Sunday, November 17, 2013

AWS re:Invent 2013 - Las Vegas, NV

Quick impressions of AWS re:Invent

Incredible to see Amazon announce all the things that folks are clambering for.  Having said that, if it wasn't obvious before it should be by now.  We benefit from the new products that Amazon creates in two ways. First the amazing fully fleshed out products like their shopping experience, video platform, the new Amazon Workspaces, etc. and the underlying tools they use to create them.  Announcements of note:
  • Kinesis
  • Postgres
  • Amazon Workspaces
  • new instance types (bigger, faster, gaming support)
  • security features that integrate with corporate infrastructure
  • ...and more 
The other cloud players are so far behind at this point it begs the question whether or not Amazon will end up being a monopoly in this space and how will they use that position.  They have always been partners with their customers, so it will be interesting to see how things evolve as it becomes clearer and clearer that Amazon is not just the winner in the space, but may be the only viable player.

The PC is dead.  Really.  Amazon Workspaces will make desktop PCs the exception in less than a few years. IT managers have been begging for a way to remove the Windows desktop from the number one position of things to worry about.  A way to manage these desktops as appliances has been the goal of thin clients, Citrix and now Amazon.  I'm betting on Amazon.  Support for all devices is their goal and they'll be supporting Macs, PCs, Chrome Books, iPads, Kindles and oh yeah, your Android phone!  Attach your S4 to a bluetooth keyboard and HDMI monitor (TV) and run Windows desktop in the cloud.

A "cloud culture" seems to have emerged that is characterized by:
  • late 20 somethings
  • hoodies
  • Chuck Taylor sneakers
  • backpacks
  • Mac books
  • Deadmau5?
  • optional hygiene
  • super smart, highly energetic people that are changing IT and the way companies should be thinking about it
...oh wait, I think I just described downtown Seattle.  ;-)

The event venue was huge (The Venetian).  Never got outside until my drive to the airport.  Hotel put on a fantastic breakfast and lunch each day - the food was superb given the number of people they had to serve each day. I was impressed by the sensitivity to diet (healthy offerings, gluten free, vegetarian, and many options) while maintaining a really tasty menu.  Coffee & snacks in the afternoon after each 1:30 session was a nice touch...fudge brownies were my favorites.

Lot's of opportunities for networking with the opening reception on Wednesday night, pub crawl, and the re:Play party.  Had a real interesting conversation with one of Amazon's software development managers at Morrel's Steakhouse regarding Amazon Payments, their new payment option to compete with PayPal.

The ecosystem around Amazon is becoming richer and richer each year.  Products that support better management, deployment, security, reporting, etc. are cropping up each year. Lot's of companies to watch, but here are some that I stopped to chat with...

  • Skytap - dev/test environments in the cloud with no pain - seems to take the rocket science out of setting up VPCs. F5 had an interesting use case of deploying stacks for training their FEs.
  • RightScale - cloud management at scale, across multiple vendors (although it's hard to imagine anyone using anything but AWS)
  • Eucalyptus - open source, on premise compatibility layer for AWS
  • Nasuni - interesting way to sell cloud storage - they give you the appliance and then it's all black box - 1 max capacity contract, scalable, encrypted, integrates with Active Directory.  They use AWS, Microsoft, HP, Google for back-end storage depending on their costs - completely abstracted away from you.
  • ...many more

Data centers are on life support.  When a globally regulated financial company like Sun Corp can take their infrastructure to the cloud there really is no reason other than turf management for companies not to be moving ALL of their infrastructure to the cloud.  It will be imperative for companies to redirect capital being spent on IT infrastructure and move that to R&D and other efforts that directly impact their customers.  If they don't they risk spawning smart startups that see and leverage the imbalance of innovation dollars being spent  in the wrong places.  The question is no longer "How much should we move to the cloud?", it's "What do we move first?"
Last impressions...if you are a member of the AWS community you have to attend re:Invent next year and the Summit in NY (usually in late winter early spring) to legitimize your membership.  Finally, I love working for my company, but I really wish I worked for Amazon!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.