My 8 Amazon Web Services Re:invent 2016 takeaways

European data and cloud nerd's view on AWS Re:invent

Here's a thing: AWS Re:invent is very exhausting. With around 30k attendees and conference venues in several extremely large hotels on the famous Las Vegas strip one should be prepared for long walks of up to 30 minutes between the talks through dense crowds of people. First sessions start at 8 AM and last finish around 7 PM with the famous Re:play party going on until long after midnight. I can tell that for sure as the bass from the party was shaking my hotel room windows at least until 1:30 AM. ;-)

Yet the most exhausting as well as fascinating part is rather mental - the sheer number and variety of content and messages.

AWS Re:invent 2016 major announcements

Here are my 8 key takeaways:

1. Public cloud is here to stay. Organisations of all sizes around the globe already use AWS for all kinds of workloads.

2. Developer productivity and agility, foremost the ability to iterate very quickly, is pivotal for every organisation in today's digital world.

AWS ecosystem is rapidly growing and today it represents a well integrated platform consisting of services for all kinds of tasks and workloads offering nearly limitless scalability, unmatched developer productivity and the ability to rearchitect or rearrange the overall system very quickly. From the very beginning you can really focus on adding business value.  Starting small and then scaling as well as rearchitecting as you go is much faster and therefore cheaper as well as more effective than anything else I know.

Related services:


AWS Blox

AWS CodeBuild 

If you want to dig in deeper, here is Werner Vogels imho excellent take on transforming development.

3. The pace of innovation around public cloud is accelerating and AWS is working very closely with the user community. AWS launched around 1.000 new services since Re:invent 2015 which are complemented by partner offerings from the very active Marketplace.

AWS Pace Of Innovation

4. Serverless computing with AWS Lambda really is a game changer for two reasons.

Technically: extremely convenient and yet scalable from the first second. Commercially: IT Organisations can plan their ops budgets based on business transactions instead of servers as the charge is based on the number of API calls. An example from fintech shows that several hundred billion calls cause just a couple of thousand dollars monthly cost.

Related services:

AWS Lambda

5. Analytics, Data Science, Data Management and Data Governance

Many organizations are seeking innovation by putting their data to use. comSysto is one of the few AWS Big Data Competency partners in the EMEA region and helps large organisations to do so. AWS is putting a broad portfolio of existing and new data services together for seamless and automated data governance. DJ Patil, Chief Data Scientist from the White House explained how the US Government is connecting law enforcement and healtchcare data on order to decrease the number of imprisoned persons, better understand their behavior and offer appropriate help.

Related services:

AWS Athena

AWS Glue

AWS Batch 


6. Security on AWS is a big thing according to session attendance.

A solid proof for advanced use of AWS in enterprises and startups working with critical data. Security Automation is even hotter as AWS makes it easier than ever. Detecting anomalies in system or user behavior through machine learning or simple alerting and rule execution is getting fairly easy. Security automation is needed for a high-pace in detection, alerting, remediation, countermeasures and forensics.

Example source code for security automation is available on GitHub:



7. Cost efficiency on AWS is defined by four elements: usage, cost, utilization and organisation.

AWS and Marketplace partners offer several services for spend management such as Cloudability. Following aspects are crucial:

- usage vs. usefulness of services

- waste potential and constraints of used services

- cost visibility on every level

- up-front capacity commitment (On-Demand vs. Reserved Instances of several types)

8. Upcoming technologies like Blockchain find their way to AWS very quickly. Today AWS doesn't offer a managed Blockchain service like it does for example with Apache Spark or Elasticsearch. At least until the next Re:invent. ;-)

As a wrap-up at the very end let me just share several hopefully useful links, so you can go ahead and explore all details for yourself. Enjoy!

Complete list of announcements

Keynote videos

Breakout session videos

NoNonsense Specialist

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