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AWS re:Invent 2017: The Day 4 Buzz

December 1st, 2017



I headed to the Venetian to watch the keynote remotely. Have to mention the breakfast at the Grand Luxe Cafe which was Churros French Toast!

I certainly wasn’t expecting this, it was excellent!


Werner Vogels Keynote

2017-11-30 08.55.23AWS CTO Werner Vogels wanted to use the keynote not for a slew of announcements but rather to revisit the original AWS keynote with “21st century architecture re:Imagined” and set out what the architecture should be for the next few years.

I’m not going to go through the whole keynote as this is covered elsewhere but some things that I found interesting.

Human Interfaces

He talked about the importance of data and the interfaces to it. They will become more human rather than machine like voice with Alexa. Voice unlocks digital systems for everyone.

Alexa for Business was announced which will allow you to join conference calls easily and know where you are and who you are to automatically join a call. I wonder how this will all work in open plan offices. Werner says we need to start thinking about voice as an interface with a conversation rather than just a webpage output to interact with back end systems.

He then talked about the three different “planes”, Admin, Control and Data. I like the addition of the Admin plan which I haven’t seen before.

  • He listed some architecture guidelines
  • Stop guessing capacity needs
  • Test systems in production
  • Automate to make architectural experimentation
  • Drive your architecture using data
  • Improve through Game Days

The importance of security was reiterated and it needs to underpin everything you do, he called it ubiquitous security. “Security must come before every feature development”

Then Werner spent more time talking about the actual architectural patterns and spent a good amount of time covering availability, recovery, chaos engineering.

It’s certainly worth watching if you’re wondering how future applications should be built. Other than the chaos engineering there was nothing ground breaking from a new architectural paradigm but its certainly worth making sure you are doing your application architecture with the “Well Architected Framework”

The future

Arguably, the simplest, most important line from the whole keynote:
“The true premise of cloud is you only have to write business logic. Never have to pay for idle.”


This is what I was alluding to yesterday in my The Day 3 Buzz post. AWS is becoming such a powerful “platform” that there is no need for traditional things you’re used to building yourself.

We are seeing an incredible amount of service building by AWS itself to create some pretty impressive capabilities. I’d go far enough to say that if you’re thinking of installing or running any sort of platform yourself be it infrastructure, platform, database, analytics, containers…just don’t bother.”

Although I understand the keynote line and it is important, don’t forget there is still going to be a bunch of cloud building “code”, be it CloudFormation or Terraform to actually build these environment so until business logic builds tables, analytics engines and does security then it isn’t entirely possible.

CMP311 – Auto Scaling Prime Time: Target Tracking Hits the Bullseye at Netflix

Tara Van Unen from AWS and Vadim Filanovsky from Netflix

Auto Scaling allows you to scale cloud resources automatically based on what your customers are up to. Target Tracking scaling policies for Auto Scaling helps this by allowing easier dynamic scaling and makes it quicker to set up with more metrics to use.

For quicker setup of auto scaling, you can move beyond step scaling and use Target Tracking to set a target value on your scaling metric, it is like set and forget with a thermostat.

You can select from a broad range of app load metrics and Auto Scaling does its thing in a more clever dynamic way.  You can use this as expected for EC2 but also now for things like DynamoDB so you can scale by read and write IOPs so Auto Scaling has power with more services.

Netflix is spending $6 billion on original content this year and target tracking scaling is key to give them the round the world availability and performance they need.

An OK session but probably a little down the rabbit hole for me.


Off to the Aria for the afternoon. Aria also wins the award for best food quality, although I’m not sure whether brussel sprouts is a wise choice when many many people are going to be in close proximity in the same rooms!

2017-11-30 13.14.55 2017-11-30 13.14.50 2017-11-30 13.14.52

SRV401 – Become a Serverless Black Belt: Optimizing Your Serverless Applications

Ajay Nair from AWS and Peter Sbarski from A Cloud Gur

Another session on architectural best practices and a bunch of handy little things to help you out. Super deep dive into Serverless, I wrote about it separately:

Become a Serverless Black Belt: Optimizing Your Serverless Applications – SRV401

SRV305 – What’s New in Serverless

Tim Wagner the AWS Serverless GM and Jeet Kaul from FICO

This session was about new things in serverless.

I blogged about it separately: What’s New in Serverless– SRV305

re:Play party

I then joined the throngs for the official party re:Play with DJ Snake from France. Lots of other things going on in the LINQ lot. It was actually a great party for a conference do, seriously impressive venue, they built a bridge across a road to get people there! Massive space, plenty of drinks, games, music, what more could you ask for!

2017-11-30 20.46.02 2017-11-30 20.47.44

2017-11-30 20.56.05 2017-11-30 20.59.14

2017-11-30 21.06.50 2017-11-30 21.08.00 2017-11-30 21.08.27

2017-11-30 21.11.36 2017-11-30 21.12.22

 2017-11-30 21.14.07 2017-11-30 21.14.31

2017-11-30 21.40.19 2017-11-30 21.46.442017-11-30 21.54.35 2017-11-30 22.03.332017-11-30 22.12.29 2017-11-30 21.12.29

2017-11-30 22.25.26 2017-11-30 21.46.44


That’s it from me for the daily posts. I fly back tomorrow so not much conference time for me so will attempt to consolidate my million thought and write something to sum it up.

Its been an amazing experience, I’ve learnt so much and so glad I came!  Smile

Please let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to chat about, happy to spread the knowledge.

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