Thoughts from the AWS London Summit 2018

News and Events / May 17, 2018

 

José, from our Cloud team, recently made the trip to London’s ExCel conference centre to attend the AWS Summit. These Summits are all about showcasing the latest and greatest that AWS has to offer and are focused on educating the eager attendees. Here is his summary of the day.

 Written by – José Todea

On Thursday last week, DNM once again attended the annual AWS Summit in London. Every year, this event gets bigger and bigger, this year was no exception with more than 12K attendees and dozens of partners. Here are some of the highlights from the event:

 

Keynote Session

Keynote Speakers for AWS Summit London 2018 were Gavin Jackson, Managing Director, Amazon Web Services UK and Ireland, and Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon.com. They were joined on stage by representatives from multiple companies from around the globe delighted to celebrate AWS and the benefits it had brought to their businesses.

The keynote started off by talking about Amazon’s impressive growth. The AWS business now has a $22 Billion revenue run rate as of Q1 2018 and the company’s year-on-year growth is close to fifty percent, a rate that is actually increasing.

After that, there were a few highlights of some newly launched features, such as the Cloud9 web-based IDE, which impresses by allowing the running of Lambda functions and the closed integration with AWS Code family services.

ECS is now getting the ability to run Kubernetes containers, with the EKS preview developers can run containers across a Kubernetes cluster. Fargate was also included in the highlights, this tool allows deployment of containers without the need to manage their underlying hosts (for the moment only available for ECS).

Machine learning capabilities on AWS have grown significantly recently, and new services such as Amazon SageMaker (a fully managed end-to-end machine learning service that enables you to build, train, and host machine learning models at scale) are now in the spotlight.

There was also a brief presentation by Babylon Health, who have been deploying chatbot-style apps for diagnosing health conditions using various machine learning techniques, with an impressive adoption rate.

Databases and storage was another big area on this year’s keynote, with a recent expansion of Aurora to now have a PostgreSQL-compatible option, in addition to the (still under development) Aurora Serverless. New security services were also described, such as Amazon Inspector for the automatic detection of vulnerabilities.

You can watch the full Keynote session here.

Exhibition Hall
After the keynote there was a short break when we could visit the partners of AWS at their stalls and also spotted among the partners were many AWS staff, including architects who were on site to provide answers to all the technical questions you could wish to ask.

 

Tech sessions
After the well-deserved lunch break, there were a number of sessions aimed at either fundamentals or in-depth looks at different AWS services.

For the purposes of this blog, here is the one that I found the most interesting, not only for the content but also the whole concept behind it:

Chaos Engineering: Why Breaking Things Should Be Practised.

 

“Failures are given and everything will eventually fail over time.” – Werner Vogels (CTO of Amazon.com)

With this very accurate phrase, Adrian Hornsby started a presentation full of good reasons to start breaking your environments before they break on their own, proactive reactions are always welcome.

But hold on, this doesn’t mean you should run to your AWS console and start getting rid of your production resources, it simply means we need to bear in mind, and prepare mechanisms for self-healing and recovery, and test this on a regular basis.

It’s a reasonably new principle, practiced by Netflix for several years and then formalised in 2015, the full presentation available here.

The verdict

All in all, it was a great event and one that is well worth attending. I personally gained a lot of insight from the day and had some great conversations with avid AWS users like myself! Exciting times ahead in AWS world!