AWS re:Invent Recap: Habana Gaudi Based EC2 System

What Happened: 

With machine learning workloads growing rapidly and faster machines needed for training models in the cloud, Andy Jassy announced Habana Gaudi-based Amazon EC2 Instances will be available in the first half of 2021. Powered by new Habana Gaudi pre-processors from Intel, users can expect a 40% better price/performance over the current GPU based EC2 instances. Built specifically for ML training, these instances work seamlessly with TensorFlow and Pytorch for training deep learning models.

Why It’s Important: 

  • Competitive Edge: This has solidified AWS as the top choice for cloud-based systems suitable for large Machine Learning workloads. 
  • Cost: With 40% better price/performance, organizations, and partners will benefit from significant cost savings.
  • Easily Integrated: using Habana Gaudi instances integrates with and natively supports common frameworks already used such as TensorFlow and PyTorch.
  • Seamless Transition: These instances are used with familiar tools and technology like AWS Deep Learning AMIs, Amazon EKS and ECS for containerized applications, and Amazon SageMaker.

Why We’re Excited

Developers now have the power to build new training models or port existing models from graphics processing units to Gaudi accelerators using Habana’s SynapseAI Software Suite. This reduces the cost of training AI models at scale, allowing for a rapid and sophisticated training process that results in a faster, more optimized delivery of solutions.  


Habana Gaudi EC2 instances will be available in the first half of 2021. Sign up here for early access.

If you’re looking to explore these services further and need some guidance, let us know and we’ll connect you to an Idexcel expert!

AWS re:Invent Recap: MacOS Instances for Amazon EC2

Andy Jessy Keynote Service Announcements

Developers will now have a virtual environment to leverage for designing apps for the Mac, iPhone, and other Apple devices, powered by Mac Minis.

What Happened: Amazon Expands App Development & Testing Capabilities with Native Mac Instances for AWS

On Monday’s reInvent Kickoff, Amazon announced the availability of macOS instances on AWS via the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a welcomed alternative to Microsoft Windows and open-source Linux. Powered by Mac mini hardware and the AWS Nitro System, these Amazon EC2 Mac instances can be used to build, test, package, and sign Xcode applications for the Apple platform including macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, watchOS, and Safari.

Why It’s Important

Since no other major cloud provider has computing instances running MacOS, Apple Developers have a whole new world of opportunities to develop & test creative applications faster and AWS Partners will be able to provide more powerful development capabilities for clients. It’s a competitive win-win for everyone – AWS, AWS consulting partners, the development community as a whole, and the users who will eventually use the apps.

With this, the Mac minis operate as fully integrated and managed instances like other Amazon EC2 instances, enabling developers to natively run macOS in Amazon Web Services. With immediate access to the virtual macOS environments to build and test applications, development teams and organizations can innovate more quickly and bring products faster to market.

Apple developers benefit from the flexibility, scalability, security, reliability and cost benefits of AWS.


Mac instances are available On-Demand at a rate of $1.083 per hour or with Savings Plans. Currently offering macOS Mojave (10.14) and macOS Catalina (10.15) operating systems. Supported regions include the U.S. East (N. Virginia), U.S. East (Ohio), U.S. West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Singapore) with more to come. Learn more in the featured AWS Video or contact an Idexcel expert to get started.

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services or AWS is a cloud computing platform offering by Amazon providing a wide array of cloud services to the customers. Amazon AWS offers several cloud options including Amazon Simple Storage Services (Amazon S3), Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) and Amazon WorkSpaces. This group of remote computing services that make up the cloud-computing platform over the internet are known as Amazon Web Services. Most of these services are not directly exposed to the end users. Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2 are two of the most central and well-known offerings.

To enable the use of online services via REST, HTTP or SOAP protocols, Amazon first introduced Amazon Web Services in 2006. AWS launched two Amazon CloudFront edge location in India on 28th July 2013 joining 42 edge locations worldwide. This makes the services global, fast, flexible and cost-effective. Amazon Web Services is now a $6 Billion-a-year cloud-computing monster, and is considered Amazon’s most valuable asset. AWS generated the sales of $1.57bn in the first quarter of 2015, and firm’s total revenue for the quarter rose by 15% to $22.7 bn, which was much stronger increase than expected. AWS provides cloud computing services to several household names including Spotify, Dropbox, Uber, Netflix, CIA and Samsung.

AWS services include:

Cloud– Virtual Servers, Containers, Event-driven Computer Functions, Auto scaling and Load Balancing

Storage and Content Delivery– Object Storage, Block Storage, Archive Storage, File System Storage, and CDN

Databases- Relational, Caching and NoSQL

Networking– Virtual Private Cloud, DNS and Direct Connections

Administration and Security– Identity Management, Access Control, Key Storage and Management, Usage and Resource Auditing, Monitoring and Logs, and Service Catalogue.

Enterprise IT Applications from AWS include Desktop Virtualization, Email and Calendering, and Document Sharing and Feedback. Engineered for the most demanding requirements, AWS offers following advantages:

Secure– AWS cloud security infrastructure is one of the most secure and flexible cloud computing environments providing highly reliable and extremely scalable platform so that the data and applications can be deployed securely and quickly. Data and applications are not only protected by highly secure infrastructure and facilities, they are also protected by extensive security and networking monitoring systems that provide critical security measures such as password brute-force detection and distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection on AWS accounts. Additional security measures include built-in firewalls, secure access, private subnets, multi-factor authentication, unique users, dedicated connection options, encrypted data storage, centralized key management, security logs, perfect forward secrecy and so on.

Compliant– AWS’s Cloud Compliance ensures robust control to maintain data protection and security in the cloud. Compliance responsibilities get shared as the systems are built on top of AWS cloud infrastructure.

Private, isolated Resources– Enterprises adopting cloud computing require secure data and applications, increased agility, and reduced costs. However, some organisations also need to take into consideration the unique requirements for regulatory compliance and resource isolation. AWS offers private network, private compute, private storage, enterprise governance, and private encryption resources for completely private cloud experience.

Hybrid– AWS offers solutions and tools to integrate existing resources of the organisation with the AWS cloud to extend and enhance the capabilities and accelerate the adoption of cloud computing. Offering a wide range of options to develop architecture, hybrid architecture involves integration of storage, networking, management and access control. The capabilities include integrated networking, integrated Cloud back-ups, integrated access control, and Integrated resource management and workload migration.

Amazon Web Services have changed the game in several ways. You pay only for what you use, scale up or down easily within few minutes based on the demand. Servers can be added to different parts of the world to provider faster services to the customers. Additionally, Amazon periodically keeps adding features and services to their existing offerings, making it a preferred choice for organisations in different domains. Recent AWS add-on includes Amazon Machine Learning. However, with IBM, Google and Microsoft emerging to grab some of the market share, it needs to be seen how Amazon is able to hold its margins high over the long term.