AWS Summit Milan Keynote recap

Last 14th of April I had the opportunity to attend the AWS Summit here in Milan.

The agenda was really dense and rich of interesting contents. Moreover, thanks to some Amazon partners, many hands-on labs were organized during the day. They were focused on letting the attendants get in touch with many of the Amazon Web Services by granting them the possibility to interact with valid and prepared experts.
As for the presentation sessions they were divided into three parallel “channels” focused respectively on live demos, enterprise & security and big data & analytics.

In the morning however the stage was all dedicated to the keynote and the presentations of Amazon partners. I was particularly excited to attend to the morning session given the presence of Amazon CEO, Dr. Werner Voegels. With hindsight I can say that my excitement was totally rewarded.

Voegels keynote was incredibly inspiring but also rich of technical insights about many of the services offered by Amazon. Some recurring names were Redshift, with his critical value for business analytics and BI and Kinesis Firehose, for its real data stream processing capability. Among the use cases related to these technologies I was fascinated by the one concerning the american Major League of Baseball. The services offered by the League focused on delivering a better viewer experience by augmenting it with additional info and data are indeed based mainly on both Redshift and Firehose.

Talking about data and information much attention was also given on how to use them to make predictions. The increasingly rising topic of Machine Learning (ML) played also a big part in Voegels keynote. Together with AWS ML He highlighted in particular the main focus of Amazon regarding the theme of simplification.

The general concept of easing the development of “something” (not necessarily software) was actually permeating the whole keynote.
Focusing on software, a frequently named technology among Amazon Web Services was Lambda. With its versatility and easy integration with other services it can be considered a good representative of the Amazon “rise of simplification” wave.

With Api Gateway it can be used for example to develop serverless applications and deliver virtually complex services. Api Gateway itself helps to manage the public interface of these services in a reliable and organized way following the mantra “APIs are forever (like diamonds)”.

APIs are also at the base of many IoT applications and products. In this sector the Amazon IoT can be considered a fundamental brick that can be easily stacked on top of Lambda and API Gateway.

Beside these hot and new topics, there was also plenty of time to hear about the AWS “core” services regarding the storage and computing provisioning. Databases are at the same time the source and the target of computation and Amazon seems to recognize this value. With their database engine Aurora and their migration service, Amazon targets the need to try, switch or “simply” replicate many different engines. All of this by granting zero downtime.

Talking about the computational part, Lambda was once again brought into discussion by highlighting the shift towards a lightweight approach of handling the infrastructure aimed to the computation. Where Virtual Machines (VM) need configuration and are meant to address long running times and containers are meant to be immutable output of development running for lesser time, functions (lambdas) are the next step towards simplification.

Another service strongly related to the simplification of the development process but focused specifically on the mobile sector, was AWS Device Farm:

Last but not least a lot of hype was posed on security with AWS Security SDK.
Together with the presentation of many AWS services what I brought home from Voegels keynote was the focus of Amazon on simplification and among Voegels quotes these are surely the ones that still resound in my head:

  • “the cloud is the new normal”
  • “the cloud remove constraints”
  • “everything is programmable”

With these key points I think I’m going to conclude this brief “reportage” of the morning session of the AWS Milan Summit. But if you have interest in AWS services keep in touch because there is actually a lot more to talk about regarding the afternoon sessions! 😉

So, to the next time!


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