This post is part of our Week in Review series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

Wow, May already! Here in the Pacific Northwest, spring is in full bloom and nature has emerged completely from her winter slumbers. It feels that way here at AWS, too, with a burst of new releases and updates and our in-person summits and other events now in full flow. Two weeks ago, we had the San Francisco summit; last week, we held the London summit and also our .NET Enterprise Developer Day virtual event in EMEA. This week we have the Madrid summit, with more summits and events to come in the weeks ahead. Be sure to check the events section at the end of this post for a summary and registration links.

Last week’s launches
Here are some of the launches and updates last week that caught my eye:

If you’re looking to reduce or eliminate the operational overhead of managing your Apache Kafka clusters, then the general availability of Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (MSK) Serverless will be of interest. Starting with the original release of Amazon MSK in 2019, the work needed to set up, scale, and manage Apache Kafka has been reduced, requiring just minutes to create a cluster. With Amazon MSK Serverless, the provisioning, scaling, and management of the required resources is automated, eliminating the undifferentiated heavy-lift. As my colleague Marcia notes in her blog post, Amazon MSK Serverless is a perfect solution when getting started with a new Apache Kafka workload where you don’t know how much capacity you will need or your applications produce unpredictable or highly variable throughput and you don’t want to pay for idle capacity.

Another week, another set of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances! This time around, it’s new storage-optimized I4i instances based on the latest generation Intel Xeon Scalable (Ice Lake) Processors. These new instances are ideal for workloads that need minimal latency, and fast access to data held on local storage. Examples of these workloads include transactional databases such as MySQL, Oracle DB, and Microsoft SQL Server, as well as NoSQL databases including MongoDB, Couchbase, Aerospike, and Redis. Additionally, workloads that benefit from very high compute performance per TB of storage (for example, data analytics and search engines) are also an ideal target for these instance types, which offer up to 30 TB of AWS Nitro SSD storage.

Deploying AWS compute and storage services within telecommunications providers’ data centers, at the edge of the 5G networks, opens up interesting new possibilities for applications requiring end-to-end low latency (for example, delivery of high-resolution and high-fidelity live video streaming, and improved augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) experiences). The first AWS Wavelength deployments started in the US in 2020, and have expanded to additional countries since. This week we announced the opening of the first Canadian AWS Wavelength zone, in Toronto.

Other AWS News
Some other launches and news items you may have missed:

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) had a busy week. I don’t have room to list them all, so below is just a subset of updates!

  • The addition of IPv6 support enables customers to simplify their networking stack. The increase in address space offered by IPv6 removes the need to manage overlapping address spaces in your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)s. IPv6 addressing can be enabled on both new and existing RDS instances.
  • Customers in the Asia Pacific (Sydney) and Asia Pacific (Singapore) Regions now have the option to use Multi-AZ deployments to provide enhanced availability and durability for Amazon RDS DB instances, offering one primary and two readable standby database instances spanning three Availability Zones (AZs). These deployments benefit from up to 2x faster transaction commit latency, and automated fail overs, typically under 35 seconds.
  • Amazon RDS PostgreSQL users can now choose from General-Purpose M6i and Memory-Optimized R6i instance types. Both of these sixth-generation instance types are AWS Nitro System-based, delivering practically all of the compute and memory resources of the host hardware to your instances.
  • Applications using RDS Data API can now elect to receive SQL results as a simplified JSON string, making it easier to deserialize results to an object. Previously, the API returned a JSON string as an array of data type and value pairs, which required developers to write custom code to parse the response and extract the values, so as to translate the JSON string into an object. Applications that use the API to receive the previous JSON format are still supported and will continue to work unchanged.

Applications using Amazon Interactive Video Service (IVS), offering low-latency interactive video experiences, can now add a livestream chat feature, complete with built-in moderation, to help foster community participation in livestreams using Q&A discussions. The new chat support provides chat room resource management and a messaging API for sending, receiving, and moderating chat messages.

Amazon Polly now offers a new Neural Text-to-Speech (TTS) voice, Vitória, for Brazilian Portuguese. The original Vitória voice, dating back to 2016, used standard technology. The new voice offers a more natural-sounding rhythm, intonation, and sound articulation. In addition to Vitória, Polly also offers a second Brazilian Portuguese neural voice, Camila.

Finally, if you’re a .NET developer who’s modernizing .NET Framework applications to run in the cloud, then the announcement that the open-source CoreWCF project has reached its 1.0 release milestone may be of interest. AWS is a major contributor to the project, a port of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), to run on modern cross-platform .NET versions (.NET Core 3.1, or .NET 5 or higher). This project benefits all .NET developers working on WCF applications, not just those on AWS. You can read more about the project in my blog post from last year, where I spoke with one of the contributing AWS developers. Congratulations to all concerned on reaching the 1.0 milestone!

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Upcoming AWS Events
As I mentioned earlier, the AWS Summits are in full flow, with some some virtual and in-person events in the very near future you may want to check out:

I’m also happy to share that I’ll be joining the AWS on Air crew at AWS Summit Washington, DC. This in-person event is coming up May 23–25. Be sure to tune in to the livestream for all the latest news from the event, and if you’re there in person feel free to come say hi!

Registration is also now open for re:MARS, our conference for topics related to machine learning, automation, robotics, and space. The conference will be in-person in Las Vegas, June 21–24.

That’s all the news I have room for this week — check back next Monday for another week in review!

— Steve