re:Invent 2019

Summary

  • AWS Outpost are Generally Available for Ordering – your customers can now get AWS physical infrastructure on-premise
  • End-of-Support Migration Programme for Windows – lets customers move applications off older versions of Windows without breaking them
  • Network Manager – enables a holistic view of all connectivity to AWS including on-premise VPNs, DirectConnect and SD-WAN deployments based on Cisco, Aruba, Silver Peak, and Aviatrix
  • AWS Wavelength – puts AWS resources directly into mobile carrier networks to improve the application experience for mobile users
  • IAM Access Policy Manager – helps audit and secure the access policies assigned to resources such as S3

About re:Invent

AWS held its first conference in 2012 in Las Vegas, and here in 2019 it’s back again with an attendance in excess of 65,000 and taking over the conference centres of six of Las Vegas’ biggest hotels. Starting from Monday and running through to Friday there are over 3000 scheduled sessions with more added as the week progresses.  This is a technical conference through and through – while there’s a splatter of marketing here, the majority of content is aimed at those building services and applications with AWS, as well as leadership around how to adapt enterprises and their IT operations to public cloud.

AWS in the Public Cloud Market

AWS are very proud (and boastful) of their public-cloud market share – holding 47% of the market, with Azure following at 15%, Alibaba at 7% and GCP 4%. The remaining 27% is split across Oracle, IBM and a few other niche platforms. Already, AWS’ first two quarters of revenue in 2019 have exceeded 2018’s entire reported revenue – they’re seeing 39% growth predictions for this year!

New Product Launches

AWS Outposts End-of-Support Migration Programme for Windows
First announced last year, has finally gone “GA” or Generally Available – this means that customers can order pre-built AWS compute infrastructure to be installed in their own on-premise DCs.  Designed to solve some of the issues around application latency and data locality – the infrastructure is managed and controlled right from the AWS console and is an extension of a customer’s AWS environment. One of the biggest launches this week is a migration service that essentially wraps applications that are dependent on older generations of Windows (2003, 2008 etc) in an envelope and allows you to port them onto newer Windows editions.  This means you can take advantage of the critical security and performance updates available in newer versions of Windows.

Other Notable New Services

Network Manager Introduces a new way to manage and monitor your use of AWS’ global networks as well as how it interfaces with your on-premise networks via Site-to-Site VPN and SD-WAN.   CiscoAruba, Silver Peak, and Aviatrix have all announced integrations of their SD-WAN products with Network Manager.
Amazon VPC Ingress Routing You can now segment your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud traffic so that it is routed via virtual appliances, both inbound and outbound. 
Access Analyzer for S3 and IAM Access Analyzer These new features monitor access policies and enables proactive remediation of potentially unwanted access.  
AWS License Manager additional functionality Dedicated hosts can be difficult to manage for certain licensing considerations (for example BYOL).  AWS License Manager now simplifies this.
Wavelength Will bring AWS services and capabilities as close to mobile users as possible by putting AWS resources directly in 5G carrier network hubs.
AWS Data Exchange AWS already have MarketPlace for ISVs and pre-built solutions – Data Exchange allows companies to share / sell data which might be useful to others. Examples of this include anonymised healthcare insights  or historic news items.
Amazon Bracket Probably not relevant to 99.99% of our customers but AWS have brought Quantum Computing to the cloud.

Networking

Networking is key to how AWS provides its Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) – enabling it to not only host virtual machines (AWS calls them Instances) in its infrastructure but to connect those VMs with the Internet and on-premise networks.  Here’s a couple of updates from the VPC world:

  • AWS Transit Gateway Multicast
    • Multicast, in the cloud… used most often by media broadcasters and financial/energy trading customers, the lack of this would have once been a show-stopper for cloud-adoption.
  • Accelerated Site-to-Site VPN
    • Brings the VPN gateway to an edge location closest to your on-premise VPN connection
    • Used in conjunction with transit gateways
    • Uses AWS backbone network and is essentially driven using anycast connectivity
  • AWS Transit Gateway Inter-Region Peering
    • Now you can connect between VPCs in different regions – previously you would have to do this with site-to-site/IPSEC tunnels.

Under The Hood

re:Invent isn’t just about learning how to use AWS’ technologies and services, it’s also about learning about what goes on under the hood (or behind the silver lining):

  • Graviton 2 ARM Chips – the next generation of ARM-powered Instances (this differs from your typical Intel/AMD x86 instance types)
  • Nitro 2 Controller – AWS use a specialised and custom built virtualisation controller called “Nitro” – this week saw the confirmation of its second generation being employed, providing low-latency 100Gbps network connectivity to convince the high-performance compute crowd that you can do HPC in the Cloud  (compared to 25Gbps previously).

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