Back to news & views

Amazon Web Services re:Invent 2014

DMW consultant Paul Lewis attended the Amazon Web Services re:Invent 2014 conference, held 11-14 November in Las Vegas. They provided a series of incredibly upbeat announcements that demonstrate Amazon’s continued pace of innovation (as you would expect!):

  • AWS growth is still incredibly strong, with YOY revenue growth exceeding 40%; EC2 usage up 99% YOY and S3 usage up 137% YOY.
  • AWS are building on their highly successful IaaS offerings to move up the service stack, evidenced by multiple PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service) announcements (CodeCommit, CodeDeploy, CodePipeline, Lambda, Service Catalog).
  • Containers (such as Docker) were a big focus this year, and AWS’s new Container Service will undoubtedly increase Docker adoption by making it insanely simple to efficiently deploy and manage Docker containers in your AWS environments.
  • Lambda offers customers an extremely powerful and flexible platform on which they can build function-driven services. Lambda is the infrastructure equivalent of the IFTTT (If This Then That) and will allow customers to build workflows without worrying about the underlying infrastructure powering it.
  • A big focus on security and compliance, with more certifications announced (including FISMA, ITAR, FIPS, FedRAMP, HIPAA, ISO 9001), an increased focus on encryption and key management, and new tools to audit and analyse configuration changes in your AWS environments.
  • Continued improvements in their core EC2 offerings with a new instance type (the C4 with custom Intel processor) and faster and larger EBS volumes.

Our key take-home message from this year’s event is that Cloud is becoming increasingly acceptable, with a growing number of companies going ‘all in’. In our opinion, the key challenges over the coming years will be tracking and controlling usage at a granular level to avoid estate sprawl and to ensure compliance and regulation requirements can be met. Is this something that you are monitoring as part of your Cloud adoption?

And whilst AWS reported strong growth figures, they did not back these up with profit or revenue figures. Even with such strong growth figures, given the aggressive price reductions imposed over the past year are AWS actually making any money? How big is the risk you are taking by putting all your digital eggs into one Cloud basket?

Amazon’s vision is that all datacenters of the future will be in the Cloud. But you need to ask yourself whether this is a vision that works for your company. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your Cloud agenda, and how to ensure you maximise the benefits to your organisation while mitigating the risks and addressing the challenges that the Cloud vendors don’t talk about.