My Report on AWS re:Invent 2021 - What It Means for Government IT




I was impressed with what I saw at AWS re:Invent 2021. AWS has done a good job of refining existing services while also creating new, innovative ones. Here’s what I think are the most exciting announcements that impact our federal customers.

AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) v2

The latest version of the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) further enhances the writing and infrastructure as code (IaC). CDK empowers developers by abstracting the tedious aspects of the declarative nature of IaC.

This means that developers can save time by writing a few lines of code when it used to take hundreds of lines, allowing more time to be spent on developing mission critical applications. This will make Artificial Intelligence operations (AIOps) easier to implement, powering governance as code solutions.

AWS Graviton3 Processors

AWS has further developed its Graviton line using ARM processors. ARM is a family of CPUs based on the RISC (reduced instruction set computer) architecture developed by Advanced RISC Machines (ARM). RISC processors are designed to perform a smaller number of types of computer instructions so that they can run at a higher speed, performing more millions of instructions per second (MIPS) while using a fraction of the power of legacy devices.

AWS Graviton3 processors are the next generation, custom-made silicone chips using the ARM architecture. It’s the same architecture that is used in most phones, TVs, and embedded devices. ARM has also returned to mainstream laptops and desktops, following Apple’s transition of macs to ARM architecture.

Now that ARM is easily accessible on developers’ laptops, server architecture can easily make the switch from the current x86-64 architecture to the custom build ARM architecture. The benefit of making the switch will yield up to a 20% cost reduction for government customers.

Customers will get lower costs and greater performance. The performance of Graviton3 is up to 25% faster than Graviton2. Workloads running applications, where source code is available, can quickly recompile the application binaries, and can start to take advantage of cost and performance improvements.

S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval Storage Class

The new S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval Storage Class stores seldomly accessed archived data, with virtually instantaneous retrieval, at the lowest costs. Switching to this new storage class has the potential to save a lot of money for agencies, with very little effort involved.

Easier Ownership Permissions in Amazon S3

As the federal government works to deploy zero trust architectures, AWS has acknowledged the paradigm shift in identity management. Customers want to use Identity access management (IAM) and other policies, instead of access control lists (ACLs) to control the access of data in S3 buckets. So in response AWS has now supported the practice through a new feature. ACLs are now disabled by default. This saves time by simplifying the management of access for objects stored in S3.


For even more information, you can find the 50+ top re:Invent announcements on the AWS News Blog.


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