AWS re:Invent 2021 – Podsumowanie

AWS re:Invent 2021

AWS re:Invent 2021 — Short summary

lukado
Ponad 14 lat w branży IT. Konsultant i architekt projektów Amazon Web Services. Entuzjasta rozwiązań serverless. Współtwórca AWS User Group (3500+ osób). AWS Community HERO. Masz pytanie, napisz do mnie.
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AWS re:Invent 2021, a conference that ignites excitement among all the enthusiasts already behind us. As usual time for a brief summary...

This year, a little bit in a different form.. Przemek Malak invited me to a joint conversation, where together in the pages of the blog Deloitte, we prepared a subsomation. INVITE YOU!

The beginning of AWS re:Invent is a keynote by the new CEO of AWS, Adam Selipski. The keynote itself, for the 15th anniversary of AWS and 10th re:Invent, had quite a few historical appeals, and focused mainly on business and the continuation of the AWS peeled road. Overall, he did not arouse rapture.

One of the more important novelties was a new processor from AWS, Gravitona's third generation. By its way, Arm architecture grows in strength. We hope that in a few years Intel won't share Nokia's fate.

What we can be sure of is the fact that the new CEO does not change the path that AWS has taken. We can expect a continuation. It causes peace of mind that no changes will cause problems in our systems. On confirmation, we have changes in the way we manage access to S3 buckets, which are optional and will not disrupt the operation of existing solutions.

And what do you think of this year's AWS re:Invent?

AWS re:Invent 2021 - Business

Łukasz Dorosz: I agree with the fact that this year re:Invent was a little different. Noticeable it was not only on the main keynote, but the conference itself looking from the perspective of a physical event looked a little different. After some interesting conversations in culuary and social media, he feels that many people have a similar opinion. Generally this year we have not been touched by the amount of new services that AWS has accustomed us to over the years. The question is it wrong or right?

I think it's like most “OKEY” and it certainly doesn't mean that everything has already been invented. I believe that we have simply reached a certain stage of maturity of the cloud platform, and the palette of services and solutions offered is clearly what business and customers expect today. On the other hand, cloud adoption is growing in many organizations and they, too, sort of mature with how they use the cloud on a daily basis. It probably generates a lot of needs around the services they use. And as we know AWS listens to what customers are asking for.

That's why this year, instead of once again looking at the bunny pursuit entitled “New and More,” we saw a number of improvements that largely expand the possibilities of what AWS offers today.

Let's remember that the world is not solely composed of modern and upsetting startups that adopt technological novelties very easily, especially when they are in the early stages of development.

Large organizations, which very often have a long technological history behind them, do not always cover the cloud solely from the perspective of new technologies. For many of them, it's the search for opportunities to solve problems they may have been facing for a long time, but at the same time they can't afford from yes for some kind of technological revolution.

Therefore, for them, more than a dizzying amount of services or modern technologies, what matters is the maturity of the platform and its capabilities (even if we come to look at these “boring” virtual machines).

And even if companies continue to cover the cloud as infrastructure, there are still some benefits that Ty Przemku have paid attention to recently.

Cloud cover

Przemek Malak: The public cloud is becoming an increasingly complicated tool. Using it can be simple in many applications, but once we start using it with a more demanding way when we start running more complex solutions in AWS, we will begin to see more and more challenges (architectural, operational, etc.). The multitude of services, the associated problem of choosing the best solution for us at the moment, the need to take care of security cause us to freak out of all this and abandon implementation. We can also do such an implementation incorrectly and burn the desire to continue investing in this direction.

What is conspicuous and what we've been observing for some time is the trend to cover the cloud. Hiding from the user all these services and their settings for easier use.

More and more services are being created, both in the cloud itself and such aiding work with AWS, that allow you to use AWS resources without thinking about the cloud running underneath. Many of the existing sites are also developed in this direction. We get at the end of services designed for a specific purpose, taking out of us the need to turn on and off some resources. We use and forget.

The convergent direction is serverless broken by on-demand. This year, among other things, several services aimed at facilitating the use of Big Data services have been unveiled.

During keynote, Adam presented several services that will work precisely on these models, taking off us the need to care for creating environments.

Need “for a while” a data warehouse? There's Amazon Redshift in the serverless model. Kafka without having to set up servers? It's also available now. Likewise Kinesis and EMR service. Most of these novelties are still admittedly in preview, but exactly shows the direction AWS is going.

In the case of increasingly popular No Code tools, AWS also presented something. This time it is talking about a tool for example for business analysts that allows you to work with data without coding skills- Amazon SageMaker Canvas.

We also got a free environment for practical learning to work with data and machine learning called SageMaker Studio Lab.

Wonderfully promises to be the Refactor Spaces tool part of Migration Hub. It is intended to assist in the refactoration of monolithic applications into micro-service architecture. An interesting idea, we'll see how it will work in practice. To my mind, functional decomposition is important, I hope it won't just be pulling endpoints out of the app.

All this looks quite promising, doesn't it Luke?

Infrastructure and management

Łukasz Dorosz:I agree, personally I like to simplify my work wherever I can. Let's not fool ourselves, there are many places where the level of complications is quite large, whether it will be the architecture of the application, aspects of all cloud governance/security after hybrid solutions. If you can simplify using the cloud or services itself, why not go in that direction.

Let's even look at the very aspects of infrastructure and services around this. Anyone who has dealt with at least a little network knows that sometimes the configuration or analysis of potential problems is complicated. Therefore, every now and then there were functionality to facilitate these tasks. VPC flow log in order to analyze network traffic, then came the possibility of VPC Traffic Mirroring i.e. cloning traffic and passing to another place (e.g. instance with some analysis software).

This year, such trivia appeared e.g. “Amazon VPC Network Access Analyzer”, who using the information that other services provide and what is configured allows you to image and verify the state of communication between different elements of our application.

Turning again to the direction of large organizations and building hybrid solutions appeared Amazon VPC IP Address Manager, which is designed to help network administrators manage IP addressing pools. Something that can be quite easy at first, however, when the amount of applications, environments and locations starts to multiply, the level of complications grows very quickly. Therefore, in addition to improvements, there are also new services such as AWS Cloud WAN, which is designed to help manage the entire network infrastructure at large scale.

AWS Cloud WAN

Network, servers or storage is one thing, but maintaining a consistent and secure configuration of the cloud platform itself as required by our company is the other. Building a so-called Landing Zone or a secure cloud environment is often a very complex task. Working out assumptions is one thing, and the subsequent implementation and holding of the configuration is the other.

That's why AWS a few years ago introduced and started developing the Control Tower service, tasked with making it easier for companies to build and maintain a secure cloud platform to host their applications. This year, the service has seen further improvements such as the ability to define which AWS Regions will be used and comply with the regulations imposed on the company (it is about data processing locations). The second development worth mentioning is the introduction of Terraform as the definition of AWS Account Configuration Management (the so-called AWS Control Tower Account Factory for Terraform). I think it's another nod to customers (including, the multi-cloud ones) who opt for Terrform as a solution to manage infrastructure as code (so-called Infrastructure as Code).

Plus there are other services and their development, such as the new version of Amazon Inspector (security). Another thing in my opinion is pretty cool “Secret Detector” as part of the Amazon CodeGuru service, which allows you to detect any ointment “secrets” like tokens, passwords, API keys, SSH, etc.

In a nutshell: cool toys for infrastructure, security and maintenance people.

But I know programmers will find something for themselves too, right Przemku?

Developer

Przemek Malak:As a developer and architect of AWS applications on these topics, I look with the greatest interest. What surprised me most is the complete lack of novelty when it comes to container services. Is it a sign of the times? Is AWS already so decisively bet on serverless and its own Cloud Native services? I wouldn't make that far reaching conclusions. Especially considering how many opportunities in this topic we have right now.

Infrastructure as Code is very important to work with the cloud. The primary IaC tool in AWS is CloudFormation. For a long time, there is also the ability to create infrastructure using “normal” programming languages like Python or Typesctipt. This allows AWS Cloud Development Kit, which during re:Invent was presented in version 2.

AWS Cloud Development Kit

Together with CDK, a repository for components created by both AWS and community was presented. Probably in a while there will be a lot of solutions available that we can easily implement in your accounts, in their applications. Again, we have something that can very simplify the use of AWS. Need some sort of pattern, like two Lambda functions connected by a queue? You'll probably find it in Construct Hub.

Contruct Hub

For a long time we have in AWS available IDE in the form of Cloud9 service, which allows you to write application code. But as I wrote, things should get easier and easier. The threshold for entering the cloud should be lowering.

AWS Amplify is a service that makes it easy to create web and mobile applications. Now AWS Amplify Studio has been put to this, which will simplify, among other things, the creation of user interfaces. For example, it allows you to use a UI designed using the popular Figma service.

AWS Amplify Studio

It is also worth noting the next SDK available for Swift, Kotlin and Rust languages.

Some interesting novelties around Cloud Native were presented for a while by re:Invent itself. Improvements in integrating SQS queues with Lambda features. An additional DynamoDB class that can allow for quite a bit of financial savings. The ability to filter events that trigger Lambda functions.

What ran out for AWS re:Invent 2021?

Przemek Malak: There is not something that will break out for a leader in my opinion. Maybe no API development to SSO service. I've been waiting for this for a long time and it blocks me in some respects. More, it bugs me. The light profession is also the lack of development of Aurora Serverless. We have for a year v2 in preview... Maybe I'd like a little more things addressing needs or even just the attention of developers. But I think it's already looking for a hole in the whole. Somehow we give advice with what is. :-) There's still something I've been waiting for a long time. Sort of a virtual resource container in a sort of resource group with Azure. And if I'm already at resource management, a streamlining or even a complete change in the process of deleting an AWS account would be very much in place.

And you're Luke missing something?

Łukasz Dorosz: Yes, I know, especially for you Przemku I talked at the AWS booth about API to AWS SSO, but you will still have to wait a little. Generally, there will always be something that could still appear that could still be added.

I generally think it is good to see that the development of the AWS platform is not only new services and the adoption of more technologies, but above all the development of services currently available. This shows, first of all, that important are not only customers “greenfield” who, starting from scratch, easily adopt new technologies, but that the needs of already existing customers are addressed both those who already use the cloud as well as those who want to move their current ones cloud solutions.

But all right, I'm going to admit that I've always been curious about these business and financial summaries presented every year Andy Jassy (ex-CEO of AWS, now CEO of Amazon), sometimes with a slight admixture of irony and a push for competition. This year it wasn't, why, I don't know, maybe Adam has his own concept, or maybe as a freshly minted CEO he's just cranking up.

Coming a little to the end, I think the whole conference and everything that's been announced is on PLUS. A little bit of novelty and a lot of improvements to current services, which are designed to help not only new customers and businesses starting with business, but also those who are thinking whether it's a further increase in adoption or migration of their applications to the cloud. The hybrid conference itself, I think it is a good idea because it allows more people to participate.

I this year had the pleasure of being on site in Las Vegas and the very fact that the desktop version was provided for a smaller number of people compared with previous years (2019 60 thousand people), then from the point of view of the participant I consider it a plus.

Currently, all the materials from the conference have begun to appear on the AWS Youtube channel, so you can continue to dig through interesting materials or again to peacefully watch the most interesting presentations.

Deloitte was one of the main partners of the AWS re:Invent 2021 conference and outside its own booth, there were also interesting presentations:

Przemku and how do you rate this year's re:Invent?

AWS summary re:Invent 2021

Przemek Malak: Lots of novelties available in the so-called preview. Even very much. So really these services are not at such a stage to use them on production. Interestingly, so far preview meant mostly at AWS that we had to ask for access, wait, have some luck and only then could we test this type of novelty. Now most are in public preview, i.e. individual services are available for example in one service and we can use them. And as Aurora's example shows, previews can last a long time. We did not get any game changer, certain areas or rather people interested in certain areas may feel disadvantaged. However, given that AWS is developing all its services all the time and it seems not to be waiting too much with anything for the most important conference, it just shares with us all on a regular basis personally I think it's a good road. We also got some tools that are related to security. Analysis of IAM policies, insight into network traffic. New, improved Inspector. That's good. Let's remember that in Shared Responsibilty Model we are responsible for many things when it comes to security and access to our data.

It is also interesting that about the many novelties or announcements of novelties that could be noticed during the presentations that took place during the re:Invent, you still do not hear anything. I think we'll be hearing a lot of changes and news any time soon, but as far as AWS is concerned, that's normal.

ARTICLE ORIGINALLY APPEARED IN THE PAGES OF THE BLOG DELOITTE

“AWS summary re:Invent 2021"