Skip to main content

AWS Summit in Sydney: 5 things I learnt

I had the pleasure of attending the AWS Summit in Sydney recently, so I think I’ll share with you a few of the more remarkable events of the day.

1. AWS is so big even the storm of the Century couldn’t keep people away

Leading up to the event, Sydney was hit with what many people called the “Storm of the century.” I figured this would keep attendance down at the AWS Summit and at least spare me having to fight through the usual mass of people. However, against all odds, people turned out in great numbers to participate. Anything to catch up on all the latest AWS Summit.
So, just how big is AWS?
The only reliable statistics that I could dig up are from James Hamilton in 2014, an Engineer at Amazon who gave  a talk at AWS re:Invent 2014 on AWS Innovation at Scale. Below are some of the statistics he unleashed in regards to AWS during this talk .

  • 1 million active customers
  • All 14 other cloud providers combined have 1/5th the aggregate capacity of AWS (estimate by Gartner in 2013)
  • 449 new services and major features were released in 2014
  • Every day, AWS adds enough new server capacity to support all of Amazon’s global infrastructure when it was a $7B annual revenue enterprise (in 2004).
  • S3 has 132% year-over-year growth in data transfer.

So to put some of the growth in perspective if we look at the 449 new services and major features released in 2014 and compare it with previous years such as 24 new services in 2008, 48 in 2009, 61 in 2010, 82 in 2011, 159 in 2012 and  280 in 2013 we can come to the conclusion that Amazon is growing at a staggering rate. So it’s big now, but is only going to get bigger.

2. AWS Summit buzzword usage update: “Disruptive Technology” is the new “new”

Maybe I’ve fallen just a bit out of sync, but I strongly suspect that this “buzzword” has actually been around for a few years now. However, as I wrote elsewhere, it was definitely picking up steam at the AWS Summit. I am not too sure how I feel about the use of the phrase, as it can be argued that all this new technology is more “continuous innovation” than “disruption.” I suppose “disruptive” has become the new ‘new’.

3. AWS Lambda and Amazon Cognito can do really cool stuff together 

AWS Lambda is a new compute service that runs your code in response to events and automatically manages the compute resources for you.
Amazon Cognito is a service that makes it easy to save mobile user data – such as app preferences or game state – in the AWS Cloud without the need for any custom backend code or infrastructure management.
I attended a session about AWS Lambda and Amazon Cognito where it was claimed:

Together with AWS Cognito, AWS SNS Push Notifications and AWS DynamoDB, AWS Lambda is a powerful tool in your arsenal for developing IoT/mobile apps, and beyond.

The speaker had a few pieces of hardware set up which included Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) Beacons
 and Multiple Raspberry PIs creating a ‘geo fence’ (Each RPI sending telemetry data to a Kinesis stream in real-time).
He then had a Lambda function bound to Kinesis stream
 which processed records in real-time and made the data available to mobile app to trilateration the position of the ‘target’ relative to the detectors
 as per below:
AWS Summit
And Cognito was used for Identity management:
AWS Summit: Mobile App
Without going into too much further detail, this will hopefully give you some idea of how AWS Cognito and AWS Lambda can work together to create some awesome applications…limited only by your imagination.

4. Amazon Machine Learning gets us closer to real Artificial Intelligence

Can Amazon Machine Learning deliver real Artificial Intelligence? I didn’t see Alan Turing at the AWS Summit, but theoretical results suggest that in order to learn the kind of complicated functions that can represent high-level abstractions (like vision, language, and other human tasks), you would need deep architectures. Does AWS have deep architectures? You bet. While watching a demonstration on Amazon Machine Learning I couldn’t help but think that this, combined with the deep infrastructures possible on AWS, brings us one step closer to real Artificial Intelligence. Mere speculation on my part, but interesting nevertheless. Read this Cloud Academy article on Amazon Machine Learning here.

5. Even after the AWS Summit, security still makes my head spin

I attended another session entitled “Using Security To Build With Confidence in AWS” with great anticipation. Security is one of the things that keeps me awake a night, and this session was all about the fact you don’t need to be a security expert to protect your organization data in the cloud, or to protect your workloads on AWS. You just need to be informed of the many security tools available in AWS and learn how to use them.
They started by talking about the shared responsibility model and then the AWS VPC Checklist Review:

  • IAM roles
  • Security groups
  • Network segmentation
  • Network access control lists (ACLs)

They then branched out to discuss the various factors on which these items are built, and some points about responding to intrusions and recovering from them. It was a good informative discussion but I am not sure I learnt anything I didn’t already know. And I’m still not completely comfortable that I’m truly on top of security. So is the statement: “you don’t need to be a security expert to protect your organization data in the cloud” quite true? I’m not convinced.
If you’d like to see the schedule and session slide decks from the Sydney’s AWS Summit, help yourself.

Written by

I have been UNIX/Linux System Administrator for the past 15 years and am slowly moving those skills into the AWS Cloud arena. I am passionate about AWS and Cloud Technologies and the exciting future that it promises to bring.

Related Posts

— November 28, 2018

Two New EC2 Instance Types Announced at AWS re:Invent 2018 – Monday Night Live

Let’s look at what benefits these two new EC2 instance types offer and how these two new instances could be of benefit to you. Both of the new instance types are built on the AWS Nitro System. The AWS Nitro System improves the performance of processing in virtualized environments by...

Read more
  • AWS
  • EC2
  • re:Invent 2018
— November 21, 2018

Google Cloud 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 2018, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the first time. In t...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
Khash Nakhostin
— November 13, 2018

Understanding AWS VPC Egress Filtering Methods

Security in AWS is governed by a shared responsibility model where both vendor and subscriber have various operational responsibilities. AWS assumes responsibility for the underlying infrastructure, hardware, virtualization layer, facilities, and staff while the subscriber organization ...

Read more
  • Aviatrix
  • AWS
  • VPC
— November 10, 2018

S3 FTP: Build a Reliable and Inexpensive FTP Server Using Amazon’s S3

Is it possible to create an S3 FTP file backup/transfer solution, minimizing associated file storage and capacity planning administration headache?FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is a fast and convenient way to transfer large files over the Internet. You might, at some point, have conf...

Read more
  • Amazon S3
  • AWS
— October 18, 2018

Microservices Architecture: Advantages and Drawbacks

Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).Microservices have become increasingly popular over the past few years. The modular architectural style,...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Microservices
— October 2, 2018

What Are Best Practices for Tagging AWS Resources?

There are many use cases for tags, but what are the best practices for tagging AWS resources? In order for your organization to effectively manage resources (and your monthly AWS bill), you need to implement and adopt a thoughtful tagging strategy that makes sense for your business. The...

Read more
  • AWS
  • cost optimization
— September 26, 2018

How to Optimize Amazon S3 Performance

Amazon S3 is the most common storage options for many organizations, being object storage it is used for a wide variety of data types, from the smallest objects to huge datasets. All in all, Amazon S3 is a great service to store a wide scope of data types in a highly available and resil...

Read more
  • Amazon S3
  • AWS
— September 18, 2018

How to Optimize Cloud Costs with Spot Instances: New on Cloud Academy

One of the main promises of cloud computing is access to nearly endless capacity. However, it doesn’t come cheap. With the introduction of Spot Instances for Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS EC2) in 2009, spot instances have been a way for major cloud providers to sell sp...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
— August 23, 2018

What are the Benefits of Machine Learning in the Cloud?

A Comparison of Machine Learning Services on AWS, Azure, and Google CloudArtificial intelligence and machine learning are steadily making their way into enterprise applications in areas such as customer support, fraud detection, and business intelligence. There is every reason to beli...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Machine Learning
— August 17, 2018

How to Use AWS CLI

The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is for managing your AWS services from a terminal session on your own client, allowing you to control and configure multiple AWS services.So you’ve been using AWS for awhile and finally feel comfortable clicking your way through all the services....

Read more
  • AWS
Albert Qian
— August 9, 2018

AWS Summit Chicago: New AWS Features Announced

Thousands of cloud practitioners descended on Chicago’s McCormick Place West last week to hear the latest updates around Amazon Web Services (AWS). While a typical hot and humid summer made its presence known outside, attendees inside basked in the comfort of air conditioning to hone th...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Summits
— August 8, 2018

From Monolith to Serverless – The Evolving Cloudscape of Compute

Containers can help fragment monoliths into logical, easier to use workloads. The AWS Summit New York was held on July 17 and Cloud Academy sponsored my trip to the event. As someone who covers enterprise cloud technologies and services, the recent Amazon Web Services event was an insig...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Summits
  • Containers
  • DevOps
  • serverless