Skip to main content

AWS re:Invent 2016: The Werner Vogels Keynote

My expectations for Werner Vogels’ keynote today were very high, and I have to admit, I was not disappointed.
The keyword for Werner’s presentation was transformation. AWS is transforming the IT industry, not only technology-wise but also structurally. They’ve spent the last 10 years building a broad set of services to choose from, giving us all the building blocks we need. At the same time, AWS is helping its customers transform too, actually turning them into transformers with superpowers.

Werner focused on three parallel areas where transformation is needed:

  • Development: This includes development, testing, and operations. This broad area is quickly evolving to help you reduce business risks, build smaller and more targeted apps, deliver changes much faster, and react to customer needs. It is also evolving to allow you to run many more experiments.
  • Data: Given that everyone has access to the same computing power and storage capabilities today, data is truly the biggest competitive differentiator of our time.
  • Compute: A very heterogeneous space where VMs, Containers, and Serverless Computing coexist.

Development Transformation

Development is where agility lives. Developers need unconstrained access to resources. And, they need automated testing with higher fidelity to reduce time to market and achieve major improvements in terms of cost and productivity.
Here is a short list of news related to development:

  • AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate: A fully managed Chef server that is generally available today.
  • Amazon EC2 Systems Manager: A collection of AWS tools for packaging, installation, patching, resource configuration, and task automation. Available today.
  • AWS CodeBuild: A fully-managed build service for compiling the source code and running unit tests; it automatically scales and you pay only for the minutes of computation. Available today. Of course, it’s well integrated with the AWS CI/CD suite, which includes CodeCommit, CodePipeline, and CodeDeploy.
  • AWS X-Ray: A fully managed service for analyzing and debugging distributed apps in production. AWS X-Ray is available in preview today and offers great real-time visualization of complex systems, including status codes, latencies, etc. AWS Lambda support is coming soon as well.
  • AWS Personal Health Dashboard: It allows you to design personalized views of your AWS services health. Generally available today.
  • AWS Shield: A managed DDoS protection service; it’s generally available today and comes in two tiers: Standard and Advanced. Shield Standard is granted by default to every AWS user and it protects from volumetric and state exhaustion attacks (network layer). Shield Advanced is additional protection against large and more sophisticated attacks at the application layer.

Data Transformation

AWS offers a broad set of analytics capabilities, including data processing, warehousing, reporting, real-time processing, and predictive analytics. Such functionalities are supported by a whole range of data-related services, such as EMR, Athena, Redshift, Quicksight, Elasticsearch, Polly, Lex, Rekognition, and Amazon Machine Learning.

Despite such broad capabilities, 80% of what we consider analytics is not analytics at all. Indeed, most of data analytics tasks also involve discovery, indexing, data acquisition, security, storage, access, and governance operations, which contribute to less than 20% of the outcome.

Werner highlighted that Modern Data Architecture is agile, as you need to manage a constantly changing variety of users, sources, models, applications, queries, and processing needs. Sadly, the reality is that most of your data is not agile (i.e. it’s stored in “silos”).

Only three new data-related services were announced today, although they will have a big impact on your data pipelines.

  • Amazon Pinpoint: It will help you understand user behavior, define who to engage with, deliver push notifications to mobile devices, and track campaign results.
  • AWS Glue: A fully managed data catalog and ELT service (Extract, Load, Transform). It’s integrated with S3, RDS, Redshift, and any JDBC-compatible source. AWS Glue is supposed to cover all of the missing pieces of an agile data architecture so that your workflow will be 80% analytics and only 20% data preparation.
  • AWS Batch: A fully managed batch processing service that will solve all the challenges of large-scale batch processing, such as cluster provisioning, batch software install, jobs interdependencies, job queues, jobs scheduling, and cluster scaling. AWS Batch will also perform cost optimizations through EC2 spot fleet and support priority-based queues. It is available in preview.

Compute Transformation

The current landscape of AWS Compute is where Virtual Machines, Containers, and Serverless have to coexist. Werner analyzed the many dimensions that differentiate such solutions, such as packaging, updates, execution, run time, and unit of cost.
Here are a couple of news items related to the Containers world:

  • Task Placement Engine & Event Stream
  • Blox: It’s a collection of open source projects for ECS. Today, only cluster-state-service and daemon-scheduler have been published. You can find out more at blox.github.io.

AWS Lambda comes with some great news as well:

  • C# Lambda support
  • AWS Lambda@Edge: You can now run AWS Lambda functions at CloudFront locations, which allows you to process data at the edge locations to achieve low-latency request/response. It’s only available in preview, but you can apply here.
  • AWS Step Functions: Allows you to coordinate components of distributed apps using visual workflows. Indeed, you can already orchestrate multiple Lambda functions and achieve complex behavior such as concatenation, parallel execution, retry policies, long-running tasks, etc.

Further minor serverless updates have been announced during the show, but I will cover them in a dedicated post in a few days.

Conclusion

The Werner Vogels Keynote was a long series of exciting announcements. Although many services are still in preview, we can already start playing with most of them.

Let us know which of the new services are your favorites, and what you liked most at re:Invent 2016.

Avatar

Written by

Alex Casalboni

Alex is a Software Engineer with a great passion for music and web technologies. He's experienced in web development and software design, with a particular focus on frontend and UX.

Related Posts

Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— July 22, 2019

Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: July 2019

July has been a very exciting month for us at Cloud Academy. On July 10, we officially joined forces with QA, the UK’s largest B2B skills provider (read the announcement). Over the coming weeks, you will see additions from QA’s massive catalog of 500+ certification courses and 1500+ ins...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Cloud Academy
  • Cybersecurity
  • DevOps
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— July 18, 2019

AWS Fundamentals: Understanding Compute, Storage, Database, Networking & Security

If you are just starting out on your journey toward mastering AWS cloud computing, then your first stop should be to understand the AWS fundamentals. This will enable you to get a solid foundation to then expand your knowledge across the entire AWS service catalog.   It can be both d...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Compute
  • Database
  • fundamentals
  • networking
  • Security
  • Storage
Avatar
Adam Hawkins
— July 17, 2019

How to Become a DevOps Engineer

The DevOps Handbook introduces DevOps as a framework for improving the process for converting a business hypothesis into a technology-enabled service that delivers value to the customer. This process is called the value stream. Accelerate finds that applying DevOps principles of flow, f...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
  • DevOps
  • DevOps Foundation Certification
  • Engineer
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— July 2, 2019

AWS Machine Learning Services

The speed at which machine learning (ML) is evolving within the cloud industry is exponentially growing, and public cloud providers such as AWS are releasing more and more services and feature updates to run in parallel with the trend and demand of this technology within organizations t...

Read more
  • Amazon Machine Learning
  • AWS
  • AWS re:Invent
  • Machine Learning
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— June 27, 2019

AWS Control Tower & VPC Traffic Mirroring

AWS re:Inforce 2019 is a two-day conference for security, identity, and compliance learning and community building. This year's keynote, presented by AWS Vice President and CIO, Stephen Schmidt, announced the general availability of AWS Control Tower and the new VPC Traffic Mirroring fe...

Read more
  • AWS
  • re:Inforce 2019
  • traffic mirroring
  • VPC
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— June 20, 2019

Working with AWS Networking & Amazon VPC

Being able to architect your own isolated segment of AWS is a simple process using VPCs; understanding how to architect its related networking components and connectivity architecture is key to making it a powerful service. Many services within Amazon Web Services (AWS) require you t...

Read more
  • AWS
  • VPC
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— June 19, 2019

AWS Compute Fundamentals Update

AWS is renowned for the rate at which it reinvents, revolutionizes, and meets customer demands and expectations through its continuous cycle of feature and service updates. With hundreds of updates a month, it can be difficult to stay on top of all the changes made available.   Here ...

Read more
  • AWS
Jeff Hyatt
Jeff Hyatt
— June 18, 2019

10 Steps for an Effective Reserved Instances Strategy

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers three different ways to pay for EC2 Instances: On-Demand, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instances. This article will focus on effective strategies for purchasing Reserved Instances. While most of the major cloud platforms offer pre-pay and reservation dis...

Read more
  • AWS
  • EC2
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— June 18, 2019

AWS Certification Practice Exam: What to Expect from Test Questions

If you’re building applications on the AWS cloud or looking to get started in cloud computing, certification is a way to build deep knowledge in key services unique to the AWS platform. AWS currently offers 11 certifications that cover major cloud roles including Solutions Architect, De...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Avatar
John Chell
— June 13, 2019

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate: A Study Guide

The AWS Solutions Architect - Associate Certification (or Sol Arch Associate for short) offers some clear benefits: Increases marketability to employers Provides solid credentials in a growing industry (with projected growth of as much as 70 percent in five years) Market anal...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
Chris Gambino and Joe Niemiec
Chris Gambino and Joe Niemiec
— June 11, 2019

Moving Data to S3 with Apache NiFi

Moving data to the cloud is one of the cornerstones of any cloud migration. Apache NiFi is an open source tool that enables you to easily move and process data using a graphical user interface (GUI).  In this blog post, we will examine a simple way to move data to the cloud using NiFi c...

Read more
  • AWS
  • S3
Avatar
Chandan Patra
— June 11, 2019

Amazon DynamoDB: 10 Things You Should Know

Amazon DynamoDB is a managed NoSQL service with strong consistency and predictable performance that shields users from the complexities of manual setup. Whether or not you've actually used a NoSQL data store yourself, it's probably a good idea to make sure you fully understand the key ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • DynamoDB