Wednesday, November 12, 2014

AWS Re:Invent Day 1 Keynote Live Blog

Place is PACKED. Over 13,000 here. I’m way in the back, can’t see the slides on the screen well but can see the big screens showing the current speaker. I should have been here earlier but needed coffee. Priorities…

TL;DR - See My take at the bottom

Jassy up first - over 1 million active customers, lots (and lots) of logos slides (public sector, Enterprise, SI’s, etc.)

AWS Market Place - huge growth, 2000 offerings, 7 mil in downloads

Slide about Enterprise IT Vendors and how most large multi-billion “Enterprise IT Vendors” are all shrinking while AWS is growing (yes, they included themselves in that category)

Lydia Leong (Gartner) quote thrown up on the screen - he is really trying to embrace the Enterprise vs. just telling them they are doing it wrong in past years keynotes

Moves on to the “Old Way” of doing things, Enterprises spend millions for slow, inflexible infrastructure and software

AWS is the “The New Normal” - multiple data centers (mentioned fault tolerance), 11 regions, 28 availability zones - went on to mention all the features that are built into every region (backup, identify management, monitoring, analytics), complete offering of services and all offered on demand as needed and can spin up as needed (This has to be the longest list of features I’ve ever heard, he has been going on for about 3 minutes and I’m not sure he has taken a breath)

Still going…. 

Now talking about the features in the service. Many others offer a basic service, AWS goes deep on most offerings (another list of offerings, he is going into compute and how they are differentiated i.e. GPU specific, small compute, large compute, etc.)

Still going on list of services… Jassy is the Energizer Bunny of feature lists

First Customer is up - MLB (Major League Baseball) - CTO of, started from scratch, now a six billion business for MLB. They built a PaaS they share with other providers (ESPN, etc.). Want to be on any screen at anytime for events. StatCast is hosted on AWS, new system to go really deep and apply big data and prediction to baseball stats and players.

How do they capture the data? Radar sampling that tracks ball over 2000 a second, can “see” the baseball rotation it is that accurate. 17 Petabytes of data per season. AWS was the only one with scale and bursting capability (what do you do in offseason when you don’t need it). Keep adding to data warehouse over time to provide historical stats.

How does it work - collect data locally, use Amazon Direct Connect to export into AWS. From there MLB’s real time PaaS delivers StatCast to devices

Example - Breakdown of play during the World Series, shows how runner started slow (because he thought is was easy) and then sped up at the end. He was out by .2 second. If he ran the whole time, he would have been safe by over a foot.

Jassy is back - talking about transformation to Cloud Native Applications. You don’t have the option to move slow anymore.

Second Customer is up - CEO, Healthcare Company (sorry, didn’t catch the name, Phillips maybe) - going through a real world customer use case who had cancer and how they determined this (took blood that indicated it, found the cancer, showed patient how to adjust lifestyle and live with it vs. radiation treatment). This was real time data and fitting a treatment to the customer vs. other traditional alternatives using big data.

How do we turn a mountain of data into Actionable Items? This is where real time data comes into play. They are adding a PetaByte a month to the system right now (common theme here of scale and how no one else can scale like AWS). No one can support the large amounts of data.

Jassy back - Slide - Is there hope for a new normal in the area of relational databases? Old world DB’s are expensive, locked in. Many Enterprises are looking to MySQL and PostGres as an alternative. The OSS DB’s are hard right now….

(Announcement) - Amazon Aurora - Commercial Grade Database Engine - in development for 3 years, MySQL compatible but at 5x performance, same or better availability than Enterprise versions at 1/10 of the cost of the leading solutions in the market.

Product dude brought out for Aurora (didn’t catch his name) - Biggest Enterprise pain today is world class databases. They started with a blank slate and knew they wanted MySQL compatibility.

Compatibility with MySQL 5.6… 6 million inserts per minute, 30 million selects (I heard some folks around me saw wow to that one, I guess that is a big deal), data automatically backed up to S3 and highly available, crash recovery in seconds, database cache survives restart (no warming). Most features available only in Ent. class offerings.

Offered at .29 per hour (audience clapped at that)

Jassy back on stage - Talking about Software Deployment now. Pushed 50 million deployments in last 12 months using “Apollo” (codename for their internal project… I sense an announcement coming)

(Announcement) - AWS Code Deploy - Central monitoring and control, works with “virtually any” language and tool chain set, available today, free to use. Performs roll backs of code as well as commits. 

Talking about CI/CD now. Develop, Build&Test, Deploy, Monitor & Analyze

(Announcement) - AWS Code Pipeline - Integrates with existing tools, used internally in Amazon

(Announcement) - AWS Code Commit - code repository without size limits.

All exist together and work with external partners. (wonder who they will play nice with)

Now talking about compliance - They are now ISO-9001 compliant. They have been working with healthcare customers to achieve this level of certification.

Security up next - talking about encryption

(Announcement) - AWS Key Management Service - Encryption, IAM and policies all in one place (sorry for lack of details here, had to take a call)

OK, back…

Talking about Service Catalog (coming in 2015) - AWS Service Catalog, create a grouping of resources, create an offering, serve it out in a service catalog… They say Enterprises want this

(This *COULD* be interesting. I talked to Ent folks about this years ago and it never took off because it was too hard or costly to create the offerings and serve out the catalogs to multiple clients. If they make this easy to consume and usable, it could take off IMO. Enterprises want it but never really adopted it at scale. This was the original Enterprise vision of “cloud”, a portal of services)

Talking New Applications vs. Old Applications (here comes the Jassy we know and love… bring on the part where he tells everyone they are doing it wrong and need to do it the AWS way)

Dev/Test - Many Enterprises are using Dev/Test as a starting point for AWS. 
Mobile - The future of applications and architecture
Talking about companies migrating fully over to AWS. Feels like the days of virtualization (we want to be a 100% virtualized environment!). I doubt that will ever happen. Some workloads might go AWS…

CTO of Intuit on stage - They are moving all their applications to AWS. As Intuit evolves into a majority SaaS company. Over 8,000 employees, 3,000 engineers. Multi-billion online and mobile services. Had lease on datacenter up and migrated over to AWS. 6x cost savings, 1/5 of the time for buildout, developers were able to move faster. Over time this trend increased, starve the old, build new in AWS. Many acquisitions were built on AWS so that made absorbing them into Intuit very easy.

Jassy back - Talking about Hybrid Infrastructure (not Hybrid Cloud according to AWS). Jassy talking about a lot of Enterprises that still have on-prem resources because they aren’t ready to move to cloud. Talking about all the Hybrid features (VPC, Direct Connect, vCenter Integration, Access Control, Directory Service).

CTO of Johnson & Johnson  - 270 operating companies in 60 countries, 100,000+ employees, more stats,,, blah blah blah…

Thousands of Servers, Complex IT Ops - new strategy, less servers, automated IT, greater business efficiency

120 applications running in AWS now, plan to triple that in the next 12 months (they have to have THOUSANDS of apps, so I wonder what the percentage actually would be)

They want to move to Amazon Workspaces for Desktops

Jassy back - Slide - Partnering is the new normal (Announcement coming?)

Talking about culture of AWS - Customer focus comes first, AWS is pioneering (first to market), long term orientation

They will never call you at the end of a quarter to close a deal to make numbers (difference between am OPEX subscription model vs. a CAPEX purchase model)

AWS as a trusted advisor, Cost Optimized Service and Advice - over a 350Mil in cost reductions on behalf of customers

My take: Keynote felt very different from past years, company has moved from announcing more offerings (look, new compute offerings!) to announcing services to expand the ecosystem. Makes sense as the growth has slowed and they need to pick it up. Felt like a VMworld keynote from 5-7 years ago. A company that is starting to branch out and may very well start eating their own ecosystem so they can continue to grow. Also thought it was weird the pre-announced a few things this year. Not sure if they didn’t get them out in time but pretty sure they haven't done that before. AWS has gone from the “stealth IT little guy” poking the Enterprise in the eye and telling them they are doing it wrong and is now embracing the idea that they need the Enterprise and they now need to be nice to them. The fact that Jassy didn’t crap all over “Hybrid Infrastructure” and actually talked about it at the end helps prove this point.

I believe the Aurora and CI/CD announcements will move the needle and look really awesome. The security announcements were needed to fill out the Enterprise portfolio. The Service Catalog could be interesting when it releases.

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