AWS Summit Highlights

May 2nd, 2013 by

AWS Summit 2013  San Francisco
AWS Summit Highlights:

Andy Jassy, the Senior Vice President for Amazon Web Services and Amazon Infrastructure was the Keynote speaker.  Andy covered a couple different topics throughout his Keynote and I would like to highlight a couple of them that stood out to me, as well as new features.


AWS Pricing Philosophy is at the core of the Amazon model.  Whether it is Amazon.com and selling books or AWS, they come from the same cloth in terms of business model.  It is all about economy of scale.  The more they buy and have access to, the cheaper they can provide it to us, the consumers.  The idea is all around volume.  To me, there is some compelling and not so compelling facets of this approach. 1. The cost of customer acquisition is very small.  2. Based on having many customers,  you don’t feel the pain very much when you have churn. 3.  The pressure is on to continue to grow and pushing the envelope of customer adoption; without the momentum you can’t continue the wheel of cost saving and customer volume unless you keep providing more for less.  4. It also makes the barrier for entry for competition extra high once you have the wheel moving at a pretty good pace.

Andy continued to sell the AWS Model by pitching how companies can take part in the moment and model with the AWS Marketplace.  To me this is very much like a 2 tier pyramid.  AWS grows because company x enables their tech on AWS and company x hopes to gain exposure and growth based on AWS providing visibility to their tech.  Andy went on providing 6 reasons to join and embrace the AWS cloud.

Why move to the cloud according to AWS:
1. Trade Capital Expense for Variable Expense
2. Lower Variable Expense than companies can do themselves
3. You don’t need to guess capacity
4. Dramatically increase Speed and Agility
5. Stop spending money on undifferentiated heavy lifting. (Data Center Infrastructure Management)
6. Go Global in Minutes

One of the greatest validation in some of the articles and interviews that I have had over the past couple years, around the Hybrid Cloud being what the majority of companies will continue to adopt, came from Andy’s Keynote.

AWS _NetFlixAWS believes in the hybrid model.  It doesn’t have to be all-in or all-out.  Andy spoke about the different cloud models and paths to adoption that AWS is seeing more and more of.  These use-case cloud models range from the extreme of going all in, like Netflix, to a slow evolution of existing workloads or new workloads to the cloud as they make sense.  One of the highlights of this concept, and validation, is that hybrid cloud is where things are going; as shown by the amount of development effort the AWS team is doing to make this journey easier.  AWS Direct ConnectThey demonstrated AWS Direct Connect, as well as a really slick and straight forward integration with AWS and Microsoft Active Directory for single sign on capabilities between all your systems.

The last highlight of the conference that I wanted to address came from a session put on by Justin Brindley-Koonce, Sr. Manager, AWS Premium Support.  The session was titled “Supporting and Optimizing your AWS Experience”.  The thing that continues to impress me about AWS is the openness they exhibit with their REST API.  Justin spoke about their new announcement around API access now to AWS Trusted Advisor and seamless API integration with AWS ticketing system for support.  To me there is a lot of power that can be had with both of these new enhancements.  Many organizations have monitoring and management tools.  AWS is committed to the Hybrid model, so much so that they understand companies have spent millions of dollars on these systems to track assets both in their own data centers and in the cloud.  So, now with these API extensions you have the ability to leverage additional visibility to AWS Trusted Advisor collection but also push and pull tickets, events alerts etc. to AWS support when needed, automatically without human interaction.  Think of the power of this use-case.  You are monitoring application that is both public in AWS cloud as well as parts in house.  Something goes wrong with your AWS storage gateway cache apps and you need AWS support to figure it out.  Your current monitoring system can send the request with all the correct information to the current AWS support ticketing system.  You also can then receive your updates on status back in the same portal without ever having to log into AWS and you can maintain that single pane of glass from your management system like ScienceLogic EM7.  With the AD integration that Andy spoke on, you truly can make AWS an in-house extension of your existing operations.   I look forward to see what is coming next.

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