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
— January 6, 2020

New on Cloud Academy: Red Hat, Agile, OWASP Labs, Amazon SageMaker Lab, Linux Command Line Lab, SQL, Git Labs, Scrum Master, Azure Architects Lab, and Much More

Happy New Year! We hope you're ready to kick your training in overdrive in 2020 because we have a ton of new content for you. Not only do we have a bunch of new courses, hands-on labs, and lab challenges on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, but we also have three new courses on Red Hat, th...

Read more
  • agile
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Linux
  • OWASP
  • programming
  • red hat
  • scrum
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 24, 2019

Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: Azure Best Practices, 6 Reasons You Should Get AWS Certified, Google Cloud Certification Prep, and more

Happy Holidays from Cloud Academy We hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and plenty of food. Here at Cloud Academy, we are thankful for our amazing customer like you.  Since this time of year can be stressful, we’re sharing a few of our latest article...

Read more
  • AWS
  • azure best practices
  • blog digest
  • Cloud Academy
  • Google Cloud
Avatar
Guy Hummel
— December 12, 2019

Google Cloud Platform Certification: Preparation and Prerequisites

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has evolved from being a niche player to a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In 2019, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the second consecuti...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 10, 2019

New Lab Challenges: Push Your Skills to the Next Level

Build hands-on experience using real accounts on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and more Meaningful cloud skills require more than book knowledge. Hands-on experience is required to translate knowledge into real-world results. We see this time and time again in studies about how pe...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • hands-on
  • labs
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 5, 2019

New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solution Architect Lab Challenge, Azure Hands-on Labs, Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security, and Much More

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the craziness of Black Friday has died down, it's now time for the busiest season of the year. Whether you're a last-minute shopper or you already have your shopping done, the holidays bring so much more excitement than any other time of year. Since our...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS solution architect
  • AZ-203
  • Azure
  • cyber security
  • FCCS
  • Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— December 4, 2019

Understanding Enterprise Cloud Migration

What is enterprise cloud migration? Cloud migration is about moving your data, applications, and even infrastructure from your on-premises computers or infrastructure to a virtual pool of on-demand, shared resources that offer compute, storage, and network services at scale. Why d...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Data Migration
Wendy Dessler
Wendy Dessler
— November 27, 2019

6 Reasons Why You Should Get an AWS Certification This Year

In the past decade, the rise of cloud computing has been undeniable. Businesses of all sizes are moving their infrastructure and applications to the cloud. This is partly because the cloud allows businesses and their employees to access important information from just about anywhere. ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Certifications
  • certified
Avatar
Andrea Colangelo
— November 26, 2019

AWS Regions and Availability Zones: The Simplest Explanation You Will Ever Find Around

The basics of AWS Regions and Availability Zones We’re going to treat this article as a sort of AWS 101 — it’ll be a quick primer on AWS Regions and Availability Zones that will be useful for understanding the basics of how AWS infrastructure is organized. We’ll define each section,...

Read more
  • AWS
Avatar
Dzenan Dzevlan
— November 20, 2019

Application Load Balancer vs. Classic Load Balancer

What is an Elastic Load Balancer? This post covers basics of what an Elastic Load Balancer is, and two of its examples: Application Load Balancers and Classic Load Balancers. For additional information — including a comparison that explains Network Load Balancers — check out our post o...

Read more
  • ALB
  • Application Load Balancer
  • AWS
  • Elastic Load Balancer
  • ELB
Albert Qian
Albert Qian
— November 13, 2019

Advantages and Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture

What are microservices? Let's start our discussion by setting a foundation of what microservices are. Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • Microservices
Nisar Ahmad
Nisar Ahmad
— November 12, 2019

Kubernetes Services: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud

Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration platform that allows us to deploy and manage multi-container applications at scale. Businesses are rapidly adopting this revolutionary technology to modernize their applications. Cloud service providers — such as Amazon Web Ser...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— October 31, 2019

AWS Internet of Things (IoT): The 3 Services You Need to Know

The Internet of Things (IoT) embeds technology into any physical thing to enable never-before-seen levels of connectivity. IoT is revolutionizing industries and creating many new market opportunities. Cloud services play an important role in enabling deployment of IoT solutions that min...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS IoT Events
  • AWS IoT SiteWise
  • AWS IoT Things Graph
  • IoT