Couple of days back, I attended my second AWS Summit in as many years. Take any technology success for example. You will invariably find its success rate proportional to the ecosystem around it. Android, iOS, Windows are all living proofs. AWS is heading the same path and the success is just a matter of time.
AWS Summits are usually not used for major announcements. That privilege is reserved for AWS re:Invent events. Summits help Amazon with the following:
- Reach more regions than re:Invent and advertise their offering
- Showcase their ecosystem to the world
- Provide opportunities for their partners to win more business
- Entice more developers, architects and business into the ecosystem
Amazon covers almost all strategic cities for the summit and the result on their performance is impressive.
Adrian Cockcroft, VP of AWS Cloud Architecture Strategy, touched upon the following in his keynote address.
- AWS revenues amounting to ~$14B and an YoY growth of 47% in 2016
- AWS adoption by public sector and governments which in my opinion, is a feat to cherish
- Amazon Athena coming to APAC region
- Lightsail, a new addition to EC2 family tailored to bloggers and simple websites, was mentioned
- Netflix case study was mentioned to indicate the power of AWS
- AWS X-ray makes analyzing and debugging production apps quite easy
He was followed by David Gledhill from DBS, Dato’ Rohana Rozha from Astro, Arul Kumaravel from Grab – all offering their testimonies to AWS for organization success.
Following are the sessions I personally attended and found very impressive.
- Artificial Intelligence by Shaun – AI, Machine and Deep Learning is where the big players are betting their money. With an exponential increase in technical capabilities, the next logical step is to make machines behave more and more like humans. Rekognition (image recognition), Polly (text to speech) and Lex (natural language processing) help any business do just that on the cloud. Don’t forget the near-to-zero upfront costs for such (otherwise) costly experiments!
- Chatbots with Lex by Alex – Customer service executives, please take it with a pinch of salt. Lex + Polly can do most of what you do in dealing with customers, with chatbots. The use cases are numerous but it will be interesting for business to have their customer service engine moving without (or less) people
- AWS DevOps by Rohini – As I mentioned several times before, going faster is no longer an option but a necessity. You don’t have to abandon DevOps just because you are moving the Ops from on-premises to cloud. AWS CodeCommit, CodeBuild, CodeDeploy and CodePipeline help you setup a robust DevOps system on AWS!
- Serverless Architecture by Olivier – Any conference or meetup I attend, developers talk about serverless and microservices architecture. It is the “3-tier architecture” of present. In this session, several best practices like Transaction manager (orchestration) microservice, correlation ID, polyglot persistence, versioning were discussed. I found it personally interesting and very useful
- Business case for Migration to Cloud by Conor McNamara – The focus of this session is to tackle the cloud adoption topic from a business perspective. An useful session for non-techies in the crowd
AWS is transforming itself into a cloud giant, if not it already is. With a rate of about 3 new features introduced everyday, they will never stop innovating, at least in the near future.
With a huge community of architects and developers and a rich ecosystem of partners, AWS has a formidable lead in the cloud race. Microsoft Azure is second in the line but the gap is significant. The pace of innovation and penetration into new markets, Amazon is making it difficult for MS to catch up.
If you are a Solution Architect, adding AWS skills under your belt doesn’t hurt and can possibly help in the long run. Even otherwise, a general awareness of AWS is helpful to any technology professional. A day where every cloud architecture has some piece of AWS in it, isn’t far in the future.