Introducing Amazon EC2 G3 Instances

You can now launch G3 instances, the latest generation of Amazon EC2 Accelerated Compute Instances. G3 instances make it easy to procure a powerful combination of GPU, CPU, and host memory for workloads such as 3D rendering, 3D visualizations, graphics-intensive remote workstations, video encoding, and virtual reality applications. Continue reading

Amazon Research Awards Seeking Proposals

Amazon has opened a call for proposals for the 2017 round of Amazon Research Awards (ARA) in a number of areas, including machine translation, natural language understanding, search, robotics, and more. The program is open to faculty members at academic institutions in North America and Europe and awards up to 80,000 USD in cash and 20,000 USD in AWS promotional credits.

Proposal submissions are accepted until September 15, 2017.

For complete information visit the Amazon Research Rewards webpage. Should you complete a proposal, please contact the Illinois AWS team and make them aware so they can provide support.

Free Amazon Web Services Summit

Do you have questions about how you can use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enhance your research, storage, or website hosting? AWS will host a FREE seminar in Chicago on Wednesday July 26 and Thursday July 27 at the McCormick Place Lakeside Center. To register online or see additional details visit https://aws.amazon.com/summits/chicago/.

This summit is a great, low-cost way to attend technical sessions and workshops, bootcamp training events, and labs. AWS engineers, solutions architects and AWS partners will be present and available throughout the event.

Onsite registration begins at 7:30am on Wednesday followed by labs and the keynote presentation at 9:30am.

Amazon Web Services Technical Updates

Below are a number of technical updates announced by Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently:

    1. FPGA nodes in Amazon Web Services (AWS) are now available
    2. Research IT and Technology Services continue to work with the University on getting the Terms and Conditions agreed to and contracts in place for Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud platform. For announcements visit http://cloud.illinois.edu.
    3. A new version of the AWS Deep Learning machine image was released in April. It includes popular deep learning frameworks, including MXNet, Caffe, Caffe2, TensorFlow, Theano, CNTK, Torch and Keras. It also includes popular packages including Jupyter notebooks with Python 2.7 and Python 3.4 kernels, Matplotlib, Scikit-image, CppLint, Pylint, pandas, Graphviz, Bokeh Python packages, Boto and Boto 3 and the AWS CLI. The Deep Learning machine image also comes packaged with Anaconda 2 and Anaconda 3 Data Science platforms. More information can be found at https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/pp/B01M0AXXQB
    4. The AWS Elastic Map Reduce (EMR) service, which provides tools such as Hadoop, Spark, Hbase, Presto and Hive, updated to versions of Presto (0.170), Apache Zeppelin (0.7.1), and Hue (3.12.0) on Amazon EMR release 5.5.0. Presto 0.170 includes support for LDAP authentication and various improvements and bug fixes. Hue 3.12.0 adds new features to the SQL editor, timeline and pivot graphing for visualization, and email notifications for Apache Oozie workflow completion. https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2017/04/updates-to-presto-apache-zeppelin-apache-flink-and-hue-now-available-on-amazon-emr-release-5-5-0/

Amazon Web Services Cloud Credits Available

The Technology Services Amazon Web Services (AWS) team is positioned to assist you with the AWS Cloud Credits for Research Program. Through this program, Amazon directly awards researchers credits for the use of AWS to enhance cloud-based research.

If you apply for credits, you are encouraged to inform the Tech Services AWS team by emailing aws-support@illinois.edu. Doing so allows the Tech Services AWS team, and its Amazon Account Managers, to assist with the AWS process and improve chances of credits being awarded.

The AWS Cloud Credits for Research Program is specifically designed to award credits to those researchers who:

  1. Build cloud-hosted publicly available science-as-a-service applications, software, or tools to facilitate their future research and the research of their community.
  2. Perform proof of concept or benchmark tests evaluating the efficacy of moving research workloads or open data sets to the cloud.
  3. Train a broader community on the usage of cloud for research workloads via workshops or tutorials.

The program is not oriented towards providing credits in support of ongoing operations.

Proposals are reviewed once a quarter by research experts at AWS and awarded amounts are in the form of promotional credits to be used on AWS services. The quarterly deadlines for submitting grant applications are:

  • March 31
  • June 30
  • September 30
  • December 31

Decisions are typically communicated 2-3 months following the respective quarterly deadline.

To apply visit https://aws.amazon.com/research-credits/.