.  

The EC2 vCPU-based limits are available in AWS Govcloud (US) and all commercial AWS Regions except the AWS China (Beijing and Ningxia) Regions. For more information about EC2 On-Demand Instance limits, visit the EC2 FAQ page. If you have any questions, contact the AWS support team on the community forums and via AWS Support

EC2 Hibernation Adds Support for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Amazon EC2 adds Hibernation support for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS operating system in addition to Amazon Linux, Amazon Linux 2, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and Windows Server 2012, 2012R2, 2016 and 2019.  

Hibernation allows you to pause your Amazon EC2 Instances when not required and resume them at a later time. Applications will start up exactly from where they left off instead of rebuilding their memory footprint. Using Hibernation, you can maintain a fleet of pre-warmed instances that can get to productive state faster. You can take advantage of this feature without the need of modifying your existing applications.  

Hibernation help you save time by reducing the startup time taken by applications and saves effort in setting up the environment or applications all over again.  

Hibernation is available for On-Demand and Reserved Instances running on M3, M4, M5, C3, C4, C5, R3, R4, and R5 instances running Amazon Linux, Amazon Linux 2, Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 LTS and Windows. For Windows, Hibernation is supported for instances up to 16 GB of RAM. For other operating systems, Hibernation is supported for instances with less than 150 GB of RAM. 

This feature is available through AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)AWS SDKsAWS Tools for Powershell or the AWS Management Console. To learn more about EC2 Hibernation, visit this blog. For information about enabling hibernation for your EC2 instances, visit the FAQs or Technical Documentation.

Amazon EC2 I3en and C5 Instances are Now Available in Additional Regions

Starting today, Amazon EC2 I3en Instances are Now Available in Asia Pacific (Mumbai) AWS Region. In addition, we’ve expanded the availability of C5 Instance sizes in Asia Pacific (Seoul) and GovCloud (US-East) AWS Regions. c5.12xlarge, c5.24xlarge, and c5.metal sizes are now available in GovCloud (US-East) AWS Region, and C5.metal is now available in Asia Pacific (Seoul) Region.

Amazon EC2 I3en instances are already available in both AWS GovCloud (US) Regions, Asia Pacific (Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney), Europe (Frankfurt, Ireland, Paris, London), US East (N. Virginia, Ohio), US West (Oregon, N. California), Canada (Central), and Brazil (São Paulo) regions.

I3en instances offer up to 60 TB of low latency NVMe SSD instance storage and up to 50% lower cost per GB over I3 instances. These instances are designed for data-intensive workloads such as relational and NoSQL databases, distributed file systems, search engines, and data warehouses that require high random I/O access to large amounts of data residing on instance storage. I3en instances also provide up to 100 Gbps of networking bandwidth and come in seven instance sizes, with storage options from 1.25 to 60 TB. For more information, visit here.

c5.12xlarge, c5.24xlarge and c5.metal instance sizes are powered by custom 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processors (based on the Cascade Lake architecture) with sustained all-core turbo frequency of 3.6 GHz and maximum single core turbo frequency of 3.9 GHz. C5 instances are optimized for compute-intensive workloads and deliver cost-effective high performance at a low price per compute ratio. These instances are ideal for high-performance computing (HPC), machine learning, deep inference, distributed analytics, batch processing, and much more. c5.24xlarge instances increases available resources by 33% to provide even more resources and performance for compute intensive workloads. Furthermore, the C5 bare metal option provides your applications with direct access to the processor and memory resources of the underlying server.

Now enable Amazon EC2 Hibernation for On-Demand and Reserved Instances through AWS CloudFormation

You can now enable Amazon EC2 Hibernation for On-Demand and Reserved Instances through AWS CloudFormation, a service that allows you to easily provision and update a collection of AWS resources in an orderly and predictable fashion. Launching EC2 instances with Hibernation enabled has become easier than ever as now you just need to add a single “HibernationOptions” property with “Configured: true” parameter within the AWS::EC2::Instance resource in your CloudFormation template. With this new feature, you can easily make Hibernation a part of your EC2 instance setup through CloudFormation, provided your EC2 instance meets the Hibernation Prerequisites.  

You should use Hibernation if you want to save the state of your application with contents stored in memory and disk, when you don’t need your EC2 instance, and resume your application from the saved state later. You can take advantage of this feature without even modifying your existing applications.  

Hibernation is available for On-Demand and Reserved Instances running on M3, M4, M5, C3, C4, C5, R3, R4, and R5 instances running Amazon Linux, Amazon Linux 2, Ubuntu 16.04 and 18.04 LTS and Windows Server 2012, 2012R2, 2016 and 2019. For Windows Server, Hibernation is supported for instances up to 16 GB of RAM. For other operating systems, Hibernation is supported for instances with less than 150 GB of RAM. 

Visit AWS CloudFormation user guide to learn more about enabling Hibernation for your EC2 instance. To learn more about EC2 Hibernation and how to use it, visit the BlogLinux or Windows user guides and FAQs. You can also enable Hibernation and hibernate/resume your EC2 instances through AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)AWS SDKsAWS Tools for Powershell or the AWS Management Console

AWS Firewall Manager Now Supports AWS CloudFormation

AWS Firewall Manager now supports AWS CloudFormation, allowing customers to manage all Firewall Manager policy types and resources with CloudFormation stack templates. AWS Firewall Manager is a security management service which allows you to centrally configure and manage firewall rules across your accounts and applications in AWS Organization. With Firewall Manager, you can manage AWS WAF, AWS Shield Advanced, or VPC security groups across your entire AWS Organization. Firewall Manager ensures that all security rules are consistently enforced, even as new accounts or applications are created.

With CloudFormation support, customers using Firewall Manager can now create multiple policies for WAF, Shield Advanced, and security groups with a single CloudFormation stack template. Customers can seamlessly add and remove tags from policies with a single stack action, without having to retrieve update tokens or making multiple API calls to handle tagging. Customers can also reference other resources created by CloudFormation in their policy’s stack template. In addition, customers can manage all Firewall Manager notification channels with CloudFormation stacks by creating SNS topics and notification channels in the same template instead of managing them manually.

CloudFormation support for Firewall Manager is available in AWS regions where Firewall Manager is available. Please refer to the AWS Region Table for more details.

To get started with CloudFormation for Firewall Manager, see the CloudFormation user guide. To learn more about Firewall Manager visit the Firewall Manager product website.

Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling Now Supports Enabling and Disabling Scaling Policies

Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling now lets you enable and disable target tracking, step, and simple scaling policies. You can temporarily disable individual scaling policies during events such as maintenance windows. Once you’re ready, you can simply enable the scaling policies again to re-activate them, eliminating the need to delete and re-create the policies from scratch.

Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling helps you maintain application availability and allows you to automatically add or remove EC2 instances according to conditions you define. You can use the fleet management features to maintain the health and availability of your fleet. You can also use the dynamic and predictive scaling features to add or remove EC2 instances. EC2 Auto Scaling is available in all AWS commercial regions and AWS GovCloud (US) Regions.

For more information on enabling and disabling scaling policies in EC2 Auto Scaling, refer to this documentation.

Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling Now Provides Notifications via AWS Health Service

Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling now publishes notifications to the AWS Personal Health Dashboard and AWS Health API when EC2 instances fail to launch in one of your Auto Scaling groups due to a missing launch template or security group. This gives you actionable feedback to review and update the Auto Scaling group.

The AWS Personal Health Dashboard provides information about AWS Health events that can affect your account. The information is presented in two ways: a dashboard that shows recent and upcoming events organized by category, and a full event log that shows all events from the past 90 days. When a notification is created by EC2 Auto Scaling, you receive alerts via emails and find a notification inside the dashboard. The notification provides instructions on how to identify the affected resource(s) and guidance to quickly diagnose and resolve any issues. You can also use the AWS Health API to gain programmatic access to the information that is presented in the Personal Health Dashboard.  

To learn more about EC2 Auto Scaling notifications via AWS Health Service, visit this technical documentation.

Amazon EC2 Now Supports Tagging EC2 Spot Fleet Requests

You can now assign AWS resource tags to Spot Fleet requests on creation to more easily identify their purpose. For example, you can use tags to identify all Spot Fleet requests used by a particular department, project, or application. 

You can use a single API call, AWS SDK function, or AWS CLI command to simultaneously create a Spot Fleet request and specify its tags. Alternatively, you can also add, delete, or edit tags on Spot Fleet requests after creation. You can even add tags to your existing Spot Fleet requests today - give it a try!

Spot Fleet simplifies the provisioning of Amazon EC2 capacity across different Amazon EC2 instance types, Availability Zones, and On-Demand, Savings Plan, Reserved Instances (RI), and EC2 Spot Instances purchase models. With a single API call, you can provision capacity across EC2 instance types and purchase models to achieve desired scale, performance, and cost. 

Spot Fleet is available in all public Regions. To learn more about tagging Spot Fleet requests, visit this documentation. To learn more about Amazon EC2 pricing models, visit this page.

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