AWS re:Invent 2014 – Day 1

Yesterday was the first day of Amazon’s third annual customer and partner conference in Las Vegas. There are 13,500 attendees from 65 countries here, with an additional 15,000 people tuning in for the keynote live streams.

Today’s keynote from Andy Jassy (Senior Vice President of AWS) included a number of interesting product and service announcements (see more details below) and clearly showed that AWS is interested in moving up the cloud stack to capture more customers and revenue.

AWS now has over 1 million active customers (where an active customer is a non-Amazon customer who has used the platform within the last month), and has seen a 137% year on year growth in data transfer to and from S3 and a 99% year on year growth in EC2 instance usage. They are disclosing a year on year revenue growth in excess of 40%, which makes them the (self-confessed) “fastest-growing enterprise IT company in the world.” As always, AWS are very proud of their rapid and increasing pace of innovation, and expect to almost double the number of major releases this year compared to 2013.

Beyond AWS’s desires to move up the stack from Iaas to Pass to Saas, the other clear message today was around Compliance and Security. AWS are clearly looking to build up credibility here to increase uptake from ‘Enterprise’ customers who have historically been reluctant to move their workloads into the cloud. AWS introduced a suite of 3 services today aimed at these customers – full details below.

Today’s announcements included:

  • Amazon Aurora – a high-performance, low cost, highly available and durable MySQL-compatible relational database engine. AWS claim it can provide up to 5x the throughput of standard MySQL running on the same hardware, and can achieve 6 million inserts or 30 million selects per minute. It also offers automatic encryption of data both in-transit and at rest. Aurora is available today.
  • AWS CodeDeploy – a public release of Amazon’s own internal deployment system (Apollo) and can now be used to deploy customer code to EC2 instances. CodeDeploy can handle rolling updates, deployment healthcheck tracking, and deployment rollback support. CodeDeploy is available today.
  • AWS CodePipeline – a continuous delivery and deployment service that will allow customers to create repeatable, automated deployments. It will be able to take code from any repository (not just CodeCommit, below) and has a workflow-driven model and visualisation interface. CodePipeline is available in early 2015.
  • AWS CodeCommit – a managed code repository in the cloud, allowing customers to store their code closer to the environments the code needs to be build in/deployed to. It (along with CodeDeploy and CodePipeline) will integrate with existing deployment tools such as Chef, Puppet, Atlassian, Ansible and Jenkins. CodeCommit is available in early 2015.
  • AWS Key Management Service – a centralised key management service that allows one-click encryption with fully automatic key rotation and the ability to enforce encryption policies on resources. It utilises the CloudHSM to protect your keys and can be used with CloudTrail to provide an audit trail of changes made to or by KMS. Key Management Service is available today.
  • AWS Config – a tool to provide greater visibility into the resources deployed into your account(s) and the relationship(s) between resources. These capabilities can be used for auditing purposes and also for troubleshooting problematic configuration changes. Tools like splunk are ready to integrate with this new service immediately. To me, this feels like the release that CloudTrail should have been last year. Config is available today.
  • AWS Service Catalog – a service that allows admins to create and share product portfolios of AWS resources. Customers can control which of their users have access to which products in the service catalog(ue). Service Catalog will help businesses meet compliance needs whilst increasing agility for their users and improving standardisation of implementation. Service Catalog is available today.

If you would like to watch the keynote you can do so here, although you may want to skip through the first 20 minutes of back-slapping and Kool Aid!

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