AWS re:Invent 2021 (Nov 29 – Dec 3, 2021) has been the key highlight in the technology community particularly after the pandemic. As an in-person attendee, it was a great opportunity to learn, discuss, understand, and experience the tech event. While there are many viewpoints, this article summarizes the top AWS reInvent 2021 takeaways for architects to help them be aware of the broader context.
#1 – Don’t forget the history of Cloud evolution
“Study the past if you would define the future.” – Confucius
- Each keynote started with the history of how AWS Cloud has evolved in the past 15 years starting with Amazon S3 followed by Amazon EC2.
- While Werner’s keynote focused on the evolution of distributed computing over the years, Adam’s keynote highlighted Amazon’s ability to meet the market and customer demand over the years in terms of expectations.
- With 200+ products and services and 80 Availability Zones within 25 geographic regions serving customers in 240+ countries, each leader shared the significance of Cloud evolution along with Amazon’s role as a first cloud-service provider.
#2 – Compute is more demanding than ever
Compute has been the key talk of the town across keynotes with 475 instance types in offerings. Key highlights are:
- Faster processing power: Having arm-based processors (after acquiring Annapurna Labs six years back), Graviton–powered compute has been the key highlight. AWS Graviton3 will power Amazon Elastic Compute 2 (EC2) C7g instances that are now available in preview, which is 25% faster than its predecessor Graviton2.
- Containers & Container Orchestration: New launches like AWS Marketplace for Container Anywhere are a great enabler to open up the containers ecosystem to deploy listed containers to not only AWS-managed Kubernetes service but also to any Kubernetes environment.
- Mobile & app development: Amazon M1 Mac Instances (launched) is a much-awaited feature for Apple App development.
- Serverless compute: Serverless is now getting into mainstream adoption and the evolution of Serverless with AWS Services is an indicator. Amazon Sagemaker, Amazon MSK, and Amazon EMR launched their Serverless offerings as announced in the conference.
- Managed Services for Opensource Solutions: Amazon managed service for Prometheus, and Grafana is just the start of the offerings based on opensource solutions – there will be similar launches in the future.
#3 – Storage and data drive the modern business
- Data is everything: The importance of data got highlighted in almost every keynote with data governance, data quality, data analytics, and associate machine learning based companies empowering customers with cloud-enablement.
- Data Analytics – Key new launches such as – AWS Data Exchange for Amazon Redshift and for APIs (to find and run queries on latest data), and 4 new Serverless Data Analytics services – Amazon Redshift for Serverless, Amazon EMR Serverless, Amazon MSK Serverless, and Amazon Kinesis On-demand.
- Data Security – With announcements like Row and cell-level security for Lake formation, AWS made its presence felt in data security competing with similar solutions like Snowflake.
#4 – Networking is the backbone and enabler
- AWS Cloud WAN – a new networking capability announced to build, manage & monitor global software-defined WANs.
- Private Local Zone – for global capital markets and related industry segments to ensure higher network security
- AWS Private 5G – With 5G in focus, AWS launched AWS Private 5G, which can help in setting up a private mobile network in days.
#7 – Machine Learning & AI are tablestakes now
Key leaders have reiterated the message to make machine learning and artificial intelligence accessible in a more business-friendly manner. Key highlights such as:
- Amazon Sagemaker Canvas – launched a simple and visual point-and-click interface to AI with no coding experience is a step forward to make AI accessible to all.
- Amazon DevOps Guru for RDS – newly launched AI-powered service to automatically detect, diagnose and resolve hard-to-find database-related performance issues quickly
#6 – Partnership and collaboration goes a long way
AWS re:Invent emphasized the significance of partnership in Cloud ecosystem whether it is internal partners or solution & vendor, partners. Most of the keynotes highlighted case studies, vendor competencies, and their presence collaborating with AWS such as:
- Partner ecosystem – AWS partner network got highlighted as a good segway to start with partner paths for guidance to align with AWS as service offering. Partnership with Goldman Sachs for financial data exchange solution is a key step forward in the capital market.
- Technology partners – AWS highlighted partners across the spectrum including vendors providing infrastructure software (OS, Security, Storage, Networks, Database, Monitoring, DevOps, BI), business applications software (Contact Center, Cloud Cost Optimizations, Marketing, Education, Business Apps, Productivity & Collaboration), and industry applications software (Healthcare, Life Sciences, Financial Services, Media & Entertainment, Energy).
- Customer success stories – AWS shared the platform with customers sharing their journey towards digital transformation using AWS as a Cloud partner. Key case-studies included: 123.ie (eliminate manual document processing), IronNet (Cyber threat detection & response), 3M (digital transformation journey), Goldman Sachs, Standard Chartered Bank, Salesforce, Nasdaq, Liberty Mutual, and United Airlines.
- AWS Marketplace – AWS Marketplace got the limelight to foster partner growth by providing an easy access platform to enable third-party software, data, containers, ML models, and professional services.
- Finally, EXPO – a great place to be in-person to learn, experiment, interact and visualize solutions from startups to seasoned companies.
#7 – Future is unknown but we are prepared
“Make your technology strategy as your business strategy” – a quote from keynote
Key leadership across all keynotes has been consistent in conveying the message that though the future is unknown but Amazon is prepared to adapt and launch new capabilities as required. Key highlights during the event:
- Sustainability has been added as a new pillar to keep the focus on workload improvement
- Space is the next big avenue – AWS in Space is the journey for space-related offerings such as AWS Ground Station, a fully managed satellite service to provide direct access to AWS services and the AWS Global Infrastructure.
- Accelerate mainframe migration – Launched AWS Mainframe Migration service to help businesses migrate, modernize, and run mainframe workloads on AWS, which helps cut migration time up to 60%.
Other Interesting Services
- Prawler – AWS CLI tool for security assessment, auditing, hardening and incident response tool. Click here to see the link of key security tools relevant for AWS.
- AWS Database Migration Service Fleet Advisor – to accelerate database migration with automated inventory and migration recommendations.
- AWS IoT Fleetwise – To collect, transform, and transfer vehicle data to the cloud in near real-time.
- AWS Amplify Studio – build feature-rich applications quickly using a visual interface that requires little knowledge of how to write code.
- AWS Carbon Footprint Calculator – Provides metrics about carbon consumption by applications for sustainability in Cloud.
- AWS IoT RoboRunner – To run, scale, and automate simulation without managing any infrastructure.
- Top Announcements of AWS re:Invent 2021 – AWS Blog