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Digital Transformation at AWS Summit Chicago 2017

Last month, 11,000 people gathered at the McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois for the annual AWS Summit Chicago. Attendees came together to learn about AWS’ latest service offerings and client use cases during the more than 40 technical sessions available to choose from over the course of the two-day event. As a longtime AWS Premier Consulting Partner, Datapipe also attended the event. Check out our recap of the conference below:

One major theme that emerged from this year’s conference was how AWS customers can most effectively utilize the power of data and analytics on the AWS platform. AWS is steadily expanding its ability to provide digital transformation through data with new, advanced features and microservices, including Amazon Athena, Amazon EMR, and Redshift. Adrian Cockcroft, VP of Cloud Architecture Strategy, AWS described these new features as “superpowers” during the keynote address, comparing their ability to provide PB-scale analytics to “x-ray vision.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning services was another hot topic at the summit. Dr. Matt Wood, General Manager of Artificial Intelligence, AWS, spoke to some of the more challenging aspects of the technology during his keynote, including how the company is handling issues of scale for machine learning clients through services like AWS Lambda, which lets clients run without provisioning or managing servers. Lambda is also helping to drive innovation in Amazon’s retail business. Wood cited the Amazon Alexa as an example of this innovation, which runs on AWS.

At one point, Nat Natarajan, Executive Vice President of Product and Technology at, led the audience through how has been able to move to AWS in nine months. He also led us through examples of how is now able to innovate rapidly, and how that digital transformation has changed the company. Some of the statistics Nat shared on the amount of data migrated in this timeframe were staggering, including over eight Petabytes of data and six Petabytes of total images moved with 550 databases moving to AWS.

Another interesting session at the Summit was focused on helping companies get the most out of their Microsoft workloads on AWS and covered migrating apps such as Exchange, SharePoint, or SQL server running on AWS to leverage and take advantage of the many benefits of the platform.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an AWS Summit without new product and service announcements. This year, AWS noted that as enterprises continue to migrate more and more workloads into the cloud, IT organizations are required to manage an increasing number of cloud resources. To ease this burden, AWS is expanding its already broad set of services that help with provisioning, tracking, auditing, configuration management, and cost management of these AWS resources with the launch of Cloud Formation StackSets and the AWS Config Dashboard.

Traditionally, to provision or update a common set of AWS resource across multiple accounts and regions, users needed custom scripts and tools, or manual processes. CloudFormation StackSets allows AWS customers to make these provisions and updates with a single CloudFormation template, enabling users to create, update, and delete stacks across multiple accounts and regions automatically.

The AWS Config Dashboard allows AWS users to easily view the type of resources and configuration history of resources being recorded in an account. With the Dashboard, users can quickly spot the number of resources that are not compliant with their configuration rules in each region, as well as resources that are not compliant with a particular configuration rule.

Not to be outdone by the product and features launched at the Chicago Summit, the AWS Training team launched three new AWS specialty training courses – Serverless Data Lake, Cloud Transformation, and Microservices.

The AWS Summit events provide a great opportunity for the cloud community to come together to connect, collaborate and learn about AWS, and as a longtime partner AWS Premier Consulting Partner, we look forward to attending them each year. If you’re interested in learning more about our AWS managed services, visit

About David Lucky

David Lucky
As Datapipe’s Director of Product Management, David has unique insight into the latest product developments for private, public, and hybrid cloud platforms and a keen understanding of industry trends and their impact on business development. David writes about a wide variety of topics including security and compliance, AWS, Microsoft, and business strategy.

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