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Hottest Highlights from AWS re:Invent

The excitement and adrenaline from attending AWS re:Invent never gets old. This year, over 53,000 people gathered from across the globe for the world’s largest cloud computing conference led by Amazon Web services. The event is only getting bigger and better with each passing year, AWS re:Invent has quickly become a milestone for both AWS and the industry.

Some of the key high-level takeaways include AWS’ overwhelming leadership in worldwide market share and their ability to continue to push the boundaries by enhancing their core building blocks of the cloud.

Before we dive into an analysis of some of the key themes, here are some highlights to give you an idea of the re:Invent experience:

  • 7th annual AWS re:Invent conference
  • 53,000+ attendees
  • 2,100+ breakout sessions
  • 4 Keynotes led by AWS leadership
  • 7 Las Vegas Resorts

Among the flurry of announcements, our team found heavy attention on a few select areas that we feel are important to share with you…

1. Machine Learning is at the front and center of the cloud

Machine Learning (ML) was clearly an area of focus this year with the announcement of 13 new ML services and capabilities, including a custom chip for ML Inference and an Autonomous Race Car for developers.

AWS CEO Andy Jassy emphasized that there are currently 10K+ active ML customers in AWS, and ML is happening more in AWS than anywhere else. AWS kicked off the announcements by announcing their own “Machine Learning University” which will be available to all developers. Some of the other key services that will shape innovation in ML are:

  • Amazon Elastic Inference: Attach low-cost GPU powered acceleration to Amazon EC2 and Amazon Sagemaker, to reducing the cost of machine learning predictions by 75%. TensorFlow enhancements and New Amazon EC2 P3dn instances were announced to drive faster machine learning training. Also released was AWS Inferentia, an ML inference chip, custom designed by AWS to deliver high throughput, low latency inference performance at an extremely low cost.
  • AWS Deep Racer: The fastest way to get rolling with ML, this 1/18th scale race car gives developers an interesting and fun way to get started with reinforcement learning (RL). AWS offered numerous hands-on RL opportunities throughout the conference.

2. Data is the foundation of innovation

Another key theme was around the importance of data and analytics. During Terry Wise’s Global Partner Summit Keynote, he emphasized how data is the foundation of innovation. In his words, data is the new oil, and it must be refined in order to be used to make actionable insights.

“If customers and partners want to innovate themselves on behalf of their customers, they have to capture, extract, move, refine and analyze data at a greater scale, much more easily. And, they have to do it cost effectively.”
Terry Wise – Global Vice President, Channels & Alliances

Some of the key data and analytics announcements included:

  • AWS Lake Formation: Removing much of the heavy lifting, AWS Lake Formation enables companies to build secure data lakes in days. Companies are able to define where data resides and the security policies they want to apply. AWS Lake Formation collects and catalogs the information, moves the data into the S3 data lake, then cleans, classifies, and secures the data.
  • ML Insights for Amazon QuickSight: Amazon QuickSight becomes the first BI service to offer machine learning (ML) and natural language powered insights for all users in an organization. With ML and natural language capabilities, users can easily discover hidden insights, understand the key drivers, and forecast their business without any ML expertise and countless hours in manual analysis.
  • Amazon Managed Streaming for Kafka – Amazon Managed Streaming for Kafka is a fully managed service that makes it easy for you to build and run applications that use Apache Kafka to process streaming data. You do not need Kafka infrastructure management expertise, so you spend less time managing infrastructure and more time building streaming applications.

3. A Renewed Focus on Enabling Freedom and Speed of Adoption for Builders

During AWS CEO Andy Jassy’s keynote, he took an interesting approach to correlate his announcements with some of music’s greatest hits including “I’ve been waiting” and “Blackbird.” Jassy focused on new AWS services that remove the heavy lifting and allow “builders” an easier path for the use and adoption of the AWS Cloud Platform, with a focus on automation and compliance.

Overall, he emphasized how freedom is key, and AWS is focused on giving builders the freedom to deprecate legacy database constraints and give them the access to choose “the right tool for the right job.”

Some of the key announcements included:

  • Amazon DynamoDB On-Demand – A flexible new capacity for DynamoDB is capable of serving thousands of requests per second without capacity planning. DynamoDB on-demand offers simple pay-per-request pricing for read and write requests so that you only pay for what you use, making it easy to balance costs and performance.
  • Amazon Timestream  – A fast, scalable, and fully managed time series database, Amazon Timestream is a purpose-built time series database service for collecting, storing, and processing time-series data such as server and network logs, sensor data, and industrial telemetry data for IoT and operational applications.

What impact do these announcements have on my business?

While you may not think these new tools or services matter to your business, they do! Each of these announcements can help you take the first step to innovate, accelerate, and grow to achieve a complete digital transformation. Want to discuss how these announcements can be used to accelerate your business? Reach out to me via LinkedIn and let’s have a deeper discussion or brainstorm session on how you can embrace these emerging technologies.


Justin Guse

Cloud Architect

Justin Guse is a Cloud Architect at EagleDream Technologies. He has over 10 years of experience in IT with a strong background in infrastructure, networking, and systems administration. As an avid learner of the latest emerging technologies in cloud computing, automation, and DevOps, Justin holds several professional certifications in AWS and Microsoft.

Using his industry knowledge and skills, Justin appreciates working with his clients to design and build modern, cloud-native systems while continuously working to deliver a superior customer experience through long-term, strategic relationships.

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