AWS re:Invent 2018 Recap: Then, Now and What’s Next for Developers
When I was thinking about writing up a recap of this year’s AWS re:Invent, I looked back on attending year’s past – what I liked, what I learned, things I saw and of course, yes, things I didn’t like. This year coming into AWS, I’m working as the Sr. Product Marketing Manager for PubNub. What is PubNub? Our company delivers realtime-as-a-service via our Global Data Stream Network (DSN), making it easy for developers and product teams to incorporate realtime data streams into applications and focus on innovation, not infrastructure.
So, in context, while attending this year’s AWS I was looking for companies, partners, and services that we could work with and provide services to. Over the course of the conference, I noticed a few things.
First, what did I find that was really exciting? AWS announced more than 100 new features around re:Invent. It is called AWS re:Invent after all, so having the company announce something cool was going to be a given. But how cool? There were quite a few new features and without question many were what I would call more evolutionary than innovative. Nevertheless, some of the announcements excited me. I broke them down into two categories: General Availability (i.e. open to the public) and Preview (i.e. items that are coming soon).
- Application Load Balancer can now invoke Lambda functions
- AWS Step Functions adds eight more service integrations
- Amazon DynamoDB on-demand, no need to provision throughput any more
- Amazon DynamoDB support for transactions
- AWS Transit Gateway to scale connectivity across thousands of Amazon VPCs
- AWS Global Accelerator, improve global application availability and performance
- Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL Serverless
- Amazon Kafka, a managed service for streaming workloads
- App Mesh, a service mesh for microservices based on envoy
- Amazon Timestream, a fast, scalable, fully managed Time Series Database
Freeing Ourselves from Legacy Infrastructures and Systems
As people came by our booth, and when I had time to walk the floor, something really important struck me – developers and businesses are constrained by the legacy infrastructures that are still sitting out there. That fact can be – and often is – not only challenging but truly frustrating. Most developers, and those leading development teams, don’t deliberately set out to create new applications by doing the same thing over and over and over again. That is not fun and frankly kills innovation. Instead, those on the leading edge are always seeking a better solution this time than they used last time.
What does this mean in practical terms? Let’s get back to re: Invent, and consider the few things that should be grabbing developers by their imagination and to take time to be excited. What AWS was really promoting was a never-ending cadence of innovation that gives developers the right tools to get the job done. There was a definite, and even serious, tone about addressing and handling the challenges that come from from being boxed in by legacy systems. What we were all being told was that it is time to free ourselves from the shackles of the past, and get enterprises focused on the user, the customer, and the clients who are desperate for The Next Big Thing, not the next incremental update to what is already out there.
Whether talking to people at our booth, talking to other companies, or listening to attendees around the event or even watching the interview with our CEO – Todd Greene in The Cube, one thing was noticeable and very clear to me- AWS took the last year to deliver almost everything that was promised during the previous years via keynotes, through announcements and in the press, pushing to turn potential into reality. In most regions those services are top-notch and are changing the game for everyone! In fact, for companies like PubNub, with our focus on APIs and SDKs, as well as enterprise developers, development teams and application builders who are looking to innovate leveraging AWS.
That said, I also noticed that there is a whole new level of services coming live that surround, complement, and extend cloud services. I like to call this the Intelligent Services Layer (ISL): services that transcend the specific cloud upon which an application is running, and provide the connective tissue between clouds, applications, and experiences. Think about things like monitoring, container orchestration, message delivery and so forth.
The future of cloud infrastructure is not on the horizon as some might think. That’s because it’s right here, right now, and as one of the leaders in that category, PubNub is glad to be partnering with AWS going forward.