My Take on AWS re:Invent 2013: The Cloud Makes IT Cool

AWS reinvent Keynote by Werner VoglesThe AWS cloud is here to stay. That’s a fact that is not solely attributable to its famed CTO, Dr. Werner Vogel’s, charisma. It is rather due to AWS creating its own destiny for success. This is thanks to a couple factors in particular, namely, an ideal pace of innovation and a positive and highly innovative product and marketing atmosphere (aka evangelism).

There is no doubt that the cloud put Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, in the position to fill what used to be Apple’s shoes. What is interesting, though, is that he used those shoes to mosey on over to IT’s doorstep.

Let’s begin, straight off, with  Dr. Vogel’s keynote speech. The popular cloud rock star jumped on  stage with his cool Nirvana t-shirt and sneakers and started his presentation with a description of AWS’ very impressive exponential growth rate. He pitched the amazing pace of innovation generated by the cloud, for the thousandth time, and the cloud management topics such as, ‘performance’, ‘security’ and ‘optimization’. Dr. Vogels also brought  (again) the Netflix cloud pundits (cc @adrianco) on stage to promote their progressive AWS tools, reiterating the theme that innovation is the key to the future, and that Netflix, evidently, is on that track. IT is no longer a mystery to the masses.

In his presentation, Dr. Vogels signified the five dimensions that Amazon highlighted as the key areas in need of innovation, including:

  • Performance –  apropos of consistency
  • Security – indicating the cloud’s development from adolescence
  • Reliability – in a world of competitors constantly on the prowl for weaknesses
  • Cost – This is not the first one
  • Scale – A never ending cloud incentive

Dr. Vogels quickly revealed his evangelist side by getting down to the nitty gritty of each of these vital areas, discussing backend databases bottlenecks and delving deep into the importance of I/O. His ability to bridge between the technical details and the actual product values was demonstrated by his capability to remember the exact details such as of the Instagram scalability case study and DynamoDB’s performance.

When Dr. Vogels asked AirBNB to present their notable cloud operations, the young R&D manager’s pride was a direct reflection of how cloud native applications have proven to be successful case studies that, justly, make the cloud even more appealing. AWS consumers are comprised of remarkable web companies, a significant portion of which are well established and support millions of people all over the world. There is no comparison to the IT dinosaurs, with their three letter offerings, presenting their new ‘cloud in a box’ rack, solidifying the fact that the cloud really is cool.

The cloud’s notion of hardware as software and API based IaaS allows AWS themselves, to develop and add incredible values to their cloud platform stack. Dr. Vogels described new features that will make moving data between regions a breeze, including RedShift and Route 53, to name a few. However, the “cherry on top” of his presentation was the introduction of Kinesis, a “developer oriented”, real time data processing system. That’s cool.

So, the cloud is fast, creates innovation, appeals to youth, it is developer-friendly, and incorporates all around great graphics and presentations…and let’s not forget Dr. Vogels’ Nirvana t-shirt. All of this just goes to show that the cloud has succeeded in (Eventually) making IT a very cool domain.

Related articles: Cloud Marketing, IBM Does it Wrong (personal letter attached)

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