Cloud computing
Insights from AWS re:INVENT 2018

20th December 2018

Fresh from the juggernaut event of the tech world, a team of CDL delegates offer their key insights from the annual AWS re:INVENT conference. Bigger than ever, this year saw a record-breaking 50,000 representatives attend the famous Las Vegas strip to hear keynote presentations and product expositions across seven different venues.

The age of the 'builder'
Amazon’s mission to democratise IT was more prominent than ever this year; the vision being that everyone has access to the same tools. The builder (a.k.a. the developer) was placed front and centre and keynotes spoke of providing services to address specific user problems and in turn, deliver business value. In other words, supply customers with the right tools and they can build anything. Amazon's latest offering of democratised solutions ranged from new storage services to the enhancement of databases, including the eagerly anticipated Blockchain solutions.

A new model for machine learning
Machine learning continued to be a pivotal theme and an area cloud providers are investing heavily in. The emphasis was upon a new approach to the commercialisation of machine learning, one based upon a model of reinforcement as opposed to supervision. Reinforcement learning enables the identification of the ideal behaviour within a specific context, thereby maximising performance. To convey the concept, Amazon unveiled the AWS DeepRacer, the world's first autonomous racer car. The 1/18th scale self-driving car is controlled by AWS Robotics, which allows builders to test their products for real.

The rise of serverless
Customers are increasingly flocking to serverless technology, as it enables stronger applications to be built faster. Serverless not only increases efficiency, but it also offers economic benefits. AWS Lambda, which now processes trillions of requests every month, lets customers run code without having to manage an operating system, meaning they only pay for the computing time used.

The hybrid cloud enters the agenda
Diverging from its roots, AWS has officially embraced the concept of the hybrid cloud. Comprised of private and public cloud services, the integration is designed to give businesses greater flexibility and more data deployment options. The introduction of Amazon's Outposts sees native AWS services and infrastructure being brought to any data centre, allowing for a truly consistent hybrid experience.

The customer is king
The underlying theme of the week was clear: the customer is always key. Amazon's mission to provide its clients with the right tools to deliver maximum business value remained consistent and was reflected in the plethora of new releases on show. Ranging from the introduction of managed cloud services to the disruption of the machine learning space, AWS re:INVENT 2018 showcased innovation throughout and we look forward to what they have in store next.