Re:invent Keynote Day 2: Verner talks innovation and announces Kinesis

This morning’s keynote was given by Amazon CTO Verner Vogels and, similar to Andy Jassy’s keynote from day 1, it was made up of a number of new service announcements, customer stories and a look at how AWS innovate across a number of key areas.

The most notable announcements from this morning were:

  • Amazon Kinesis: A real-tme data stream processing service
  • New instance types (C3 and I2) with SSD. C3 target compute intensive workloads and I2 give high I/O performance
  • Cross Region snapshot support for Redshift
  • Amazon RDS for PostGreSQL. Judging by the cheering from the stands this one certainly seemed to go down well.

Personally I found Kinesis most intriguing.

According to AWS: Kinesis is a managed service designed to handle real-time streaming of big data. It can accept any amount of data, from any number of sources, scaling up and down as needed.

You can use it in any situation that calls for large-scale, real-time data ingestion and processing. Logs for servers and other IT infrastructure, social media or market data feeds, web clickstream data, and the like are all great candidates for processing with Kinesis.

In fact Verner also outlined a number of the common architectures that they consistently see across AWS, and interestingly logging and big data analytics was one the architectures that he called out (others included disaster recovery solutions, media distribution and mobile web apps).  So I guess it’s not massively surprising that AWS launched a real time streaming analytics service to assist customers as they build out their analytics capabilities on AWS.

The theme of the keynote today focused around innovation and how at Amazon they are innovating across a number of key areas, namely:

  1. Performance
  2. Security
  3. Reliability
  4. Cost
  5. Scale

According to Vogels innovation doesn’t necessarily need to relate to coming up with some new big idea, but can often be achieved through iteration and improvements on the everyday pains that people face. This looks like the approach they take at AWS where they follow a customer led, lean delivery model which aims to produce only core customer functionality – “everything else is waste”.

Interestingly, all product development does not begin in the IDE generating code, or with design mockups, rather with the product owner writing the press release they expect to issue when the new feature is actually developed and ready to ship.

In parting, my favorite random tidbit from the keynote was that AirBnB manage over 1000 server instances with whopping big team of … 5 ops engineers… real evidence that AWS are helping to innovate and change how we build and manage our systems!

Posted in AWS, Cloud

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