AWS pre:Invent 2023 - My Top 5 (and more)

Deciding on 5 good things out of 228 things is not easy

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Over the last 2 weeks, we’ve seen a lot of AWS announcements. Yes, that’s right, it’s AWS pre:invent season ahead of AWS re:invent in Las Vegas.

I’ve reviewed 228 different announcements and come up with, in my opinion, the Top 5 announcements, some honourable mentions and some observations.

(Before we dive into this, I’ll also make it known that I’d never give an opinion of a service I was not experienced with, so some announcements may not have been included in my list)

The Top 5

Announcing PartyRock, an Amazon Bedrock Playground

PartyRock is a fun and intuitive hands-on, generative AI app-building playground. In just a few steps, you can create a variety of apps to experiment with generative AI.

Now whilst I have done a release post for PartyRock, I still believe it belongs somewhere near the top of this list. There are many reasons for this;

  • Fun to play with
  • Real examples of what GenAI can achieve
  • Quick to get started
  • Quick results

But the one thing I need to call out is the impact on the AWS Community as a whole. I’ve personally not seen a response to a service like this since Deepracer went GA back in 2019. The community has come together to not only write apps and publish them but also share content and help each other find success.

The impact is so big that even Adam Selipsky has made mention of some of the community-driven applications and Adam even posted his own video of him making a PartyRock application.

Introducing Amazon CodeWhisperer for command line

Amazon CodeWhisperer for command line is a new set of capabilities and integrations for AI-powered productivity tool, Amazon CodeWhisperer, that makes software developers more productive in the command line. CodeWhisperer for command line modernizes the command line with features such personalized code completions, inline documentation, and AI natural-language-to-code translation.

This is another AWS pre:Invent 2023 announcement that has blown my socks off in the first 5 minutes of using it. At first, I was thrilled that it visualises the auto-completion of directory structures and can suggest commands, but I feel it offers the most value (to me at least). is commands like aws

No, I don’t mean I keep calling it “saw” or “awk” by accident, I mean the suggestions for complex syntax or even knowing what each action could be for each server.

Go ahead, try it. From your CodeWhisperer enabled terminal (I use iTerm), try aws cloudformation and just wait for the suggestions.

Less time in the browser for docs, more time being productive!

EC2 Image Builder now supports image lifecycle management and deletion

Customers can now manage the lifecycle of their custom Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) and Container images created on EC2 Image Builder. Customers can save costs by deleting unused images that accumulate storage charges on AWS.

I recently released a video of my top 10 tips for Cost Optimization and I’ve had a lot of positive feedback about it’s content. This newest feature to EC2 Image Builder really builds on the Cost Optimization of your AWS Account.

A lot of customers that I talk to keep their customer AMIs and Container images indefinitely, but don’t realise they are doing it. When we review their bill we’re able to save them hundreds of dollars a month by removing aged images.

Now AWS have built a feature into their Image Builder to help achieve these savings. This puts the Customer in the driving seat of their costs, which is a massive focus right now for many businesses.

Amazon VPC IP Address Manager adds a free features tier, including AWS Organization-wide Public IP Insights

Amazon VPC IP Address Manager (IPAM) is a VPC feature that makes it easier for you to plan, track, and monitor IP addresses for your AWS workloads. You can use IPAM automated workflows to more efficiently manage IP addresses.

IPAM really makes managing your IP addresses easier. However, it was considered to be expensive to get started with and find value from. I suspect that this feedback has been given to AWS and in the traditional customer-obsessive Amazonian way, they’ve listened to the feedback and now provided a new free tier for some features.

I rate this! I feel this is a great step up from Amazon. If you want to demonstrate the awesome capability of a service, start by offering a free tier. Some of the best services do e.g. GuardDuty, PartyRock, EC2, S3, the list goes on!

Amazon ECR pull through cache now supports additional upstream registries

Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) now includes Docker Hub, Azure Container Registry, and GitHub Container Registry as supported upstream registries for ECR’s pull through cache feature.

So the intro to this literally speaks for itself.

Last year I recall a time when certain dockerised platforms changed their licensing model which then caused rate limits to be hit and production environments to fail to update due to the rate limit being hit.

Then AWS released ECR pull through cache. AMAZING! Everyone was happy, but then they realised this was only for ECR public registry.

Today, we can now use any of the main commercial repo/hubs. This really contributes to the cost optimisation of deployment, the operational time to deploy and the performance of the deployment pipeline

Honourable mentions

As well as the Top 5 above, I’ve also created a list of announcements that came very close to hitting my Top 5, but I feel are worth acknowledging anyway!

Within the last 2 weeks, a massive product evolution has been noted for many services. What do I mean by “evolution” ?

This is where a product has grown to meet many Customer use cases to the point that it’s now reaching maturity vs infancy. This can also be where they are developing with the industry or target audience.

These product evolutions include;

  • Quicksight
  • AWS IoT
  • AWS IAM Identity Center
  • OpenSearch
  • VPC Support for IPv6
  • New EC2 Instance Types in more regions
  • Amazon Connect
  • Trusted Advisor

Some of these services have had massive uplift, if you use of any these items check out for the latest news and more.