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Every year AWS re:Invent gets bigger and better. There are more people attending and even more who will participate remotely than any previous year. There are also more vendors showing the strength of the AWS ecosystem.

You realized why when Andy Jassy started his keynote session Wednesday morning.  The growth rate of AWS is phenomenal.  Adoption is up, revenues are up and AWS responds with customer-driven changes. Three years ago, there were less than 100 AWS services out here, and now, with yesterday’s announcements, there are more than 140. Jassy discussed a lot at the keynote, but the focus was on three major themes:


The first theme was around Storage/Database with services such as Amazon FSx, which provides a platform for such things as FSx for Windows File Server. This is like Amazon EFS, but instead of supporting the NFS protocol it supports the SMB protocol. For those running workloads on Windows, you now have a shared filesystem. If you need a file system for High Performance Computing cluster, then FSx supports Lustre. I would look for more protocols and services in the future.

FSx was just the tip of the iceberg with new options DynamoDB Read/Write Capacity On Demand, another storage tier for Glacier called Deep Archive, a time-oriented database named Timestream, a fully managed ledger database – QLDB and even a Managed Blockchain service.  Read more about these from AWS:

Glacier Deep Archive
Amazon FSx for Windows File Servers
Amazon FSx for Lustre
DynamoDB Read/Write Capacity On Demand
Amazon Timestream
Amazon Quantum Ledger Database
Amazon Managed Blockchain


The second theme was around Security.  It surprises no one that AWS is always expanding their offerings in this space.  They are fond of saying that security is Job One at AWS.  Two interesting announcements here were AWS Control Tower and AWS Security Hub. These will assist in many aspects of managing your AWS accounts and increasing your security posture across your entire AWS account footprint.

Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence

The final theme was around Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence. We see a lot of effort being put into AWS’ Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence solutions. This shows with the number of announcements this year. New Sagemaker offerings, Elastic Inference, and even their own specialized chip all point to a focus in this area.

Amazon Elastic Inference
AWS Inferentia
Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth
AWS Marketplace for machine learning
Amazon SageMaker RL
AWS DeepRacer

Amazon Textract
Amazon Personalize
Amazon Forecast

And we can’t forget the cool toy of the show – DeepRacer. Like Amazon DeepLens from last year, this “toy” car will help you explore machine learning. It has sensors and compute onboard, so you can teach it how to drive. There’s even a DeepRacer League, where you can compete for a trophy at AWS re:Invent 2019!


Although not one of the three main themes, and not available until 2019, AWS Outposts was another exciting feature yesterday. Want to run your own “region” in your datacenter? Take a look at this. It is fully-managed, maintained and supported infrastructure for your datacenter. It comes in two variants – 1) VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts, which allows you to use the same VMware control plane and APIs you use to run your infrastructure and, 2) AWS native variant of AWS Outposts allows you to use the same exact APIs and control plane you use to run in the AWS cloud, but on-premises.

If you can’t come to the cloud, it can come to you.

Sessions and Events

There are more sessions than ever at this year’s re:Invent, and the conference agenda is full of interesting and useful events and demos. It’s always great to know that, even if you missed a session, you can stream it on-demand later on the AWS re:Invent YouTube channel. And we can’t forget the expo hall, which has been very heavily-trafficked. If you haven’t yet, stop by and see 2nd Watch in booth 2440. We’re giving away one more of those awesome Amazon DeepLens cameras we mentioned earlier in this post. This year’s re:Invent shows that AWS is bigger and better than ever!

David Nettles – Solutions Architect