Amazon EMR now supports launching clusters with custom Amazon Linux AMIs

You can now create Amazon EMR clusters with custom Amazon Machine Images (AMI) running Amazon Linux. This enables you to preload additional software on your AMI and use AMIs that you customize and control. You can also encrypt the Amazon EBS root volume of your AMIs with AWS Key Management Service (KMS) keys. Additionally, you can now adjust the Amazon EBS root volume size for instances in your Amazon EMR cluster. Previously, this was fixed at 10 GiB.

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Coming Soon: Microsoft Azure at Illinois

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has signed a contract with Microsoft to be able to provide access to Microsoft Azure cloud resources. Ultimately, the goal is to create a system similar to the current Amazon Web Services at Illinois offering where University staff and researchers can procure Azure resources while staying aligned with the University’s needs. Now that we have a contract in place, Technology Services is currently working through the logistics required to provision Microsoft Azure resources and re-bill through the University. Continue reading

S3 Presigned URLs

Amazon S3 has been in the news lately:

Top Defense Contractor Left Sensitive Pentagon Files on Amazon Server With No Password

The RNC Files: Inside the Largest US Voter Data Leak

Cloud Leak: How A Verizon Partner Exposed Millions of Customer Accounts

S3’s default configuration does not allow public access to the contents of a bucket, but these stories all feature bucket or object permissions that were open to the world. It’s evident that it’s a common mistake, but how can we avoid it? Continue reading

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.