Day 1 at the AWS re:Invent – what we learned

Michael Wittig – 08 Oct 2015

Every year AWS runs a big conference with 19,000 attendees in Las Vegas to announce new services and to educate people in more than 270 sessions about how to use AWS. Although the conference started on Monday, the first Keynote was on Wednesday. And as usual the focus was enterprise customers. I want to highlight the most interesting three service announcements that could have a big impact on enterprise IT.

AWS Import/Export Snowball

Getting data into the cloud is a challenge. If you ever tried to upload terabytes of data you know that. If you don’t have a big connection to the Internet you can send your disks to AWS. They take care of importing your data and send back the disks.

To make this process more efficient AWS developed a device called Snowball. A Snowball can hold up to 50TB of data and takes care of everything. You request a Snowball and a few days later UPS delivers a grey box to you. Upload your data and send it back to AWS. All for $200.

Amazon Quicksight

Amazon wants everyone to be able to make sense of the data. Amazon Quicksight can search through all your data stores on AWS (S3, RDS, DynamoDB, EMR, Redshift) and tries to understand relations in your data. The end user can use a GUI from Amazon to explore the data. In the near future it will also be possible to access Quicksight as a source in BI tools like Tableau.

Amazon Inspector

Amazon Inspector is taking security assessments to a new level. It is built to eliminate the tradeoff between security and agility. With Amazon Inspector you can run as fast as you can while Inspector looks for potential security risks. Risks are created based on a knowledge base that contains all the best practices that Amazon has collected over the past 10 years.


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And much more

There is many more to talk about: With AWS Config Rules you can define rules that all AWS resources must follow. Like a tag that must be present or that virtual machines must be launched inside a private network. You can also define your own rules because a rule can also be a Lambda function.

Amazon Kinesis Firehose is the missing part between Kinesis Streams and datastores. A Kinesis stream is the entry point of real-time data such as clickstreams, application logs, or financial market data. Amazon Kinesis Firehose reads the data from the stream and stores it in S3 for archival or in the data warehouse service Redshift.

MariaDB was added as the sixth engine to the Relational Database Service (RDS).

The AWS Database Migration Service helps customers to migrate from proprietary databases like Oracle to more open ones like PostgreSQL. The migration service tries to best map your schema, stored procedures, functions and all that stuff to the new engine. If it can’t make a decision automatically it asks for your help. AWS promises that 80% of the migration can be done fully automatically.

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Michael Wittig

Michael Wittig ( Email Twitter LinkedIn Mastodon )

We launched the cloudonaut blog in 2015. Since then, we have published 366 articles, 60 podcast episodes, and 58 videos. It's all free and means a lot of work in our spare time. We enjoy sharing our AWS knowledge with you.

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