AWS re:Invent 2018: The Day 4 Buzz and the re:Play Party

November 30th, 2018 No comments

Before the keynote there was a DeepRacer final race from the people who were learning yesterday in the same workshop I attended: AWS re:Invent 2018: Robocar Rally 2018 – AIM206

It was a little disappointing, the cars didn’t seen to go as fast as the lap times yesterday.

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Later on in the day I actually picked up my very own DeepRacer, this is going to be fun to play with!

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Werner Vogels Keynote

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Some people say Werner is still delivering the long keynote from last year and we’re just coming in to see another instalment! Andy Jassy yesterday may be talking to the executives, today’s the turn of Werner to talk more technical and give us some of his considerable wisdom (you do know Werner isn’t just some “standard” tech CTO but one of the world’s recognised academic authorities on distributed systems now putting his brain into practical action at AWS).
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AWS re:Invent 2018: A Serverless Journey: AWS Lambda Under the Hood – SRV409

November 30th, 2018 No comments

20181129_214552864_iOSMarc Brooker & Holly Mesrobian from AWS

This looked like a super interesting session as AWS doesn’t often let you peek under the hood of how it runs its infrastructure. Of all the AWS services, Lambda is arguably the most interesting under the hood as the whole point of Lambda is you don’t have to worry about what’s underneath that hood and there’s a big engine!

Running Highly Available Large Scale systems is a lot of work.

  • needs load-balancing
  • scale up and down
  • handling failures

When you use Lambda as part of a serverless platform, you don’t need to provision, manage, and scale any servers although the servers are obviously there. As a developer you don’t need to concern yourself with any of the undifferentiated heavy lifting but there’s a very sophisticated architecture underneath to make that abstraction work.

Holly and Marc went through how AWS designed one of its fastest growing services. Lambda processes trillions of requests for customers across the world.

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AWS re:Invent 2018: Modern Application Development: A Leadership Discussion – SRV325

November 29th, 2018 No comments

20181129_200651529_iOSDavid Richardson, Deepak Singh & Ken Exner from AWS

This was in the beautiful Venetian Theatre.

This was a leadership discussion which had interested me as I wanted to hear a different perspective. I’ve done a fair few deep dive technical sessions so wanted an executive higher level view particularly looking at how to “do” faster innovation. AWS has so many choices across serverless, containers, and developer tools, how and what do you pick?

David, Deepak and Ken went through their executive view of development best practices and how they see developers actually being able to consume all the AWS toys to run those all important business applications.

David realised early on when joining AWS how it was a different company which institutionalised innovation by being able to make lot and lots of experiments. Moving to microservices with 2 pizza teams meant it wasn’t just a technology change but a leadership and culture change giving teams autonomy with accountability.

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Microservices approach particularly serverless is the modern way of only using business logic.

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AWS re:Invent 2018: The Day 3 Buzz

November 29th, 2018 No comments

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Into Day 3 of the conference which is when more of the announcements start rolling in!


Andy Jassy Keynote

As I’ve settled into Vegas time zone, this felt like an early wake up to make it in time to the keynote as there was going to be a queue. It would be far more sensible to stay in a hotel or other venue and watch remotely but feeling the reactions in the room for the announcements seems more interesting.

The keynote was streamed to some big spaces in the other conference venues and a good change this year was also streaming it to many more of the breakout sessions rooms all across the venues so you had more chance of seeing the keynote without queuing like crazy.

AWS has made so many announcements in the build-up to re:Invent one wonders whether they’re trying to hit a particular release number to flash onto the big screen! A quick way to see the list of announcements is to look at AWS What’s New 2018:

CEO Andy Jassy as usual was master of disclosure.

I had no intention of live blogging the keynote, far too much information and others who are quicker typists!

There was a DELUGE of announcements, some recaps from the few weeks and many new…I needed to take stock a few times, pause and try to make sense of it all.

I blogged about separately: AWS re:Invent 2018: Andy Jassey Keynote Thoughts

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AWS re:Invent 2018: Werner Vogels Keynote Thoughts

November 29th, 2018 No comments

image

Thanks to Eric Hammond for the great pic!

Some people say Werner is still delivering the long keynote from last year and we’re just coming in to see another instalment! Andy Jassy yesterday may be talking to the executives, today’s the turn of Werner to talk more technical and give us some of his considerable wisdom (you do know Werner isn’t just some “standard” tech CTO but one of the world’s recognised academic authorities on distributed systems now putting his brain into practical action at AWS).

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Werner talks tech but also threads a about developing a new architecture for cloud use. Sure, you can just migrate your existing workloads to AWS but that’s going to cost you and generally keep your current complexity but now running somewhere else. Werner always advocates to truly take advantage of cloud you need a new architecture. His job is to sell you this vision so you take the time and effort to refactor your applications for the cloud to achieve a better business outcome and of course pay AWS rather than go somewhere else.

This keynote was billed as the Serverless Keynote
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AWS re:Invent 2018: DeepRacer Workshop – AIM206

November 29th, 2018 No comments

20181129_025938202_iOSDe Clercq Wentzel from AWS

Well, we were super lucky. I was excited before as you can’t get more hackathon than a Robocar Rally which this was in the session list as. During the Andy Jassy keynote this morning, DeepRacer was announced which is a machine learning car.

I’m the first to admit I haven’t done much machine learning so this appealed to me as it was for developers with no prior ML or robotic experience.

You can play along: https://github.com/aws-samples/aws-deepracer-workshops

We joined up pit crews, I teamed up with fellow UK VMUGer and Virtual Design Master winner Chris Porter (I’m not ashamed to grab onto the knowledge coattails when needed!).

The idea was to use machine learning to train the car in a virtual racetrack built in RoboMaker to learn to stay on track. One the training model was done, the data could be downloaded to the actual car and then the car would attempt to race a real track using the learning model from the training data.

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Reinforcement Learning

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AWS re:Invent 2018: Inside AWS: Technology Choices for Modern Applications – SRV305

November 29th, 2018 No comments

20181129_013016739_iOSTim Bray from AWS

Tim Bray from AWS, very distinguished software engineer, developed XML and JSON!

AWS is happy to sell you some of everything. The AWS console is a vast list of choices, but how do you chose when there are multiple technologies to link together to achieve an outcome, never mind multiple options of the dame thing? Multiple databases, multiple streaming options, multiple instance types. Serverless or containers? Is Java over?

AWS has always maintained it doesn’t have an opinion on which services to chose. When it comes to building AWSs own services, their engineering groups DO have some strong opinions. Tim’s presentation was all about navigating the high-level choices available.

What is a modern application? This was a question which came out of the analyst relations group who wanted guidance on what services to use.

You have 4 ways to modernise apps

  1. Lift and Shift:  -> EC2
  2. Re-platform: VMs –> containers
  3. Refactor: monoliths –> microservices
  4. Re-invent: host-fleets -> serverless

Modern applications

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AWS re:Invent 2018: Build a Photo-Sharing App with AI-Powered Face and Object Detection – MOB306

November 29th, 2018 No comments

Dustin Noyes & Gabriel Hollombe from AWS

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Another workshop, so my fingers have been getting a workout today, and no easy passive listening to speaker sessions for me!

This workshop was another one I didn’t have any previous knowledge of and seemed interesting to learn something new like my previous session: AWS re:Invent 2018: Get Started with Deep Learning and Computer Vision Using AWS DeepLens – AIM316

You can play along at home with good instructions https://amplify-workshop.go-aws.com

We had to build a data-driven web app using React that lets users upload to shared, secure photo galleries. <sidebar>I’m struggling enough with photo management at home as it is, multiple people, too many photos and complicated ways to sync between devices, back them up and make them available to view! </sidebar>

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AWS re:Invent 2018: Enterprise Governance: Build Your AWS Landing Zone – ENT351

November 28th, 2018 No comments

Lon Miller, Wallace Printz, Brandon Bouier, all from AWS

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Back into the workshop mode, this time for what I think is an interesting one, not just from the tech perspective but broader IT and business use. AWS Landing Zone helps you more quickly set up a secure, multi-account AWS environment based on AWS best practices. AWS obviously has a large number of options, so setting up an account can take some time. AWS Landing Zones is deployed into an AWS Organisations account.

Why Multiple Accounts?

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AWS re:Invent 2018: Andy Jassy Keynote Thoughts

November 28th, 2018 No comments

20181128_153441774_iOSAs I’ve settled into Vegas time zone, this felt like an early wake up to make it in time to the Amazon CEO Andy Jassy keynote as there was going to be a queue. It would be far more sensible to stay in a hotel or other venue and watch remotely but feeling the reactions in the room for the announcements seems more interesting and the DJ is always cool!

I had no intention of live blogging the keynote, far too much information and others who are quicker typists!

There were SO many announcements he went through, some from the previous week or so and many new…at some stages I actually felt a little overwhelmed, not only from the number of announcements but more for the implications of what we’re seeing.

A quick way to see the list of announcements for the whole week is to look at The AWS What’s New 2018

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Andy bragged about 53000+ people attending and gave an overview of the business, basically millions of customers and a ton of money coming in, 27 Billion in fact, 46% growth.

Andy then used the house band to play a set of 5 songs which formed a list of 5 sentiments: What builders want?

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