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November 27, 2023

AWS promises supercharged Lambda as re:Invent 2023 gets underway

Amazon's public cloud platform has a string of product announcements up its sleeve for the annual Las Vegas developer shindig.

By Matthew Gooding

AWS has kicked off its re:Invent 2023 developer conference with its usual slew of new product announcements. Amazon’s public cloud platform says its Lambda serverless system will now scale up 12 times faster thanks to improvements it has made behind the scenes. It has also added security functions to its CodeWhisperer AI programming tool designed to help users amend problematic lines of code.

AWS re:Invent 2023 is underway in Las Vegas. (Photo by Michael Vi/Shutterstock)

The AWS re:Invent 2023 conference is taking place in Las Vegas this week, with more than 40,000 delegates expected to attend. AWS remains the leading public cloud platform, boasting a 32% market share according to figures from Synergy Research Group. It brought in over $80bn in revenue for Amazon last year but has seen its previously rapid income growth stall in 2023, thanks largely to the global economic slowdown hitting IT spending. Its closest rival, Microsoft’s Azure platform, is also slowly growing its portion of the market, with customers drawn by the AI-powered enhancements it has offered through its partnership with OpenAI.

AWS re:Invent: cloud giant speeds up Lambda scaling

Among the first announcements of AWS re:Invent 2023 is the news that Lambda will now scale 12 times faster than ever before. The platform allows tech teams to execute workloads without buying server space, with Lambda managing the required resources automatically depending on demand.

Prior to the new update, Lambda functions “could initially scale at the account level by 500–3,000 concurrent executions (depending on the region) in the first minute, followed by 500 concurrent executions every minute until the account’s concurrency limit is reached,” AWS principal developer advocated Marcia Villalba said in a blog post.

Because this scaling limit was shared between all the functions in the same account and region, “if one function experienced an influx of traffic, it could affect the throughput of other functions in the same account,” Villaba said. This, she explained, “increased engineering efforts to monitor a few functions that could burst beyond the account limits, causing a ‘noisy neighbour’ scenario and reducing the overall concurrency of other functions in the same account”. A “noisy neighbour situation” is where one cloud process monopolises bandwidth at the expense of other workloads running on the same server.

AWS claims that each “synchronously invoked” Lambda function “scales by 1,000 concurrent executions every 10 seconds” until the concurrency limit of an account is reached. Each function within an account now scales independently from each other, according to Villalba’s post.

This is being introduced at no extra charge to Lambda users, and will be rolled out across the company’s regions around the world in the next three weeks.

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CodeWhisperer offers security advice

Elsewhere, AWS says its AI-powered coding assistant, CodeWhisperer, will now be able to make suggestions to correct rogue code and potentially help developers avoid security issues. AI coding assistants have become popular in the last 18 months, with many Big Tech vendors racing to release their own versions. But doubts remain about the quality of the work they produce.

The upgraded CodeWhisperer system can provide “generative AI-powered code suggestions to help remediate identified security and code quality issues,” said Irshad Buchh, principal solutions architect at AWS.

“Built-in security scanning is designed to detect issues such as exposed credentials and log injection,” Buchh explained. “Generative AI-powered code suggestions are designed to remediate the identified vulnerabilities, and are tailored to your application code so that you can quickly accept fixes with confidence.”

AWS has made the service generally available today, and code suggestions to remediate vulnerabilities are currently available for programmers using Java, Python, and JavaScript. CodeWhisperer already offered security scanning to spot potential problems.

Expect more announcements at AWS re:Invent 2023 ahead of CEO Adam Selipsky’s keynote address on Tuesday. The speech will begin at 4pm UK time.

Read more: AWS launches European Sovereign Cloud

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