Cloud Crunch
Cloud Crunch

Episode · 1 year ago

S2E01: Take-Aways from AWS re:Invent 2020

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Welcome to Season 2 of Cloud Crunch! We're back and better than ever with all new topics, opinions and an all-star lineup of exciting industry expert guests. We kick off our first episode looking back at AWS re:Invent 2020 with Solutions Architect pro and re:Invent veteran, Joe Conlin. Being a 3-week event, there is a lot to cover, so get the scoop on what AWS announced, what we found exciting, and what you might've missed.

...involve Solve, evolve. Welcome to cloud Crunch The podcast for any large enterprise planning on moving to or is in the midst of moving to the cloud hosted by the cloud computing experts from Second Watch, Ian will be chief architect Cloud Solutions and Skip Berry, executive director of Cloud Enablement. And now here are your hosts of Cloud Crunch. Welcome back, everybody. Toe cloud crunch. And this week, we're gonna have an interesting episode. Re capping a W s is reinvent in 2020. Ah, little different this year, obviously. So we're gonna get into some of those details and then, obviously, what's going on there? What we find with our experience in the field, what's going to be very impactful for everybody. First, though, I wanna welcome back my co host, Skip Barry. Skip. Good to hear you. Hey, hey. In Happy New Year. Same to you. Yeah, good to see you. Absolutely. And Joe Conlin is who? Our guests this week. He is a strategic solution architect based in the New York City metropolitan area. He works with some very interesting customers out there in the meeting entertainment space primarily, but obviously has some great experience just across the board been, uh you've been in the cloud for quite some time, haven't you, Joe? I have. And it's an honor to be here with both of you. Fine. Gentlemen, thank you for having me. Welcome. Welcome. So we all know Joe very well. So this is, uh, not only will be an insightful conversation, but hopefully a little bit of humor along the way here with it as well. But Joe, let's let's kind of dig into this right now. Obviously it reinvent was virtual this year, you know, So that is a very impactful piece to it. But what was kind of your overall impression off the experience. So for me personally, I've got mixed feelings. So obviously the decision to do a remote virtual you know, it was it was bigger than any individuals call to make. I mean, we all had Thio go through that, and it's similar means together, but I won't lie. I really enjoyed not having to fly to Vegas right after Thanksgiving with all those crowds. That's usually pretty stressful and and honestly, I think a lot of reinvents. It's hard to get into a lot of the sessions. You want Thio get from place to place. I mean, there's there's physical limitations that lets you be everywhere you want to be at once. So, to that end, I think having a virtual it helped being able to cherry pick the things you want to see. But for me again, I think the big downside was a lot of the value I have with the reinvent experiences seeing people face to face. And just from an industry perspective, it's a good way Thio see, Piers that, you know, maybe working at different places, industries, a small place. So you tend to see people, um, move around from place to place and this is a great opportunity Thio interface with people. And I don't think we had that necessarily this year.

So, you know, looking at the virtual experience, there were those benefits of getting what you wanted when you wanted in the manner you did, you know, kind of fit into your schedule. But, you know, I definitely missed out on some that that face to face interaction. How about you guys? Yeah. Yeah, Same here. For me, for sure. Especially. The customers love meeting customers new and current and former, but I think that was the probably, you know, the biggest miss for me didn't miss all the Afro mentioned, you know, get on a plane right after Thanksgiving and what have you. But I did like the flexibility you know, of being able to pick and choose. Ah, lot better where you could get in and whatever kind of you know, whatever you wanted to consume really was at your leisure, but yeah, overall. Same. Still great. What do you What do you call that? A show or, you know, I don't know. I don't know what you call reinvent, really, at the end of the day, But e wonder if we can petition Mr Jassy to do it in the middle of the year. Somehow, I I feel like always It's too early at the beginning of the year if you were going to do it, and at the end of the year, you just out of gas, you know? So I don't know if there would ever be any consideration from the AWS folks for that. But those are those My only thoughts, I think I think to some degree, Skip, You already have what you want. There's a reinforced that they do in the middle of the year. Hopefully, we'll play this year. It'll be back and running by July August, time frame or June. I think it is so good point. We'll see. Yeah, I mean, I like to focus on the positive, but I think that the other downside I would point to is the three weeks or so of releases. I feel like it was a little too long again. Time of the year and you've got your holidays and people trying to wrap up their years, a lot of material to release and get out there. But also, it's a lot of time for you to have, Ah, split focus. So I think case in point. That's why a conversation like this kind of recapping findings is really important. So if you couldn't make three weeks worth of content, maybe we can help you accelerate, um, Cherry picking things. Yeah, absolutely. So let's let's take into a little bit. Kind of what? Joe, what you thought, or some of the overall themes that the different speakers, obviously you've got different keynotes releases and sessions. What were some of those trends that you are are themes. Did you see coming out of these announcements? Well, I feel it for me, the biggest one that resonated this year. Well, there's several one. It's been unavoidable for the last several years, and it's been Amazon's push around AI and machine learning, and not only from releasing services and enhancing features, but I think really showing, ah lot of that. Their focus is in this area to signal to the market that this is this is where their attention is going. This is...

...where their customers are looking and and asking them for this year. I think we're starting to see a lot of that come through and, you know, ties into new instance types, uh, coming out with their own. You know, different instance types that move you beyond just the GPU based for training your models. There's a lot of these themes and even from a workflow enhancement with sage maker a lot of time and attention and focus bringing those messages back Thio machine learning ai as ah through line. So when you ask me, that question is the first thing that comes to mind. There's several others that are in the periphery, but that's that's what I see. Would you guys think? Yeah, I think. Absolutely. I think there was a lot of conversation just starting from the keynote about. You know how you can use a I to really enhance your business? E thought you know, one of the as they do the keynote, they bring customer, you know, speakers into it. Remember, they used to do it on the stage live now it's pretty recorded. Of course. Uh, there was a pharmaceutical device manufacture that you know, quickly adopted there. I o t device essentially human coyote device Thio. Identify whether or not you may be exposed to covet. You know, this is all a I based of course, and I think it's really, really starting to see the practicality of how businesses can actually adopt and consume these services. And I think that's really exciting because we've been working with customers over the last year that have started to do their first forecasting or AI models and really discovering that business value behind it. One of the other episodes that we have it was about a data lake and how it can really improve the customer experience when they're at one of their stores and really moderate. Do some predictions around that, and I think that, to me, is the most exciting aspect of it. If there was only one theme, it was in your right a i m l spot on. And it seems like now the tools were there. It doesn't take away the understanding. You know, you still need to understand the data like you still can't get around, that there's no easy but before it. But as far as a data scientist, or I feel like the data scientist, obviously you can't circumvent that need. You know, you need to understand data and how it correlates the things you know for lack of a better description. But as far as being able to take away the undifferentiated heavy lifting, as they often say at AWS, being able to use and train and import the data, I think that's you know, it's just really going to accelerate businesses adoption of this type of technology, I think, Yeah, specifically code guru and Dev ops guru. For me watching that and looking at that and see where that is now, that will really help. You know there's they're taking more and more excuses away from not adopting some areas of you know, we'll say pre baked ai into some of these disciplines. So yeah, I think Joe, What? What else did you see out there As far as trends, so...

...definitely around the infrastructure improvements around storage selfishly, you know, infrastructure is an area where I see a lot of this just from the clients that we work with trying Thio, you know, understand how Teoh Teik workloads and maybe in a data center working a certain way with a certain technology stack, bring into the cloud and you know, how do you How do you balance moving something with being able Thio, bring those or leveraging improvements the cloud can offer? I think in the past there's been a lot of design decisions that have been driven by maybe capabilities. That cloud didn't have a 1 to 1 match from a performance or or feature perspective. And so sometimes, you know, adoption can slow down when you get bent around the actual trying to figure out Well, this is how we do it in a data center. You know, when we move to cloud, you wanna do it this way. But we have thio kind of bring things around, so I think a w s through again. This wasn't all just in this reinvent, but we're starting to see the fruits of prior improvements around like Nitro and introducing that we're starting to see the enablement of things like the I 02 volumes and things of that nature where now you can get higher. I ops, uh, performance without necessarily need a trade off for cost. You know, in the past you would need thio maybe over provisioned capacity to reach the performance need for your workload and, you know, yeah, you can get it done, but it doesn't feel like you're you're doing this and the, you know, most optimized manner. And I think some of these releases air really taking us further down that path of realizing, you know, you're not making a trade off, if you will, of what you did in your data center with, you know, your your commercial storage arrays and in other components. Now you were starting close that gap And not only that, it's it's less about closing the gap on just those areas. That's where I say, sort of selfishly, I think we're we We kind of moved beyond the infrastructure building components that that's like the the the old yes or tech that were just used. The clouds got this all figured out. You just provision of service. You don't need to worry about it anymore. Let's focus on a I and these you know, bells and whistles. But the end of the day it's it's compute storage network. Those tend to be the main drivers from an enterprise customer that we typically interface with. Those are the things that are driving a lot of their the cloud costs and and consumption. So anytime there's improvements made their to do things in a more optimized fashion has a big impact on the bottom line. When those happened, that's where we start to see customers being able to double down in those more strategic services and initiatives. Um, it builds a little bit more breathing room in budgets and things to do those POC s and start to explore an experiment more. Andi Yeah,...

I think sort of taking a step back at 2020. And you know how the pandemic affected a lot of ah lot of businesses started to see those that were in cloud already had different levers and play that they could start to leverage. Sure, their services that, you know, v D I solutions and a lot of collaboration tools that could be used. Thio help, so to speak, which the time of recording we're still in the storm, Uh, maybe normalized a bit, But you know, beyond that, you're given levers that agility within the cloud where you can start to look at where your spend is and adjust things. So if there are other aspects of the business that maybe artist flexible, I t starts to become a piece where you can leverage the technology in cloud in general to help fuel those other aspects of the business to get through maybe a global pandemic. I think some of these features and enhancements help enable an organization do that even better than they had in the past. Yeah, I think One note to listening to Peter to Santos. Um, there's a hidden message there that there's comfort in correlation. Right? So for the longest time, if you look at enterprises right, it doesn't look like my data center in the cloud. It's black box now. This is kind of an undertone of helping those that have, whether they're reluctant to move or just because of those infrastructure things that aren't in the cloud or it's not known to them in the cloud. Now, with these announcements and what they're doing there, it's taken that again risk out of the situation or no more excuses. So the correlation there has provided them some comfort to go finally into the cloud. That's what that's what I got is the hidden undertone of that that message. So, yeah, that's an interesting one, I think, definitely. We're seeing these trends for faster data, different ways to store your data, access your data, normalize it, you know, through different crawlers those types of things as well. But you know that the cornerstone of a lot of data is databases, right? And so what a surprise announcements to me, and I guess it's a surprise when it came out, but I e think you could see it coming, if you look back is the Babel fish. And so to explain what Babel fish is really quickly for our audience. If you don't, it didn't catch that announcement. It's basically a way that you can switch your underlying database technology to an open source platform. Let's say from, ah, Window sequel platform without having to change code necessarily. So it's like an interpreter. Hence Babel fish. It could supposedly speak any language, which makes me wonder what other databases they're gonna go after in the near term. So, Joe, what do you think about those types of data Will call modernization as well. Yeah. Eso theme Another theme again. Not unique...

...to reinvent, but showcasing the focus there is that if you are consuming commercial database licenses or, you know, you have, ah, reliance on commercial operating systems, uh, and and licensing there, you know, this is giving you a lot of options on and on ramps. Thio, ameliorate the pain if you're if you're invested in moving away from them. So that has been a theme, you know, speaking as a solution architect that second watch, we work with enterprises that maybe work with multiple clouds, and some have a really strategic need for leveraging. You know, these enterprise licensing and it doesn't make sense for everybody to rip and replace their enterprise. Uh, commercial databases or operating systems. But if there isn't really a strategic need or if it's just a piece that's been in play in the past, I think these are an interesting way that Amazon is providing to help you not just assume that you have reliance if there isn't a technical or business need for you to use this off. So Babel fish specifically address, um, some conversation that we're having with different clients today around how they're leveraging databases. I think like any new release that comes out sometimes there could be some features that you really have to investigate and try Ally and kind of put through their paces to see you know how comprehensive or or how much work is actually involved. So you know, nothing is ever an easy button or rarely is it an easy button where you just put it in place and you can automatically take your Microsoft sequel server and convert over toe aurora post dress with just implementing this one simple trick. But with that big with that comes the ability Teoh. You know you have somewhere to investigate instead of maybe just having the black box that you're trying to investigate and figure out what the level of effort is and what the potential benefit. Now you can maybe have a more focused proof of concept to look into different workloads. Really compartmentalize what that effort is and time and, you know, really, if you can save any time of your team and focus, that's time focus. You can reapply Thio more strategic things as well. But yeah, I look at I look at these tools like Babel fish. You know, the benefit that I think unorganized ation is looking towards would be What? What's the potential cost savings in the long run by moving off of thes thes commercial licenses? And yeah, there's probably gonna be some short term pain and getting there and and what it takes to pull back the covers on how things work today, what the impact is, what the benefit. But this also goes in line with, you know, jumping over to the compute aspect thes gravitas. On instances, you know, there's a lot of potential cost savings...

...that can be leveraged if you don't just assume a lot of the same incumbent. Tools and technologies you've been using are needed. If you take the time and investigated a W s you know, a W s and and others. But aws in particular, reinvent has been driving home this message of we're giving you the incentive to do that through, You know, here's a you could switch tow arm processors through gravitas on um, of course, it's not going to support your Windows OS. So you maybe you'd be changing operating systems and the effort that entails there and same thing with a sequel. Server databases. If you're going thio, convert those over to a roar. Post stress. You know you can have significant savings in the long run. And because Amazon is making the change is easier to do with longer term incentives to do so. I think they're making a compelling case where if you're an organization that's on the fence, and like I said before, those commercial database soccer platforms or operating systems aren't really needed. Then you could have, ah, potential big upside Thio making that move going forward. That's my take. Yeah, I still recommend consultancy for people that are going through Ah, database modernization. I would I would imagine from your perspective, Yeah, And so, of course, of course a question. It was a trick question with a question. It was I'm glad you asked. And I know. Yeah, firm you can contact. Yeah, I think I wanna be careful. I always careful these tools are great. They're magnificent. They have moved us so far down the line, you know, and focus on the things that are really important. But I also wanna, you know, caveat that and get your opinion really again. You know, there's still a level of consultancy that's required. And for us to come in or any consultant company to come in and focus on, you know, the business matter at hand, right? So, yeah, I think I think that tie that together too, because I tie it tight back to my own personal experience off. You know, as as I've kind of gone through different, different paths in my I t career, you know, starting off, I would I would be confused why the consultancy would be needed if, say, the organization's team had the skills or they understood how the databases worked and could do this work themselves, you know, through my time at second watch and else prior to second watch What you learn is that everything there's a trade off, you know, it's time it's money, it's focused and, you know, cloud drive a lot of that home with, you know, undifferentiated heavy lifting. That's the Amazon buzz phrase off if you're if you're spending time doing that, and that's time and effort that could be spent on the things that do make your organization different and drive revenue for your business. It's the same thing with looking at these these...

...database platforms. And even if your teams are highly competent and I'm speaking to your teams as the you know, if you're in an organization and you have a database team that could be highly competent, they could know exactly what needs to get done. But do they have the time to go through all the due diligence? Thio. Look at how things are functioning. They have the time and due diligence to to put together a plan. All back plans, Um, just all of those pieces that would ensure successful delivery and meeting what an objective is, and it's just a lot of work. It's a lot of work to go through, and when you bring expertise into the fold. You can really short cut a lot of the stubbing your toe against common problems the meetings and conversations that don't need to be had because you can shortcut to the place you need to go, Um, and again I come back to the pandemic, feel like you hear everyone say it on these thes conversations. But the pandemic puts this in perfect perspective because there is other problems that you're probably going to need to attend. Teoh. Is this an area that you want to be spending your your your team strategic time and focus on Or you just need the outcome with, You know, people can help you competently get to that output. Are that that outcome by having the right questions, understanding the objective and then working smoothly towards that objective so that your team is doing more? So there is a lot of work to be done, and they there's no short cutting it tools can help accelerate. But you know, you still need to know where to apply the tool and when and when. It's not not getting the job done not to Well, Stephen Well, said Joe Joe, obviously you focus a lot of your time and energy towards media and entertainment companies, anything that you saw over there and those types of announcements that would really benefit or some exciting things coming out. So they did not announce anything on the modular synthesizer. Uh, just for the audience to know that that's one of your hobbies. Passions is synthesizers, so I just wanna make building them and using them. There's no there's no cloud application, but maybe I'll be a thought leader. Andy Jassy, if you're listening, uh, more seriously, I think I think the wavelength zones is one of the really interesting areas that I have been paying attention to and I think could be really interesting in terms of application. So if you're not aware, wavelength zones it's a believe. It's a partnership between Verizon and Amazon, where essentially in your...

Amazon console your radio just console. You log in and with a wavelength zone, you have just the same way you would provisions in any other zone you have access to. I believe you stop the opt in for this right now, but you have the ability to opt into these zones that are up length through five G and you can provisioned Resource is albeit a subset, but you can deploy vpc, ec2 and some others in leverage these five G wavelength zones just natively in AWS and having got a little bit of stick time on it. And in doing some of the the labs and demos, you know, I was impressed with how I guess easy intuitive. If you're familiar with operating in the AWS Cloud, how how intuitive it waas. It just worked the one sort of downside I think we're not Not a downside. It's just the consideration is that to leverage these wavelength zones, you really need to have an application that is leveraging them in a way that makes sense because if you're interacting with these local resource is over five G. There's a number of different zones available today across multiple areas. I don't want to date this podcast by naming them at reinvent. They released a few other zones as well, but actually expect there in dense, densely populated urban areas. So if you have your consumers of your application, your data connected through five G. You can enhance that experience. And so, if you're working again like a meeting entertainment type customer, and you have content you want to deliver to your end users in these highly populated areas. Thing is another arrow in your quiver, so to speak that you can use thio, optimize your experience and deliver in a new manner. But it's again a sort of a building block that you can build your applications on to enhance what that end user experiences. I am excited about it again, like I said, because it's so intuitive and easy to to sort of jump in and start to work with. But the problem that the application developers I think you're going to need to work through is if you have ah five G or client interfacing with the application on five G and they start Thio migrate beyond that zone. You know, how are you handling their state as you move between different places and delivering content, so it's not a drop in, like all of a sudden it just magically does everything for you. It's like another building block that you can you can build with, and I think it's gonna be really interesting for meeting entertainment specifically because of content delivery. But we'll see we'll see what other applications emerge. Getting us out to the edge further and further, right? Yeah. Yeah. Well, actually, there's another one to thank you for reminding me Outposts. So outpost is another one at the edge, providing that the compute and storage...

...closer to where the consumers maybe so specific toe meeting entertainment. You know, we've heard from different clients and others in the space that on the pandemic hit it had an impact. Thio pretty much all aspects of the pipeline. The supply chain, if you will. But on the production side, you know, there's people that are setting up, have their work stations and in their homes, you know, saw some cool pictures of people setting up well remote workstations and and other things sort of figuring out on the fly how to ensure that that the content was continuing to be created and delivered to those that were, you know, being honest. I mean, I think we're all could find thio four walls and streaming, probably more than we were 12 months ago. So, you know, the demand is there and increasing, but the need for some of the ingenuity around how that content gets there in ways that maybe in the past, um, you didn't have to think about Pandemic brought that one home and accelerated that. So outpost provides an interesting life for some of that, you know, hyper local processing of large scale data. So looking at content streams and things of that nature and anything that would involve processing that I think if you look back toe some of the original outposts zones that were introduced, you know, I, I believe, was in the Los Angeles region. I think a lot of these these services are really speaking towards the edge and and understanding that at the edge there's still some important processing that means toe happen. Um, interfacing what? The rest of the cloud and that life cycle Making that easy is really important. Thio, bring that the cloud and experience to it. Z full potential. Uh, skip and I throw you a curveball on Outpost e? No. Your past You had worked with a lot of ah lot of big iron. So what are your thoughts on outpost and Yeah, actually, let me. It's a good, quite the storage aspect. Big advancement for me, you know, that's without mentioning my former where I spent a lot of time. That's I would say even going back five years unfounded unthought of that. You could even achieve that in in the cloud today, right within a data center East west. Of course you could do that, right, But But even offer that to someone operating in the cloud and seeing those kind of, you know, for EBS and the I o to block now is just really quite an advancement. Kudos there. And that will be very disruptive to those monolithic storage creators providers, if you will. I think from the converged...

...infrastructure aspect, you know where that's where I spent a lot of my time developing it and also implementing it and and pulling in that storage aspect of it. Now where we are and looking at, you know what Outpost is offering and where they've actually even listened and they've offered, I don't wanna say smaller configurations, but more right size configurations now for customers to consume again. I think this is a recurring theme with me. It's removing any other excuse again, you know, to not leverage, whether it's a W s or any cloud, right? You know, so it it again is painting a picture and helping enterprises, you know, really remove any reduce the risk, remove any risk for them. Thio, you know, basically get out of the traditional infrastructure business and really embrace the cloud for what it is. So yeah, I'm really excited. Things has been great. This year was really great. Albeit obviously the logistics aspects of it. But But this was really probably my best reinvent that I've witnessed and been able to get some really good information out of it. So the best reinvent you never attended? Yeah, they're Ugo. No, I think they did a fantastic job. Obviously, they had several months to prepare for it. I think it went off pretty smoothly, as's faras an event in the content delivery. But now this is great. Joe really appreciate you joining us today and some fantastic insights before we go, though, Joe, I want to put you on the spot. Give us a prediction of 2021 related to cloud related. Okay, well, the modular sense that is a service integrated with sage maker. That's 22 I think. I think we're honest. I think we're going to see a lot more focus around again a i n m l and improving not only the capabilities and providing more that horsepower. We're going to see that from Amazon, I think, in large part not only to enable customers but Thio differentiate from their competitors like Google Cloud that has, ah, very well seems understood and positioned capability around machine learning and ai today. So I think that's where Amazon putting a lot of their effort thio improve and in win hearts and minds there. And I think with nitro we're gonna start to see some more leaps and bounds around performance improvements across the traditional infrastructure stack. Uh, these would be releases that will be sprinkled throughout, and then maybe towards the end of the year, with reinvent coming up a swell. And, uh, I think I think, from our customers and those who purchased cloud services, we're going to see a continued interest around spending cloud money smartly. So leveraging these tools to make sure they're fully optimized, leveraging...

...cloud native services, sort of trimming the fat and areas that they don't need to spend it and refocusing it in more strategic places. So I'm I'm I'm guessing that we'll see a lot more of that going into this year from customers that we talked Thio. Andi, uh, pretty much anybody going to cloud. So good news is good news is there are tools and tricks and means that can help people get there. So I'm excited for that. I think there's a lot that can be done to help people in many different ways, so it will be a good one. Excellent. We're ready. Yeah, absolutely. Well, thanks, Joe. Really appreciate your time. Of course, your insight is always impeccable as well. So thanks for thanks. Thanks. It's been a blast. Yeah, great. Yeah. Thanks to you, Skip for always being here with May and thanks everybody for listening to our wonderful podcast cloud crunch. If you have any suggestions, comments or ideas, please feel free to email. Is that cloud crunch at second watch dot com? You've been listening to Cloud Crunch with Ian Willoughby and Skip Very. For more information, check out the blogged. Second watch dot com slash company slash vlog or reach out to second watch on Twitter.

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