Tuesday, April 30, 2013

AWS Summit Keynote Live Blog

This is a live blog from the AWS Summit Keynote by Andy Jassy.  The usual disclaimer applies, I'll be typing fast and furious so expect misspellings and some formatting errors.  Also, no Internet in the keynote (MiFi or conference) so I'll be moving this over to the blog after the keynote.

There are a TON of people at the event (I'll see if they announce numbers but easily in the thousands), impressive

Intro videos going on now…

Andy Jassy in on stage - starts with the age of AWS, 7 years old, March 2006

Now digging into the breadth of the services - they are very proud of the pace of innovation (see pictures attached)

With the exception of 2010, they have doubled the number of services every year, up to almost 160 services available today

71 new features so far in 2013

9 regions, 25 availability zones, 39 edge locations - also talked about the GovCloud and the requirements on it to support Public Sector workloads

Amazon S3 - Over 2 Trillion objects, 1,100,000 peak requests/sec

He's firing facts and figures now so fast I can't keep up. Nothing but speeds and feeds and stats to impress. He's talking very fast

Talking about customers and user base


Use cases - talking about the use case is really abut building blocks and letting the developers decide how to stitch together the blocks, AWS was not going to dictate the use cases

Talking about security - security is number one priority at AWS, talking about features access control from the edge, dedicated instances, encryption, etc.

Certifications are more important than security - They are HIPPA, ISO, SOX, FISMA, etc.

Now moving on to pricing (he's talking really fast, no transition in between topics)

They plan to remove cost from process and pass on to customers, 31 price drops to date, the more customers they have, the better economy of scale, they consider this a "wheel" more customers drives price drops which brings in more customers

AWS Trusted Advisor - checks for cost optimizations, security and availability checks, performance recommendations (running on demand vs. reserved instances for instance), pretty cool stuff.  I remember hearing about this but never dug into it.  It appears they are trying to change the mindset about steady state apps, they have brought this up a few times that you can run steady state in cloud, but need to do it on a reserved instance.

Now on to partners (again, no real transition) - The usual impressive list of both consulting and technology partners

AWS Marketplace - Their "App Store", 25 categories, 778 product listings - applications already configured and certified on the AWS ecosystem

Why are customers adopting cloud computing? (finally, a real transition)

1. Trade Capital Expense (CAPEX) for Operating Expense (OPEX) - $0 to get started and can fail fast if needed
2. Lower Variable Expense than most companies can do in house - they mention again how large they are and the economies of scale to pace on t customers (seems to be their new message) - They appear to be positioning themselves as the "Walmart of the Cloud" - Low Price Leader and pass savings on to you
3. You Don't Need to Guess Capacity - Talking about the typical predict up front model, what happens if you build it and nobody comes? What happens if too may people come?  If the infrastructure is elastic no need for this planning and predictive step
4. Dramatically Increase Speed and Agility - Old World server request, usually takes weeks to get servers for development, AWS takes minutes and is all self service - compares development to invention, need to perform a lot experiments, need to experiment and fail with little to no cost or collateral damage, speeds up development
5. Stop Spending Money on the Undifferentiated Heavy Lifting - They do all the "infrastructure stuff" for you, talking about how the infrastructure typically doesn't differentiate your business in anyway but it also consumes a lot of resources in operations.
6. Go Global in minutes - Because of Regions and Availability Zones the ability to scale and go grow to a different region is much easier. No need to set up operations in another area of the world

Message is very Enterprise centric (no surprise there)

Sean Beausoleil is on stage now - lead engineer for Mailbox - 2 years ago - talking about their first product, it worked but wasn't "sticky" enough, the reason was because email still held most user's data. How to tackle the mailbox as a better tool and task management

Now a video about Mailbox uses - In case you haven't tried it, Mailbox basically turns your mail into a to-do list. They were overwhelmed with the response to the initial movie that was release as a preview. They needed a massively scalable back end to support. The product pulls from IMAP -> Cloud -> to device (see picture)
They knew they would need a massive backend on AWS, they copied their existing system to AWS, they found a lot of bottlenecks in the app as they scaled up in testing.  They were able to test AHEAD of production.  Some components of the app were rewritten.  That is why the introduced the reservation system some of you that got the app may have seen.  (I was on that list)

The created the reservation system so they could scale over time until they were sure they could scale.  Even all this preparation didn't prepare them for the growth.  They were handling 100 Mil emails a day in 2 months from launch.  They are able to re-architect on the fly, comment was "you can't predict what production will look like until you are in production". I couldn't agree more based on past experience

AWS allowed them to optimize and scale and perform swaps of hardware instance sizes on the fly to balance the usage against the costs.  They would model the workload and perform swaps of hardware seamlessly in the background with no downtime.  I have to admit, that is pretty frckin cool.

Andy is back - AWS adoption into the Enterprise is the topic now

Andy is now talking about how most "old guard" are pushing for private cloud. He states none of the 6 points above are available in private cloud. He says old guard is high margin business that isn't the same as AWS. He is now talking about a balance of "old" on premise resources and new cloud era workloads - talking about Amazon Direct Connect, LDAP integration, VPC, etc. Says these tools to move from on-premise enterprises are the focus going forward. Mentions BMC and CA as partners in the future for single plane of glass management

How are Enterprises using AWS?

Strategy 1: Cloud for Development and Test - first and most common use case
Strategy 2: Build New Apps for the Cloud - this is the next generation of applications. Retire the old and create new apps, faster to build, less expensive to run, easier to manage, etc
Strategy 3: Use Cloud to Make Existing On-Prem Apps Better - Take in house apps and outsource the analytics for example for processing in the cloud. They mentioned a few enterprises including Nasdaq that do this today
Strategy 4: New Cloud Apps the Integrate Back to On-prem systems - AWS serves up the front end and the processing is on the back end on-prem
Strategy 5: Migrate Existing Apps to Cloud - he admits this is emerging and often requires consulting services, taking that very traditional workload and move it to the cloud
Strategy 6: All in - NETFLIX!  No keynote is complete with out them…

Now up - Demo of Enterprise and cloud by Simone (need his name)
They want to show you how AWS is relevant in the Enterpise
3 parts - Authentication, Integration, Migration

Authentication - Talking about Okta, an AD integration partner, brings AD into the AWS, Created an AWS Admins group in AD and it will talk to AWS IAM and preform the changes to needed to access AWS - AWS admin rights

Integration - Storage Gateway for Backup and Recovery Volumes - volume on premise - replicates to S3, replication of data happens, stand up an EC2 instance and attach to the volume on AWS if needed - talked about iSCSI targets and how to attach them (that brings back memories). Once this is done you could map back to on-premise (little fuzzy on the details)

Migration - Talking about moving export an image from VMware vCenter on-premse, transfer to AWS as an image (AMI). From there you can copy to another region. the example here is move to USA first and then transfer to Singapore.  I admit the use case of moving region to region is really cool.

Talking again about the perception of AWS and the Enterprise. The is obviously a focus.

What ar ether working on next? Amazon VPC is a focus (to continue to build the Enterprise), Direct Connect, Amazon Route 53 (DNS Services)

I'm actually gonna bail on the rest of this so i can go get a seat in the labs before they fill up. (Scratch that, line is so long for the labs they are useless)

They appear to be positioning themselves as the "Walmart of the Cloud" - Low Price Leader and pass savings on to you.  Key message also was to recognize that Enterprise will continue to use on-premise

Summary - Good stuff, it is good to hear them focus on the Enterprise and do it an a way that isn't as in your face as it was at the AWS:ReInvent conference.

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