As you may know, one of our offerings, Soliant.cloud, is built on AWS (Amazon Web Services). We're constantly looking for new ways to learn more about the leader in IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and build on our positive experiences with the platform. My colleague, Bill Heizer, and I therefore attended the annual AWS conference, re:Invent, held in Las Vegas, Nevada.
There are several AWS conferences throughout the year, including one held in Chicago regularly attended by another colleague, Brian Engert. AWS re:Invent, however, is a larger event with more activities and session.
Attendance for re:Invent 2017 was around 43,000 people, and I believe conference organizers were originally anticipating significantly fewer attendees. To serve all extra registrants, they ended up adding several overflow sessions and repeat showings of some of the more popular sessions.
Due to the turnout, the conference was spread out across the Vegas strip into four main venues. There were plenty of excellent sessions and activities to participate in. From keynotes and sessions to game day hackathons and hands-on labs to fitness challenges and broomball, it made for a full week.
A Wide Variety of Sessions
Myself, I enjoyed the Compute focused sessions, primarily at the Venetian conference center. We also took in quite a few other value-added sessions, including business topics (very informative), security, advanced networking, serverless computing, IoT (Internet of Things), and machine learning.
Next Time: Plan Ahead or Get White Castle’s
Admittedly, our week started out a bit rough. Bill and I couldn’t attend our first session after waiting in line to get in. It filled up before we got a seat! However, our luck seemed to change after a trip to White Castle. They do not have White Castle in the part of the country Bill lives, so this was a rare and welcome treat. The trip marked a turn of fortune for us.
After that, we seemed to have good luck all week getting into sessions. It may have been conference organizers working to accommodate the larger than anticipated crowd, but we attribute it to our White Castle visit.
I enjoyed the Wednesday keynote by AWS CEO Andy Jassy and Thursday keynote by AWS CTO Werner Vogels. They were informative, highly-attended, and included several product announcements. New exciting features include GuardDuty, which records traffic and API logs, tracks regular behavior, and then alerts administrators about “irregular” behavior, therefore serving as a great security feature. Inter-region VPC peering, Fargate, and EKS (Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes) were also announced.
Customer Success Stories
And a conference wouldn’t be worth attending without quality entertainment and a handful of customer success stories. Lauryn Hill impressed the audience with her hit song "Everything is Everything." That is especially pertinent as the range of AWS offerings is immense and very broad. Companies like General Electric drove this point home as they shared how they use AWS to drive growth and efficiency. We also learned how educational institutions bid on spot price instance to lower costs and reduce time to complete massively complex calculations.
AWS Within Soliant Consulting Offerings
Bill and I gathered quite a bit of information to consistently improve our FileMaker hosting services, Soliant.cloud. We continue to focus on providing the best experience possible for our customers and expand into new areas.
We left with many insights to improve our hosting server and ideas to build on in the near future. My team and I will continue to provide a durable, reliable, and highly available service.
Stay tuned to this space for new developments, as we continue to grow and build.
Have questions about what we learned at AWS re:Invent 2017? Let us know in a comment below.