What Happens in Vegas: Amazon 2013

What Happens in Vegas: Amazon 2013


It happened in Vegas, and it has people talking.

In the past twenty years or so, there have been only a handful of technological innovations that were so revolutionary that news of them rippled through the industry. Not since the advent of the World Wide Web has there been something as innovative as the current cloud computing wave, led by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Anybody who’s been to a big sporting event can tell you about the “buzz” that’s in the air. There’s a special feeling in the crowd that history could happen. I didn’t think it would be possible to ever see that type excitement at a technology event, but Amazon changed that within the halls of the Venetian.

Last week, I joined over 9,000 people in Las Vegas at Amazon’s re:Invent 2013. We were there to see the latest innovations that Amazon has to offer and to speak with other professionals about their experiences. As indicated by Gartner and other similar organizations, AWS is so far out in front as the leader in cloud computing that many of the traditional vendors are scrambling to figure out how to compete in the market. In fact, more than one made a point to advertise against Amazon on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Headlined by two keynotes, from Andy Jassy and Dr. Werner Vogels, was a conference that had something for everybody. There were various breakout sessions, deep-dive boot camps, hands-on labs, executive briefings, and a complete exhibit floor filled with the latest innovations in the Amazon ecosystem. Amazon employees were willing to answer questions about their technology and where it fits into the technology world today.

Amazon announced two new offerings that, if they can pull off, are going to solidify their presence in the enterprise technology space. The first is Workspaces. While many people have tried to implement VDI, few have actually been able to realize the cost benefits that they were hoping to see. Amazon hopes to change that with their Workspaces offering. Currently in a limited preview, Workspaces will enable people to provision and manage cloud-based desktops.

The other new offering on the way is Amazon AppStream, an application streaming service. With this solution, you will no longer be limited by the power of end user devices. Your application’s most intense processing will take place in Amazon’s cloud.

One of the most intriguing Amazon developments showed how innovation and services are leading to change in application architectures. Software engineers and architects are now rethinking application designs. They understand that while you can benefit by moving applications to AWS, it is when you embrace the true cloud services that you can create new and innovative applications that would have been impossible to implement only a few years ago.

The people at Amazon are excited about what they have created, and they appear to be equally humbled by the rapid acceptance in the marketplace. Right now, there is an incredible amount of momentum within Amazon, and it is easy to see why. Their solutions directly address and solve the challenges that people face today. They continue to innovate, and they are eager to help take people along for the ride as cloud computing becomes mainstream.

Usually what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but the excitement from re:Invent is not going to stay in Vegas. It is going to send shockwaves through the technology industry.

In my next post on my regular cloud blog, I will go into more detail on new announcements from Amazon — including PostgtresSQL support and Kinesis.


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