- AWS’ biggest annual event AWS re:Invent has kicked off on November 28 in Las Vegas and the full conference pass costs $1,799.
- At the event, Amazon Web Services CEO Adam Selipsky made announcements about the company’s future and how it affects businesses.
- Along with AWS, multiple AWS customers shared their success stories and how the digital transformation helped them overcome obstacles.
One of the world’s biggest cloud computing events, AWS re:Invent 2022 is currently taking place in Las Vegas and the cloud giant is introducing its roadmap, new plans, products, features, and more. Let’s take a closer look at some keynotes, sessions, demos, and announcements so far during the event, which ends on the 2nd of December.
AWS is making new additions to its education program. A professor, Dr. Raymond Brown, from Houston Community College wrote to the AWS Machine Learning University to share their experience about how he is using the resources to open up artificial intelligence and machine learning to his students. Inspired by his letter, AWS MLU built a new, free program, to help community colleges, minority-serving institutions, and historically Black colleges and universities teach database, artificial intelligence, and machine learning concepts.
The cloud giant also shared customers’ experiences from startups to long-established enterprises during the event. The companies shared their vision of migrating to the cloud as a part of their digital transformation and its effects on business outcomes. Here are 10 things we learned about AWS customers from AWS CEO Adam Selipsky’s keynote Tuesday:
- Germany’s BMW Group is “revolutionizing” the driving experience with its connected-car platform.
- Video game maker Riot Games is processing approximately 500,000 events per second to continually improve its games.
- Epic Games’ Fortnite video game supports hundreds of millions of players, with up to 13 million players interacting together in real-time.
- As the war with Russia unfolded, PrivatBank, Ukraine’s largest bank that had served 40 percent of its population, moved all of its operations to the AWS cloud–330 IT systems and four petabytes of customer data–in just 45 days to safeguard customers’ abilities to continue banking.
- There are more than 1,000 so-called “unicorn” startups globally, according to PitchBook, and 83 percent of them run on AWS. And more than 90 percent of the startups on the Cloud 100 list run their businesses on AWS. Unicorn startups on AWS include luxury fashion e-tailer Ssense, cloud security platform provider Wiz and DataRobot, an artificial intelligence (AI) cloud company.
- Travel company Expedia Group processes more than 600 billion AI predictions per year, powered by 70 petabytes of data.
- Pinterest, an image-sharing and social media platform, stores an exabyte of data on Amazon S3, AWS’ object storage service.
- The Options Clearing Corp., which serves as the central clearing warehouse for all listed equity options traded in the United States, part of the “central nervous system” of the financial markets, will be moving its core workloads to the cloud, thanks to a recent move by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It’s a once-in-a-generation technology decision, according to Selispky, who told the audience how excited he was that OCC is running its “mission-critical” applications on AWS.
- Formula 1’s racing car design requires simulations involving more than 550 million data points to model the aerodynamic weight of their cars. On AWS, Formula 1 was able to reduce the simulation runtime by 70 percent, from 60 hours down to 12, creating a new car with less than half of the turbulent airflow.
- The Nielsen Company, a measurement and data analytics company, uses AWS to process hundreds of billions of advertising-measurement events every day and to ensure it can scale its infrastructure with the right compute to support this demand.
Swami Sivasubramanian, Vice President of AWS Database, Analytics, and Machine Learning also announced important new AWS offerings relating to database, analytics, and machine learning. These new capabilities for Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility), Amazon OpenSearch Service, and Amazon Athena make it easier for customers to run high-performance database and analytics workloads at scale. Additionally, AWS announced a new capability for AWS Glue to automatically manage data quality across data lakes and data pipelines. Finally, Amazon Redshift now offers support for a high availability configuration across multiple AWS Availability Zones (AZs).
Strong data strategy
Swami Sivasubramanian, Vice President of AWS Database, Analytics, and Machine Learning delivered a blueprint for a strong data strategy, at the center of which were three main elements:
- A future-proof data foundation, one that can keep up with ever-growing volumes of data by performing at a high scale. It should remove the burden for an organization, so teams can spend less time managing and preparing data and more time getting value from it. And it should have the highest level of reliability and security, in order to protect that data.
- Solutions that weave a “connective tissue” across organizations. Connecting data across an organization requires solutions from automated data pathways to data governance tools, Sivasubramanian said. “Not only should this connective tissue integrate your data, but it should also integrate your organization’s departments, teams and individuals.”
- The right tools and education to help democratize an organization’s data. “Democratizing data” as Sivasubramanian put it, can spark innovation across an organization, empowering everyone from interns to product managers to business analysts with no technical expertise.
At the event, the attendees also tested their basketball skills with free throws. Each contestant took five shots and these shots were monitored by a camera that is connected to an AWS Snowball Edge Device. A machine learning algorithm dissects each shot, providing real-time data on the speed, angle, trajectory of the ball, and position of the player. Weirdly, the granny shot became the most accurate free throw technique as a result.
“Ukraine is now the beta testing ground”
Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation also shared his opinions about the current situation and the future. Fedorov described the war as something out of science fiction and stated that technology has helped Ukraine fight, survive, and plan for a time when the conflict ends. He also stated that early Russian attacks destroyed the building in which the Ukrainian government stored all its backup data, which literally described an entire nation. Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine’s Minister of Digital Transformation said,
« For nine months, Ukraine has been fighting for freedom and democratic choice. In many ways, this is a war of technologists. Me and my team believe in big data, analytics, and constant improvement, but as technologists in Ukraine, we are using technology (on the) side of light. We want to build the world’s most convenient state in terms of public services. Ukraine is now the best testing ground for your product. »
Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon introduced a new service, named Amazon CodeCatalyst. It brings the tools software development teams need to build and deliver applications together on AWS easily. It allows developers to bring their own code or select from a range of blueprints such as “web application” or “data pipeline,” to get a new application development project up and running quickly. Features in Amazon CodeCatalyst to address these challenges include:
- Blueprints that set up the project’s resources, not just scaffolding for new projects, but also the resources needed to support software delivery and deployment.
- On-demand cloud-based Dev Environments, to make it easy to replicate consistent development environments for you or your teams.
- Issue management, enabling tracing of changes across commits, pull requests, and deployments.
- Automated build and release (CI/CD) pipelines using flexible, managed build infrastructure.
- Dashboards to surface a feed of project activities such as commits, pull requests, and test reporting.
- The ability to invite others to collaborate on a project with just an email.
- Unified search, making it easy to find what you’re looking for across users, issues, code and other project resources.