I was fortunate enough to attend the AWS re:Invent conference earlier this month, and it didn’t disappoint. In case you aren’t familiar with this show, AWS re:Invent is Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) flagship event for the global cloud computing community. Attendees benefit from more than 2,500 breakout sessions, technical bootcamps, workshops and labs – all designed to help them enhance their AWS expertise and technical cloud skills. And, of course, there is no shortage of announcements coming from AWS during the show.

With so much buzz – both in the industry and the media world – around the various releases announced at AWS re:Invent, we thought it would be helpful to highlight a few that we think are especially relevant to our customers.

  1. General availability of AWS Outposts, “a new fully managed service that extends AWS infrastructure, AWS services, APIs and tools to virtually any customer datacenter, co-location space, or on-premises facility for a truly consistent hybrid experience.”

What does this mean for customers? AWS Outposts is a significant announcement because it puts AWS services into racks that sit within a customer’s datacenter, but they work in the same way as cloud services do. AWS tells us that customers can put capacity into their datacenters for workloads that have very low latency requirements and need to be close to on-premises systems or the user base. Hopefully, more companies will see this as a stepping stone to transitioning completely to the cloud, rather than relying on multiple vendors across on-premises and cloud environments – which, ultimately, will reduce complexity and training needs.

  1. Launch of Amazon Detective, “a new service in Preview that makes it easy to analyze, investigate and quickly identify the root cause of potential security issues or suspicious activities.”

What does this mean for our customers? Amazon has a myriad of tools to secure cloud environments and many services that provide logs and other evidence that can be used to detect security incidents. While this is certainly a step in the right direction, any business with a security and compliance requirement knows that it’s not just about having the data; it’s about using the data, too. Amazon Detective takes this next step and analyzes logs from many services to create a single view that can help customers more easily identify the root cause of a security alert.

  1. Launch of AWS Compute Optimizer, “a new machine-learning-based recommendation service that makes it easy for you to ensure that you are using optimal AWS Compute resources.”

What does this mean for customers? AWS always talks about its commitment to reducing customer costs over time, and the release of AWS Compute Optimizer is another proof point that the company’s intent is genuine. AWS has always offered a “Trusted Advisor,” which lets customers know if they could be saving money (by using reserved instances, for example), but AWS Compute Optimizer goes one step further by using machine learning to look at the requirements of workloads over time, recommending changes in cases of over provisioning, and demonstrating how the workload will perform when a change is made. The best part? It’s available at no additional charge!  

  1. Enhancements to Amazon SageMaker, “a fully managed service that provides every developer and data scientist with the ability to build, train and deploy machine learning models quickly.” This service has been around for a few years, but the investment in “a new notebook experience that allows developers to spin up machine learning notebooks in seconds, and enables sharing of notebooks with just a single click” demonstrates AWS’ direction and strategy moving forward.

What does this mean for customers? Some of the particularly interesting service enhancements from which our customers will benefit include:

  • SageMaker Studio – Provides an integrated development environment for machine learning.

  • Experiments – Enables users to track and catalog machine learning trainings.

  • Debugger – Helps users find … you guessed it … bugs.

  • Autopilot – Assists users in picking the right machine algorithm for their models.

I’d also like to pose one question here. It seems that AWS is investing heavily in the machine learning space, and we’re seeing fewer announcements related to traditional Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings. Could this mean that AWS thinks that the IaaS world is “done,” and the future is all about high-value data exploitation services? This is certainly something to think about.

We migrate hundreds of companies to AWS, and our customers consistently raise concerns around moving to the cloud seamlessly and securely, controlling costs, and identifying cloud benefits above and beyond a set of IaaS services. The good news is that AWS is addressing these pain points, and the announcements issued at AWS re:Invent are the latest proof points of the company’s commitment to relieving these concerns.

If you’re thinking about AWS migrations in 2020 or how to best use these new services within your cloud environments, please email me at james.ball@clckwrk.com.

RDX clckwrk is an Amazon Advanced Consulting Partner that helps companies of all sizes migrate and manage their Oracle applications in AWS, and we can help you do the same.