Recap: AWS re:Invent 2018 Announcements

A ton of new features and services get announced at Re:Invent and it can be pretty overwhelming. Joe Keegan, BlueChipTek Lead Cloud Services Architect, shares the announcements that he is most excited about.

This is my 5th Re:Invent and I’ve always felt like Re:Invent is a bit like AWS Christmas, lots of new gifts to play with for the next year. It used to be all the cool things were announced at the Key Note, but now it’s just announcement after announcement all week. Here are some of the announcements that caught my eye from over the last week.

AWS Transit Gateway -  GA in a few regions

Transit Gateway simplifies connecting your VPCs to each other and the outside world. A huge game changer for AWS Networking. Connecting multiple VPCs required a web of peering connections or a transit VPC, which honestly, I’ve always viewed as a bit hacky to use IPSec tunnels to connect everything.

Transit Gateway supports multiple Routing Tables and provide “VRF Like” capabilities for segregating traffic between your VPCs.  They describe use cases like “You can also connect a Transit Gateway to a firewall or an IPS (Intrusion Prevention System) and create a single VPC that handles all ingress and egress traffic for your network.” which is tough to do today. 

It’s a new service, so current missing a few things that will really make this a must use for pretty much everyone. It doesn’t support Cross VPC Security Group references like can be done via VPC peering, but then again you couldn’t do that in a transit VPC anyways. And no support for Direct Connect until later in 2019.

Announcement Blog Post


AWS Control Tower – Preview Only

AWS Accounts act as a cost, limits and security boundary which would make a lot of a sense to have a lot of AWS accounts. An account per Service or per Service Environment is becoming more common. AWS Organizations has made it easy to create accounts, but managing the configuration and usage of these accounts is challenging. Control Tower aims to help solve this problem.

“Control Tower automates the set-up of their landing zone and configures AWS management and security services based on established best practices in a secure, compliant, multi-account environment.” Landing Zone is an AWS ProServ delivered solution for creating and configuring accounts as per AWS best practices. Seems like Control Tower just takes the place of ProServ engagement.

I’m a little surprised that this isn’t just integrated into Organizations. But I think this will be super helpful for anyone who plans to create multiple AWS accounts, which I think will be everyone at some point.

Product Page


AWS Outpost – Announced Only

AWS Cloud in your data center. This sounds similar to Azure Stack. I’ve become kind of a Cloud Native die hard over the years. I’m so happy not to have to deal with capacity planning, procurement and lead times anymore, but I know there are still lots of companies that want to keep their data in walls they own. It will also be a great option for those that have to integrate with something that can’t be moved to AWS and where latency is key.

I’m very interested to see how this will be priced. 

Product Page


AWS Cloud Map – GA in many regions

Service Discovery framework for AWS. I’m excited in checking out the integration with EKS. I know many people want to use as vanilla of a Kubernetes deployment as possible, but I’m interested to see how service like Cloud Map will provide AWS optimized features for EKS. One use case that I hope Cloud Map will help out with is for services deployed on EKS finding data tier services deploy in AWS via RDS, Dynamo and ElastiCache.

Announcement Blog


AWS App Mesh

A service Mesh for microservices running on AWS. Similar to AWS Cloud Map, I’m really curious to see if using these services created by AWS to run on AWS will provide some interesting capabilities that won’t be available to third-party products. I know there are several popular Service Meshes out there, but  I have yet to play with many of them so I am interested to dive in and compare. 

Announcement Blog


Honorable Mentions

There are a few announcements that deal with dynamic scaling or tiering which are less ground breaking, but still think are pretty cool.


If any of these new announcements are interesting to you as well, our cloud services architects would love to talk with you on how they can help enable your cloud journey. Feel free to email us.