Another AWS re:Invent has come and gone, and this year’s event was packed with exciting announcements and presentations. Below are a few of our favorite moments and highlights you should be aware of.
- Amazon announced Amazon Inspector, an automated security assessment service that analyzes the behavior of the applications you run in AWS. The service will check common security standards and vulnerabilities to detect and remediate security issues early and often. In addition, Amazon Inspector will provide detailed reports and full audit trails. Security still remains the number one concern for enterprises moving to the cloud. Services like Amazon Inspector and Datapipe’s 24/7/365, “always on” customer support are crucial.
- Amazon QuickSight provides easy-to-use business intelligence for big data needs at 1/10th the price of traditional on-premise solutions. Amazon QuickSight will be able to handle several types of data-intensive workloads, like ad targeting, marketing & sales analytics, and IoT device stream management. The benefits are plentiful in having business intelligence at your fingertips. Organizations can expand their analytical capabilities by taking advantage of big data and real-time reporting. Being cloud-first helps business leaders extract information from huge stores of both structured and unstructured data. An MSP like Datapipe will help you make sense of all that data.
- Last year, Amazon announced enterprises could track AWS resource configurations with AWS Config. They’ve added to the feature, extending Config with a powerful new rule system. Businesses can use existing rules from AWS and from partners, or they can also define their own rules. These rules can be targeted at certain resources, types of resources, or at resources tagged in a specific way. Rules are run when those resources are created or changed, and can be evaluated hourly, daily, or on another periodic basis. This will also help businesses report compliance, or noncompliance, depending on what makes most sense for them. This is possible for any resource type supported by Config.
- Amazon also unveiled Snowball at the event, essentially a smart box for shipping up to 50TB of data to AWS. While the reaction has been mostly positive, a few folks are wondering how secure this new product really is. But not to worry; just like Datapipe puts its customers’ security fears at ease, so should Snowball. It’s durable, has everything you need for power and networking, and with automatic encryption, it can safely hold data, and lots of it.
- Amazon announced AWS IoT, a platform for building, managing and analyzing the Internet of Things. Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels stressed that simply being connected doesn’t necessarily mean a platform is useful, so AWS IoT is aiming to change that with this release. AWS IoT allows billions of things to keep responsive connections to the cloud, and lets cloud applications interact with things. It receives messages from things and filters, then records, transforms, augments or routes them to other services within AWS or to an enterprise’s own code.
Based on the feedback Amazon had received from Amazon ECS and Docker users, they’re announcing some new features. Top of the list? The EC2 Container Registry. When launching a container, an image is referenced. That image is pulled from a Docker registry, which is a critical part of the deployment process. Customers need a registry that is highly available, exceptionally scalable and globally accessible. Amazon’s EC2 Container Registry (Amazon ECR) will address these issues, making it easy for enterprises to store, manage, distribute and collaborate around Docker container images. Amazon ECR is integrated with ECS, so it’ll be easy to integrate into the existing product workflow. Images are stored durably in S3 and encrypted during both at rest and in transit. Users will pay only for the data stored and transferred to the Internet.
AWS Lambda was released at last year’s re:Invent conference, and this year, Amazon announced a plethora of additions to the event-driven computing service. Chief among them: support for the Python programming language, and support for AWS’ Virtual Private Cloud service. Lambda also has increased function duration – up to five minutes, Vogels said – as well as function versioning and scheduled functions. Similar to AWS, Datapipe is constantly innovating and working to improve our services. These announcements are very exciting, and we can’t wait to get our hands on the new and updated solutions.
Observations from the Show Floor
Security Still Top of Mind: AWS re:Invent keynote speaker Andy Jassy says people are moving to the cloud because they want to control their destiny. We couldn’t agree more, and Datapipe’s Access Control Model for AWS (DACMA) allows us to effectively manage an enterprise’s system while allowing them to stay in control of their virtual infrastructure and data. There was a strong emphasis on security at this year’s show. And why shouldn’t there be? It’s still top of mind for enterprises. It’s also top of mind for us, so it’s great to see some new products focused on security.
Automation is Big: Automation helps businesses be more efficient, as less time is spent on repetitive tasks. A key theme at this year’s conference was encouraging enterprises to automate systems whenever possible. Stephen Schmidt, CISO of AWS, gets an email report every day with a listing of all privileged EC2 commands executed by his staff. The goal is for that report to be zero, thanks to automation. Datapipe announced automation services a few months back, and we’ve helped companies see the benefits. We continue to strive to make things easier for our customers. Automation is certainly a way to do that.
So, what exactly are customers asking for?: It’s a complicated answer, but some of the areas they’re focusing on include the IoT, mobile devices, enterprise apps, big data, marketing & commerce, life sciences, healthcare, and digital media. With more focus on those areas, there will be continued interest in DevOps and automation and cloud adoption framework, including security and governance, backup and disaster recovery, managed services, networking and migration.
Let’s Play Ball: AWS was deployed at all 30 Major League Baseball parks this year. The streaming service allowed MLB Advanced Media to capture 700,000 pitches and 130,000 balls in play, and has helped bring the nuances of the game closer to fans, broadcasters and players alike. With the MLB playoffs in full swing, there will be even more opportunities to see every bit of the action. We’re no strangers to sports either. Our disaster recovery system ensures TaylorMade Golf is covered in any situation. With so many people interested in each and every sport, it’s comforting for an enterprise to have a dependable solution they can deliver.
Fun side note: AWS had a greenhouse at re:Invent. Plenty of people stopped in, but few probably knew the work that went into it. AWS shared a timelapse of the building’s construction, and the result is pretty cool! You can check it out here.
Datapipe In Action
The Datapipe booth was bustling throughout the event. Our in-booth Cloud Enablement Theater hosted Lightning Talks from Datapipe partners AlertLogic, Equinix, FortyCloud, and TaylorMade.
“Expanding your Cloud Business with AWS using AWS Marketplace, a Global Customer Channel” was a breakout session focusing on AWS Partner Success stories. This session helped educate customers, technology and consulting partners across the Amazon ecosystem on how to leverage the AWS Marketplace. The Chef CEO opened the conversation by discussing how his company leverages AWS Marketplace to sell and deploy software for customers on AWS. Then we detailed a recent customer deployment with global sporting goods company, TaylorMade, and provided examples on how to utilize AWS in an effort to drive innovation and increase reach to customers. The Datapipe managed solution provided TaylorMade a disaster recovery system on AWS, leveraging Oracle and security services to provide an agile platform that saved TaylorMade 30 percent over the traditional IT platform. Barry Russell, Head of Business, AWS Marketplace, led the breakout session, which also included Datapipe’s Director of Product Management David Lucky and TaylorMade’s Manager of Infrastructure, Chris Smith.
Datapipe’s Client Success Manager, Patrick Ohler, also interviewed McDonald’s VP & CTO, Frank Ellermeyer on the chain’s move to AWS. On the AWS stage, Datapipe Senior Director of Cloud Products, Jason Woodlee, presented on Building and Deploying a Modern Big Data Architecture on AWS. Keep an eye on the Datapipe YouTube channel for videos of Datapipe’s AWS activities onsite, and visit our landing page for all things pertaining to our relationship with AWS.