AWS Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels speaking on stage at AWS Summit NYC 2019 Scot Petersen

AWS Summit NYC: Observability, Developer Productivity Highlighted

AWS rolled out a number of tools designed to improve monitoring and developer productivity — including an event bus, container monitoring systems, a cloud developer kit and a Visual Studio toolkit — at its annual AWS Summit in New York.

NEW YORK — Amazon Web Services rolled out new tools and services here yesterday to help developers keep better watch on their cloud applications.

At the company’s AWS Summit, Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels, stressing that "observability is everything," announced Amazon EventBridge, a new serverless event bus for ingesting and processing data across AWS and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications.

EventBridge has evolved from one of AWS' oldest and most utilized products, CloudWatch. AWS developers have pulled out the CloudWatch Events feature from CloudWatch and beefed it up to become a new "first-class" service on AWS, Vogels said

New features have been added to enable users to ingest events from their own apps as well as third-party SaaS apps from companies like help desk vendors Zendesk and PagerDuty and monitoring providers SignalFx and Datadog, which were announced as EventBridge launch partners.In cloud computing, events are anything that changes the state of an application, including the firing of a Lambda function, a security alert or the logging of a help desk ticket. With EventBridge, developers now have a single integration point for event sources to push data on those events to developers, rather than having to monitor events for each service separately, officials said.

In another area of cloud management, AWS launched CloudWatch Container Insights for Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate, in preview, joining the already announced preview of CloudWatch Container Insights for Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS).

Container Insights provides customers the ability to monitor and troubleshoot container-based applications and microservices. Container Insights collects data and creates reports on operational and performance metrics to enable developers to debug code.

The midsummer AWS Summit is usually a place for Vogels to talk up his favorite subjects, which always includes developer productivity. To tackle that area Vogels announced the availability of the AWS Cloud Developer Kit (CDK) with support for Python and TypeScript.

The CDK was first announced at AWS re:Invent late last year. It gives developers a place to write code to create and provision cloud resources easily. 

The CDK delivers what Vogels calls "infrastructure as code," which is something several cloud and enterprise vendors are pushing. In this case CDK outputs CloudFormation Templates — also known as "patterns" or reference designs — which call other AWS services to set up the infrastructure needed to run an application.

CDK eliminates the need for developers to code in one language and switch to another one to model the infrastructure, explained Deepak Singh, director of computer services, in an interview.

AWS also dropped the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio Code, which enables developers who are used to working in Visual Studio write applications to run and debug on the AWS cloud.

Vogels summed up the direction of AWS’ development strategy by pointing to the day when coders just code and AWS takes care of everything else.

"In the future you will only write business logic,” he said, “and really focus on building applications that you can drop anywhere that are secure, highly available and scalable."

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. He has an extensive background in the technology field. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture, at TechTarget. Before that, he was the director, Editorial Operations, at Ziff Davis Enterprise. While at Ziff Davis Media, he was a writer and editor at eWEEK. No investment advice is offered in his blog. All duties are disclaimed. Scot works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.

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