The Cloud’s Future on Display: 3 Takeaways from AWS re:Invent

Now in its fifth year, Amazon’s AWS re:Invent has become the must-attend cloud conference for developers, cloud operators and industry watchers.

And this year’s, which just wrapped up last week in Las Vegas, was no exception.

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Drawing more than 30,000 attendees from around the globe (and tens of thousands more virtually), AWS re:Invent 2016 provided a window into the future of cloud computing.

Amid the barrage of cloud-focused product announcement and launches emerged a key storyline: the future is now, and the cloud is fueling it.

Microservices and Containers are Taking Over

Modern application architectures took center stage at AWS re:Invent 2016, and perhaps the most talked about throughout the event were containers and microservices.

In his keynote, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels discussed how microservice- and container-based computing models are delivering new levels of efficiency, agility, and speed to the enterprise, and how they’re creating a more cost-effective approach to application delivery at scale.

"Many large enterprises have figured out that this is the way that's most cost-effective for them to do large execution," Vogels said in this CRN article.

Microservices and containers, Vogels said, empower organizations to focus less infrastructure and instead focus more on their businesses.

Watch Vogels' keynote here:

The Future is Hybrid

As applications evolve, the need for hybrid clouds, or hybrid infrastructure, becomes imperative. Businesses will require a mix of on-prem, public cloud and private cloud to fuel their digital transformation. During re:Invent, the word “hybrid” popped up several times in keynotes and conversations.

On SiliconANGLE’s theCUBE, VMware COO Sanjay Poonen discussed how utilizing hybrid infrastructure should be more about building the applications rather than dividing them across various environments.

This new era of hybrid computing will help bring together developers and IT operations to take an application, extend it into the cloud and then build additional developer services, Poonen said.

AI is Real

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was another major conversation starter at AWS re:Invent, and with its launch of Rekognition, Polly and Lex, Amazon kicked its cloud-based AI initiatives into high gear.

Watch AWS CEO Andy Jassy discuss AI in his keynote:

Rekognition is an image and object recognition technology that uses machine learning algorithms to analyze content and return results. Developers can use it to build facial recognition into their apps—it’s said to be powerful enough to differentiate between different breeds of dogs.

Polly is an AI-based text-to-speech service with advanced understanding that can support roughly 47 male and female voices in 24 languages.

And Lex, which powers Alexa, will offer natural language understanding and automatic speech recognition.

While this was the world’s first peek at Amazon’s AI strategy, the addition of these tools to its arsenal of offerings is a sure sign that AI in the cloud is here and ready for primetime.

What was your biggest takeaway from AWS re:Invent 2016? Let us know in the comments below.

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