AWS re:Invent 2015 – Keynote Summary

The annual flurry of announcements by Andy Jassy in Las Vegas provided the expected amount of excitement and disappointment (depending on whether you still had a business model at the end of it). Packed hall with 20,000 attendees (including the A Cloud Guru team) hanging on to the announcements set the scene for the announcements.

Pre-empting the Keynote was an early morning announcement that AWS now allows Bring Your Own (BYO) licensing for Windows, removing cost headaches of re-purchasing licenses. Ease of migration to AWS was to set the scene for a number of the announcements in the Keynote.

So lets get into the announcements..

Amazon QuickSight — Business Intelligence service at a fraction of the cost of comparative services.

Key features include :

  • Consume data from the following data sources : EMR, RDS, S3, DynamoDB, RedShift, Kinesis, MS SQL, Oracle, MySQL, PostgreSQL, SalesForce and File Upload
  • SPICE (Super-Fast Parallel In-Memory Computation Engine) allows for super fast data processing and analysis on very large data sets
  • Ease of use through an intuitive interface and a mobile apps
  • Third-party integration with SPICE and other BI visualisation tools

Availability: Preview

Amazon Kinesis Firehose— Fully managed real-time streaming data services, that doesn’t require any custom applications to be written.

Key features include :

  • Amazon Kinesis Agent that can be installed on EC2 instances to watch files to stream to Kinesis Firehose(think application log files)
  • Utilise standard AWS SDK to write to Kinesis Firehose
  • Doesn’t require the Kinesis client libraries or custom application
  • Supports S3 bucket or Redshift at data destinations out of the box

Availability: Immediately

AWS Import/Export Snowball— Upgrade on the old Import/Expert service using dedicated portable hardware able to transfer PB of data quicker than over the network securely

Key features include:

  • Dedicated portable hardware device in ruggedised, tamper proof casing
  • 10Gbps network interface, and USB & SNA interfaces, able to transfer up to 50TB per device in a day
  • Automatically encrypted with 256 bit encryption, with keys managed by AWS KMS, and keys never stored on the device
  • End-to-end tracking from client site to AWS facility with SNS, text message and portal notifications
  • Secure erasure of data from device after data transfer

Availability: Immediate

AWS RDS for MariaDB — Another database option for RDS offering a highly available, performant alternative to MySQL and Aurora

Key features include:

  • Very similar to the MySQL on RDS offering, suitable for MariaDB users

Availability: Immediate

AWS Database Migration Service (DMS)— Homogenous database migration service to migrate on-prem/self managed DB’s to RDS

Key features include:

  • Continuous data replication keeping source and destination databases in sync during migration
  • Easy recovery from network and host failures during migration
  • Detailed process monitoring during the migration process

Availability: Preview

AWS Schema Conversion Tool — Free tool to be used in conjunction with the Database Migration Service to allow for heterogenous database conversions into RDS

Key features include:

  • Migration assessment to determine suitability for migration and suggest new schema patterns
  • Schema and code conversions to ease the burden of refactoring applications for a new database paltform

Availability: Preview

AWS Config Rules — Major new feature in AWS Config allowing for configuration rules to be defined and custom actions be performed against compliance to those rules

Key features include:

  • Easy to use interface aimed at non-technical users (ie compliance officers)
  • Governance dashboard for easy visibility on compliance against the rules
  • Continuous monitoring of rules for compliance
  • AWS pre-built rules, and custom rules that can include a Lambda function
  • Eco-system of partners to plug it into your existing compliance/security tooling

Availability: Preview

Amazon Inspector — Automated security assessment service to improve security and compliance across your AWS estate.

Key features include:

  • Pre-defined security assessments against popular security frameworks (PCI-DSS etc)
  • Vulnerabilities and threats updated regularly by AWS Security team
  • Automation of assessments to ensure regular security reviews

Availability: Preview

Thats 8 new tools, services or major features in one 2 hour keynote! Nothing too developer centric, even Firehose is about using Kinesis without writing a custom application. The focus is clearly on easing migration to the cloud, whilst easing security and compliance concerns. The addition of Amazon QuickSight gives users a big incentive to move their datawarehouses to AWS, and should drive adoption of other services like Redshift and DynamoDB.

If you’re a legacy database or BI vendor, today was not a good day for you. If you’re a user paying over the top for a proprietary database and data analytics platform today was a good day!

Look forward to additional announcements from Werner Vogels tomorrow!