For the last ten years, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has put together a learning conference called “re:Invent” for the global cloud computing community, featuring keynote announcements, training and certification opportunities, thousands of technical sessions, after-hours events, and so much more.
This year, AWS re:Invent was held from November 29th to December 2nd, 2021. This was a very special edition, not only because it was its 10th anniversary but also because it took place in Las Vegas, in-person, bringing back a little normalcy since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
20,000 IT professionals connected in those four days, learning, having fun and networking while attending keynotes, talks, workshops, cultural and social events. Amazon made several announcements, including improvements and new services, while their partners promoted their offerings making re:Invent one of the most important events of the cloud tech market.
This year didn’t disappoint. Amazon released improvements to its existing offers, services to unlock new opportunities, and announcements that seem like excerpts from a sci-fi movie. Let’s dive a little deeper.
Cloud, IoT & 5G
One recurrent theme in the conference was how to bring the cloud into our physical spaces. For that, we need better network options so our Internet of Things (IoT) devices can connect securely and efficiently. All the new management, interconnection, protection, data migration, and device support services required for that promised future are now available.
I think the most impactful and forward-thinking announcement was the possibility of having Amazon ship a functional local 5G network for a factory, warehouse, or office. AWS can provide us with the hardware, software, and support to have a local 5G network to connect our IoT devices, providing much better network services than what’s been available until now. We still need to see if it works as promised and what the costs will be, but I am impressed by AWS’ ability to make bold proposals. Who knows? Maybe in a few years, we will realize AWS Private 5G turned out to be the most important announcement of this re:Invent.
The Future of Computing
On computing, the most important announcements were about more efficient processors and instances, lowering the impact on our budgets and the environment. We also saw new virtual computers designed for machine learning use, access to quantum computing platforms, the availability of Apple M1 Mac instances for app development, and new automatic recommendation engines to make efficient use of our platforms.
Data & Machine Learning
Data is the new gold. AWS announced new ways of securing our data, storing it at lower costs while maintaining its accessibility — all enabling us to share data securely and openly. There are a dozen new services around the Sagemaker brand to optimize training jobs, labeling, analysis, and management of all the components for processing that data. Machine learning is the new promised land where many companies are looking for gold, and AWS is making sure we have all the tools needed to find it.
Sustainability & Technology
During the high-level talks, sustainability was a big topic, especially how the cloud allows us to lower our environmental impact, using economies of scale, e.g., carbon-neutral AWS regions, and architecting our applications to be as efficient as possible. AWS added a new pillar, sustainability, in their industry-leading Well-Architected Framework to guide us in our efforts to make our organizations more environmentally friendly.
Education & Reskilling
Amazon also discussed the importance of education and re-skilling to meet the demand for good technical professionals in the IT field. They officially announced a brand new scholarship program for underrepresented students and new tools for experimenting in Machine learning to make the knowledge more accessible.
There were many more announcements, but the message was clear. AWS keeps innovating. They continue to quickly offer excellent new tools enabling us to build the future of our organizations and our world.
I am elated that the culture Amazon embraced to become one of the biggest companies in the world is shared by Wizeline. Our values of innovation, community, and ownership are an excellent foundation to help us continue to deliver outstanding results to our customers.
Many organizations find it challenging to keep this pace of innovation. They could use help in utilizing cloud technology to become more efficient and flexible, with the adaptability that businesses need to survive and prosper in these new times. Partners like Wizeline can help provide the consulting, learning, and guidance that they need.
If you plan to watch only one keynote from this year, I recommend the one from Dr. Werner Vogels, AWS CTO. His insight about the correct way to architect and build the systems we need in the future is a guide we should always keep in mind. From now on, while planning new systems, I will be thinking, “What would Werner do?”
AWS re:Invent 2021 is over now, but I can’t wait for the new surprises Amazon will present us next year. I love the cloud!