6 Things To Look Out For At AWS re:Invent 2018

Serverless computing, machine learning, blockchain and indoor canals! Cloudreach Head of EMEA, Chris Bunch, looks ahead to AWS re:Invent 2018, the platform's headline, annual event.

That's right, in just a matter of days, team AWS and its legions of fans take over Clark County, Nevada to celebrate the new innovations announced live on stage in fabulous Las Vegas.

This will be my fifth such show, and they get bigger, and more strategic to Cloudreach, each year. I’ve written about the event several times before (most recently here and here), and, indeed, there’s plenty of more veteran posts on logistics (see Eric Hammond’s great summary here), so this time I thought I’d focus on what I think might be announced...and indeed what the team at Cloudy Towers would like to see!  

Oh, crystal ball, what does the future hold?

Well, as always, anyone who makes money in the ecosystem around AWS will be both excited and slightly terrified as new innovations move the platform both up and along the stack,expanding into new areas year on year. It’s awesome if you’re a consumer...less so if you’re an ISV, If you’re not energised by that, I recommend a partnership with Oracle or IBM instead. The cloud world moves fast.

More generally, I’d expect big themes around:

1) Serverless computing

If you’ve missed AWS Lambda, and the related Serverless/FaaS revolution, I’m not sure what rock you’ve been hiding under, but you can expect a lot on this topic as the new paradigm for development - especially from Werner in his keynote. Perhaps he’ll even hint further at the future beyond and a look into conversational programming (can you describe what you need, but don’t know how to code? This is for you).

2) AI and ML

AWS has come on leaps and bounds from the service announcements last year, and you can expect a big push here. All the major vendors are chasing your data and indeed the future platform vision which is heavily tied into this area. Arguably GCP and Microsoft had made some better headway initially, but AWS is fighting back with serious force.

3) VMWare on AWS

Being honest, this doesn’t particularly excite me in the guise of Cloudreach’s current business model. We’re very focused on the merits of true public cloud. Having said that, there is definitely both money and opportunity here and AWS are pushing this harder than I was expecting. Perhaps Pat Gelsinger will make another appearance on stage? I’m also expecting to see a major reference customer. Especially if Amazon is planning on ‘going big’ in 2019 in this area to combat AzureStack and GCP’s partnership with Cisco.

4) Reduction in billing complexity

Pure speculation on my part, this one. Arguably, billing is a little too granular and complex in AWS.Where there’s complexity, there’s also an opportunity for a partner to simplify it (Cloudreach does this).

This is an area I generally expect them to make some noise around, but I may be wrong. Amazon is legitimately customer-obsessed and making a client worry about rightsizing and reservations isn’t perhaps the most customer-obsessed design. Will we see the end of RIs?

5) Blockchain

Either AWS doesn’t believe in it, or it is keeping quiet until there’s something to announce. Whilst I’ve written before on blockchain being an answer to only a small subset of problems, it does solve those specific problems well. Will Amazon offer something? In my view, most value is in public blockchains, but it feels like there needs to be some noise in this space, even if just making noise about someone like Coinbase running on AWS.

6) Erm… "other"

Always expect the unexpected. I’m sure there will be some surprises, alongside a host of service updates and additions.

What kind of service updates and additions?

I asked our engineering community today for their list of desired features (full detail shared with AWS directly!). The top things they would love to see include:

  • SMB support in EFS
  • Org SCP to disable use of all Regions except those which have been centrally approved
  • HTTP/s Proxy as a service
  • VPN Client as a service with IAM integration
  • Global VPC cross region

Looking forward to it?

100% 'Yes'! I’m perhaps not looking forward to the lack of sleep, massive crowds and seemingly endless walking but it’s all part of the show. Every year, it just gets better. Bring it on.

Who can resist a hotel with a canal on the second floor? God bless Las Vegas.

  • Serverless
  • Blockchain
  • aws-reinvent
  • machine-learning