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Amazon EC2 July 2020 Update

Released on July 20th, 2020

Announcing Amazon CloudWatch metrics for Amazon EC2 On-Demand Capacity Reservations

Starting today, you can now monitor Capacity Reservations usage metrics via Amazon CloudWatch metrics. With these new metrics, you can efficiently monitor your Capacity Reservations and identify unused capacity by setting CloudWatch alarms to notify you when usage thresholds are met. You no longer need to manually monitor your Capacity Reservation usage.  

The new metrics include:

  • Used Instance Count - The number of instances that are currently in use.
  • Available Instance Count - The number of instances that are available.
  • Total Instance Count - The total number of instances you have reserved.
  • Instance Utilization - The percentage of reserved capacity instances that are currently in use.

To use these metrics, First, you open the CloudWatch console, select Metrics from the navigation pane, and select the metric namespace as “EC2 Capacity Reservations”. Next, you select the metric dimension as “By Capacity Reservation” and then choose the metrics which will be grouped by Capacity Reservation Id.  

These metrics are now available to all Capacity Reservations customers at no additional cost and can be viewed via the CloudWatch console or CloudWatch API. These metrics are enabled by default for existing and new Capacity Reservations and available in all AWS commercial Regions and AWS GovCloud (US) Regions. To learn more about CloudWatch metrics for On-Demand Capacity Reservations, including ways to view the CloudWatch metrics or add CloudWatch alarms for automatic notifications, visit the technical documentation. To learn more about Capacity Reservations and how to use them, visit FAQsLinux or Windows user guides. 

Amazon EC2 VM Import / Export Adds Support for Red Hat Linux (RHEL) 8 and CentOS 8

EC2 VM Import / Export (VMIE) now allows you to import virtual machine images with Red Hat Linux (RHEL) 8/8.1/8.2 and CentOS 8/8.1/8.2 for creating Amazon Machine Images (AMI). You can use the AMI to create Amazon EC2 instances.  

VMIE enables you to easily import virtual machine images from your existing environment to AWS and export them back to your on-premises environment. This offering allows you to leverage your existing investments in the virtual machines that you have built to meet your IT security, configuration management, and compliance requirements by converting your VM into an Amazon Machine Image, which you can use to run Amazon EC2 instances.  

EC2 VM Import/Export supports Windows, Amazon Linux, Red Hat Linux, CentOS, Ubuntu, SUSE Linux, Debian, Oracle Linux, and Fedora operating systems. For more information on VMIE and supported operating system versions, see the VMIE documentation. VMIE is available at no additional charge. You pay the standard fees for the S3 buckets and EBS volumes used during the import and export processes, and for the EC2 instances that you run.  

Amazon EC2 C5n, M5n, M5dn, R5n, and R5dn Instances Now Available in Additional Regions

Based on the next generation AWS Nitro System, these instances make 100 Gbps networking available to network-bound workloads without requiring customers to use custom drivers or recompile applications. Customers can also take advantage of this improved network performance to accelerate data transfer to and from Amazon S3, reducing the data ingestion time for applications and speeding up delivery of results. Workloads on these instances will continue to take advantage of the security, scalability and reliability of Amazon’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). A wide range of applications such as High Performance Computing (HPC), analytics, machine learning, Big Data and data lake applications can benefit from these instances. To learn more, visit the Amazon EC2 C5 or Amazon EC2 I3en or instance pages. 

EC2 Image Builder can Now Stream Logs to CloudWatch

EC2 Image Builder now allows customers to stream logs to AWS CloudWatch, which can help examine and troubleshoot issues with building, customizing, securing, patching, testing, and distribution of Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). It also allows customers to maintain continuous visibility into the activity of Image Builder pipelines. 

CloudWatch Logs provide a durable archive destination and allows customers can specify a retention period. Additionally, customers can perform ad hoc searches across multiple logs, which is particularly useful for audits and log analysis. 

CloudWatch logging support is enabled by default in EC2 Image Builder and is available in all regions where EC2 Image Builder is available. More details can be found in our documentation

Amazon EC2 Now Supports Tagging EC2 Spot Instance Requests

Amazon EC2 Spot Instances let you take advantage of unused Amazon EC2 capacity. Spot Instances are available at up to a 90% discount compared to On-Demand prices. You can use Spot Instances for various stateless, fault-tolerant, or flexible applications such as big data, containerized workloads, CI/CD, web servers, high-performance computing (HPC), and other test & development workloads. Starting today, you can assign AWS resource tags to Spot Instance requests on creation, in addition to the tags for each individual, launched Spot Instance.. Use tags in your Spot Instance requests to more easily identify their purpose. For example, you can use tags to identify all Spot Instance 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 Instance request and specify its tags. Alternatively, you can also add, delete, or edit tags on Spot Instance requests after creation. You can even add tags to your existing Spot Instance requests today. 

Spot Instances are available in all public Regions. To learn more about Spot Instance requests, visit this documentation. To learn more about Amazon EC2 pricing models, visit this page.

EC2 Image Builder can Now Produce and Distribute Encrypted AMIs

EC2 Image Builder is now integrated with AWS Key Management Service (KMS) and enables customers to build and distribute Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) that are encrypted with Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) encryption. 

This capability helps customers achieve security compliance by encrypting both EBS data and boot volumes using KMS managed keys. Customers can create encrypted AMIs from both - unencrypted and encrypted AMIs with either the same or a different key. 

For detailed usage instructions, see our documentation

Introducing EC2 Launch v2 to Simplify Customizing Windows Instances

EC2Launch v2 is a redesigned, unified launch agent for EC2 Windows instances, which simplifies the configuration of Windows instances to meet the needs of your workloads. EC2Launch applies AWS-recommended configurations to your Windows instances, such as local administrator username changes, support for increased user data input length, and agent auto-updates. EC2Launch v2 provides you with a single EC2 launch experience regardless of EC2 platform and supported Windows OS.

EC2Launch v2 brings continuity to the EC2 initialization experience as the unified launch agent for all supported versions of Windows Server. It maintains the common functionality customers expect, such as EC2 system log output and sysprep handling. It also adds new customer-requested functionality, such as the ability to change the local administrator’s username. EC2Launch v2 provides you with a consistent default experience across all supported EC2 Windows versions on the instance’s first launch. You can also customize your launch experience using a single configuration format. EC2Launch v2 runs at each boot to implement customer-defined settings and process system changes, such as new EBS volumes. EC2Launch v2 replaces the existing EC2Config and EC2Launch v1 agents.

EC2Launch v2 is available across AWS commercial and AWS GovCloud (US) Regions. To learn more, read the EC2Launch v2 documentationDownload EC2Launch v2 today to use it across your EC2 Windows fleet.

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