I seem to only write posts about events these days, which is probably a reflection of the madcap growth at Cloudy Towers as the public cloud market continues to expand. I will resolve to write more in 2020 - an early New Year's resolution for myself...
Somewhat predictably, my ability to track measurable human time appears to be getting worse year over year. It does not seem like a long time ago that Team Cloudreach were last out in sunny Nevada for AWS' flagship technology event. But it was nearly a full year ago, and we now have just over one month to go until AWS re:Invent 2019 kicks off on 2 December. I've written about the event many times before (2018 edition here), and as is now tradition, I thought I'd share some thoughts on what we might see from the AWS team this time around.
Everyone loves an announcement
There will be an outrageous number of new releases, from new services which delight customers/make ISVs in the ecosystem sob, to enhancements for existing services, to things that I suspect few people can imagine.
Like what? Well, the key themes will look similar to last year I believe:
Less boring than it might sound at first glance - expect a lot of press around Amazon managing to get its own (large!) business to be Oracle free. Also expect a few semi-rude comments about Oracle's business practices. All thoroughly well deserved.
As a slight aside, I would expect a similar barrage towards Microsoft, linked to Windows workloads generally, not just SQL Server. A war is underway here to win the ‘Enterprise'.
This is not going away. If you're burying your head in the sand, thinking Lambda and the surrounding ecosystem are just a fad, you're kidding yourself. Expect to hear major stories of transformation and new feature releases. This is where the battle for the future of IT lies.
AKA "machine learning" to you and me, but marketing folks like to say "AI". There's a huge push on this space as the driver to win the hearts and minds of senior decision makers choosing a cloud platform, but also of course because it captures your data into AWS' platform and you're infinitely more likely to use its other services. GCP had a headstart here, and AWS is spending significant investment dollars to "fix" that.
4) ‘Things released previously' that now have some reference clients!
Surely we'll see something big around VMware on AWS being used to aggressively drive some lift and shift migrations? Surely there will be someone on stage talking about use of Outposts in the wild? Surely there will be some production Blockchain examples discussed?
Outposts is particularly interesting to me, as it has the potential to solve real-world customer problems in the hybrid space.
5) Simplified billing
I say this every year. Every year I am wrong... AWS' billing model is very detailed. The upside of that is it's super granular and you can always work out how much you've spent and on what. The downside is you might need multiple PhDs and third-party tools to get there. With their focus on customer obsession, this always feels like a neglected area to me, as the client has to put too much thought into planning and cost control (Cloudreach has a service to help with that, of course!). Will 2019 be the year when Reserved Instances die? As I've suggested it, that almost certainly means "no".
Come on, think bigger!
I spoke to some of our engineering community to canvass ideas on this. The most creative came from Jakub 'Jay-Z' Zygmunt in Amsterdam, with a suggestion we might see a full-size DeepRacer autonomous vehicle announced. I suspect that would be a) awesome, b) likely to smash Tesla's share price, and c) massively unlikely to happen. A more likely suggestion from him touched on a possible move into healthcare via a new device and some surrounding services. We know Amazon.com is interested in the pharma space from recent hires it has made - stranger things have happened.
Wow. OK, think smaller!
Here are some smaller service improvements that our teams would love to see announced (are you listening, product managers?):
- Cross-region transit gateway
- A managed AMI bakery of some sort
- A managed Squid (or other outbound proxy) service
- An API for Control Tower
- A CloudEndure managed Replication Server to avoid spinning up EC2 instances
- AWS Backup cross-accounts
And of course, CloudFormation support for all new products. One thing you have to admire about AWS is its relentless drive for speed, allowing small autonomous teams to show normal companies how fast innovation really can be. The downside of that? Sometimes an inconsistent experience initially - and CloudFormation (plus UX) tends to suffer. I'd argue the balance is right, given the rate of feature development.
Any general tips?
Too many of these have been posted online already, so all I will say is:
- Bring comfy footwear. This is not really a suit and shiny shoes conference
- Buy some lip balm!
- Attend a keynote if it's your first time at re:Invent
- Get out and see at least some of the surrounding sights, even if it's just some live piano music in New York, New York!
It's going to be big. See you there!
Well, not quite. You'll have to make do without me this year (sob) - for the first time in what seems like an age, I'm away on holiday elsewhere and can't make this one. Fear not, Team Cloudreach will be there in force to talk to you and we'd love to connect. Do get in touch, even if just to make fun of Oracle.
This article first appeared on LinkedIn.
Chris Bunch is general manager of Cloudreach EMEA.
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