AWS Global Summits
AWS organizes annually a series of global AWS Summits, and one of them for last years has been organized in Stockholm.
As they describe the event, it is a “free one-day event bringing together the Nordic cloud computing community to connect, collaborate, and learn more about AWS“. This years agenda was particularly interesting, as the main keynote speaker was Werner Vogels, who is the CTO of Amazon.com and known for his keynotes in AWS re:Invent events.
This year the venue had change to the Stockholmsmässan (Stockholm exhibition center) because the summit had grown once again to double of last year due to the increasing interest in cloud computing, AWS and naturally the upcoming launch of AWS region in Sweden.
For the impatient, here is the highlight reel of the event:
I had plans to arrange some other business, while in Stockholm, as Cybercom has a big office right in the Stockholm city center (quite close to where AWS Stockholm office is, for close collaboration). As the summit was on Wednesday, I had arranged my travel plans to arrive on Tuesday and stay until Thursday.
There were colleagues also arriving from our Gothenburg, Malmö and Jönköping offices, so we decided to take advantage of everyone being on site in person. In addition to myself and Tony Hendrell from Finland, we had my Competence Team Lead colleagues Mikael Fransson, Erik Ljungren, Jonas Lohse and Fredrik Ryden to join in a afternoon workshop and planning how to develop our cloud competence in the Nordics even further.
After the workshop, we grabbed some burgers from the always excellent Gnarly Burger, after which I dragged my room mate (AWS Snowball) and tucked it in to prepare for the day to come.
On the summit day, we arrived bright and early with Cybercom team to the Stockholmsmässan. Including the AWS Snowball.
Niklas was taking care of the heavy lifting. As the management in the background is managing.
Cybercom was one of the Gold sponsors, and our stand was at a premium spot, right next to the AWS “village”.
We had prepared in our Innovation Zone a demonstration based around AWS DeepLens, which was live on our stand.
After being slightly delayed because of long queues at the registration, the keynote was kicked off by Guido Bartels, managing director of AWS in Nordics and Baltics.
The biggest topic was naturally the upcoming region launch. Unfortunately – as it is almost always the case with AWS launches – there was no confirmation on any detailed schedule, except that “we are on schedule for 2018 launch”. Most likely it will be late autumn or early winter before the lights go on, as the physical construction is still going on. Or at least so my Swedish colleagues tell me, who travel frequently passing the construction site.
Guido’s one of the main items, was that Cloud is the new normal. And if it is not that for all yet, it is quickly at least becoming that.
Werner’s keynote – Go Build!
Werner Vogels took the stage to paint the landscape, where AWS is going and what are the current trends. One of the main themes was that we are all builders, utilizing tools to innovate and provide value – not just developers. It was also stated, that IT is becoming a competitive differentiator for many companies, especially those who are utilizing the data.
With cloud, the development cycle with agile methodologies needs also rethinking, so features enabling that (like the new Cloud9 platform) were covered.
Pace of innovation keeps on accelerating
AWS is also keeping exhausting space in announcing new features in accelerating pace, year after year. Last year AWS added 1430 new capabilities to it’s platform. Comparison to the carefully selected competitors about the number of functionalities in selected categories paints also pretty obvious picture, who is leading the pack. I’ll leave it up to you to deduct from the coloring, which is which. To be honest, number of features does not really provide that much information about the usability or applicability of the features, but it gives some rough idea in any case.
From one of the fastest growing services, Amazon Aurora database engine was mentioned. It is seriously taking on Oracle with it’s multi-region and enteprise-grade features. The adoption pace is also staggering- last year over 70 000 database migrations were conducted by AWS customers from other platforms to AWS using the DMS service.
Machine learning is one of the hot topics in the industry and thus also one of the most rapidly evolving offering also at AWS portfolio.
The new Machine Learning partner competency was also announced during the summit series, which show the growing interest and the importance of this are also in the AWS ecosystem.
During Werner’s keynote, there were three guest speakers brought to the stage to speak about their implementations.
Soili Mäkinen, CIO at Cargotec talked about their journey and “is the container the last innovation of logistics”. They have built a platform to aggregate and analyze data from multiple sources in the logistics chain, creating automation and modern intelligent cargo handling.
Christine Stanley, Head of Clinical Laboratory at WuxiNextCode. They analyze globally data from patients and genetic markers of rare disease. Their amount of data exceeding 50 exabytes. “The Internet of DNA 2.0 is about connecting people and genomes.”
Heikki Verta, Head of Engineering at Supercell, how they adapt their small and agile cloud-native teams to manage massive infrastructure. ”The best teams make the best games”.
Security is Everyone’s Job
Still it seems that some think that security is something, that is implemented by security specialist. Or something that is done, when everything else is finished.
Werner emphasized the fact, that security needs to be organic part of everything we do. And it is everyone’s job. This is something, what I like to evangelize a lot about, too.
On that topic, I have just recently authored a document “Secure Public Cloud for Enterprises“, you can access it through the link, it should be an interesting read.
The one key topic in security context was Werner’s instruction to encrypt everything and stop giving excuse. There should now simply be any, as the features are there for anyone to use.
Off you go – to Build On
Werner ended up the keynote in inviting everyone to join the AWS communities around the Nordics, which was really nice.
The exhibition are was super busy during the breaks in the sessions. We had a lot of people popping by at our booth and ask about the DeepLens demo as well as about the AWS Snowball, which was visible at our booth. There is going to be a really nice case study and promo video about one very interesting migration case using the Snowball published very soon, so stay tuned!
Our demo was also covered by the on-site broadcast team, you should see the embedded video and the tweet below, where Mika Ahoniemi demonstrates the proof of concept demo.
— AWSonAir (@AWSonAir) May 16, 2018
AWS Communitites on Site
I was also represesenting AWS Communities as the AWS Community Lead of the AWS User Group Finland. We had prepared a presentation with Anders Bjornestad from Norway and Martin Buberl from Denmark. Other people hanging out at the booth were at least were Rickard von Essen and Liina Putsepp representing AWS User Group Stockholm.
We had a great location at the main AWS Village for the Community booth. Big thanks for AWS for the support and especially Nicolo Ricciardi for setting this up.
You can see our slide deck here: https://bit.ly/aws-ug-booth-stockholm2018/
Trip coming to the end
Finally, we were heading back to the Arlanda airport. This time in a taxi, as there had been trouble with the electricity in the Arlanda Express during Wednesday and also partially still on Thursday. Luckily, we were well on time and when the night started to fall, I was safely back home.