The annually organized AWS Summits take place all over the world, and as a Gold level partner, Cybercom participates actively to the biggest of them. Now it was time to travel to Sweden to see what AWS Summit Stockholm had to offer.
This free one-day event was all about the cloud computing community connecting, collaborating and learning new and exciting things about AWS. This year, the agenda was particularly interesting – the visitors were given an amazing treat, when Werner Vogels stepped on to the stage as a keynote speaker. The CTO of Amazon.com is well known for his keynotes in AWS re:Invent events.
Due to the increasing interest in cloud computing, AWS and the upcoming launch of AWS region in Sweden have affected the rapid growth of the event, and therefore the venue had changed to Stockholmsmässan (Stockholm exhibition center).
The AWS Summit took place on Wednesday, and I arrived to Stockholm on Tuesday. I had plans to visit our Stockholm office before the Summit, and as we had also other colleagues arriving from Gothenburg, Malmö and Jönköping, we decided to arrange an afternoon workshop around the topic “How to develop our cloud competence in the Nordics even further”.
After the fruitful workshop, I, Tony Hendrell and my Competence Team Lead colleagues Mikael Fransson, Erik Ljungren, Jonas Lohse and Fredrik Ryden decided to grab some burgers from the always-amazing Gnarly Burger, after which I took my lovely room mate, AWS Snowball, with me to have a good night’s sleep before the big day.
On Wednesday morning, we woke up early to arrive to the fair area on time. On the way to the Stockholmässan, Niklas took care of the heavy lifting while the management was doing what the management does – managing.
Cybercom is a Gold sponsor on the Summits, and therefore we had a premium spot right next to the AWS “village”.
This time we had something very intriguing to show to the visitors: our Innovation Zone had prepared an amazing AWS DeepLens demo utilizing face recognition, it being live on our stand throughout the event.
After a slight delay, the keynote was kicked off by Guido Bartels, managing director of AWS in Nordics and Baltics.
The upcoming region launch was something everyone was talking about. Unfortunately, no exact schedule for the launch was revealed – the only information we received was a blunt announcement “we are on schedule for the 2018 launch”. Most likely we are looking at late autumn or early winter – or at least that’s what I hear.
Guido’s main message was that the Cloud is the new normal – or if it is not that yet for all, it will be in the near future.
Werner’s Keynote – Go Build!
When Werner Vogels stepped on the stage, an instant landscape was painted depicting the current situation of AWS, where it is going and what current trends are affecting it. One of the main themes played around the thought that we are not only developers, but most of all builders that utilize the newest tools to innovate and provide value.
Vogels also stated, that IT is becoming a competitive differentiator for many companies – especially to those, who are utilizing the data.
When it comes to cloud, the development cycle with agile methodologies needs rethinking – therefore, the features, such as the new Cloud9 platform, were also covered during Vogels’ keynote.
Pace of Innovation Keeps on Accelerating
Year after year, AWS has had a habit of keeping up an exhausting pace in announcing new features. Last year only, AWS added 1430 new capabilities to its platform. When compared to the carefully selected competitors, it becomes clear who is the one leading the pack. To be honest, though, the number of features does not really provide that much information about the usability or applicability of the features, but it gives some rough idea of the current situation on the field.
Amazon Aurora database engine is one of the fastest growing services AWS provides, and therefore some attention was paid on it as well. It is seriously taking on Oracle with its multi-region and enteprise-grade features. The adoption pace is also mind-blowing - last year alone over 70 000 database migrations were conducted from other platforms to AWS by using the DMS service.
When it comes to Machine Learning, it is clear that the topic is one of the hottest in the industry at the moment, thus it is not a surprise it is one of the most rapidly evolving offerings from AWS as well.
It was great to see that a growing interest and recognition of the importance of Machine Learning grows strong also within the AWS ecosystem. A proof of this was an announcement on the new Machine Learning partner competency during the Summit series.
Werner Vogel also invited three guest speakers on the stage to talk about their AWS implementations.
Soili Mäkinen, CIO at Cargotec, told about their cloud journey and covered the topic “Is the Container the Last Innovation of Logistics?”. Cargotec’s answer to this is no: they had built a platform to aggregate and analyze data from multiple sources in the logistics chain, creating automation and modern intelligent cargo handling.
Christine Stanley, the Head of Clinical Laboratory at WuxiNextCode, talked about how “The Internet of DNA 2.0 Is About Connecting People and Genomes”: WuxiNextCode analyzes data from the patients globally to detect genetic markers of rare diseases. The amount of data collected already exceeds 50 exabytes.
Heikki Verta, Head of Engineering at Supercell, stated that ”The best teams make the best games”. To back up this statement, Verta spoke about how Supercell successfully adapts their small and agile cloud-native teams to manage massive infrastructure.
Security is Everyone’s Job
Some still seem to think, that security is the sole responsibility of security specialists and that it should be considered only when everything else is finished.
To tackle this bias, Werner emphasized the fact that security needs to be organic part of everything we do, and that it is, indeed, everyone’s job.
I couldn’t agree more. In fact, I just authored a white paper “Secure Public Cloud for Enterprises” on the topic – you can access it here.
The one key topic in security context was Werner’s instruction to encrypt everything and stop giving excuses – there shoudn’t be any, since all the features are there for anyone to utilize.
Vogel ended the keynote in a friendly and welcoming way by inviting everyone to join the AWS communities all over the Nordics.
During the session breaks we toured around the exhibition space. It was super busy, and our booth was packed up with people interested in the DeepLens Demo and AWS Snowball. By the way, a very intriguing case study and promo video on the utilization of AWS Snowball in a migration project is going to be published soon – stay tuned!
Check out the embedded Tweet below to see Mika Ahoniemi demonstrating the proof of concept DeepLens demo.
AWS Communitites on Site
As an AWS Community Lead of the AWS User Group Finland, I was also representing the AWS Communities in the Summit. We had prepared a presentation with Anders Bjornestad from Norway and Martin Buberl from Denmark. In addition to these folks, also Rickard von Essen and Liina Putsepp representing AWS User Group Stockholm were spotted at our booth.
The Community booth was located at a great spot in the main AWS Village. Big thanks for AWS for the support and especially Nicolo Ricciardi for setting this up.
You can see our slide deck here.
Trip Coming to an End
On Thursday, we headed back to the Arlanda Airport. We took the trip by taxi, since there were some troubles with the electricity of the Arlanda Express. Luckily, we got to the airport well on time, and by the end of the day, I was safely back home.
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