AWS re:Invent Recap: The Future of Cloud

By Ibby Rahmani

Published on December 15, 2021

Alation recently attended AWS re:invent 2021 … in person! After many months of remote meetings, it was, finally, time to get together again. Among the 20,000 attendees there was a great deal of relief and excitement to see people in ‘3D’.

AWS Keynote: “Still Early Days” for Cloud

Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS, brought this energy in his opening keynote, welcoming a packed room and looking back on the progress of AWS.

It’s only been 15 years since AWS took the first steps to the cloud with S3 and EC2, which launched in 2006. With the database services launched soon after, developers had all the tools they needed to create applications without having to create the infrastructure to run them.

This concept has proven revolutionary. Unburdening IT from infrastructure management has driven an amazing transformation; today, mission-critical applications run across 80 regions in the world, using thousands of services on over 475 instance types.

But despite these accomplishments, Selipsky stressed that it is “still early days” for AWS, and everyone working on cloud solutions. Cloud accounts for less than 5% of global IT spending, according to estimates. Major shifts around how people use technology and data in the cloud are only just beginning.

Re:Invent 2021 Keynote by AWS CEO Adam Selipsky.

AWS’ Top Cloud Challenges

Selipsky outlined several challenges to widening cloud adoption. Two standouts were:

Migrating data to the cloud quickly and compliantly is difficult, and IT leaders are asking:

  • How do you move all the right data?

  • How do you speed migration?

  • How do you understand which data is important?

  • “Can we move that data?”

AWS has insights into their own data, but not that of others. They need a platform to connect and learn.

Compliance in the Cloud (GDPR, CCPA) is still in in its infancy and tough to navigate, with people wondering:

  • How do you manage policies in the cloud?

  • How do you provide access and connect the right people to the right data?

AWS has created a way to manage policies and access, but this is only for data lake formation. What about other data sources?

Other Keynote Highlights

Lectures showcased how AWS is helping people drive innovation, modernization, and operational efficiency.

Today, AWS is supporting growth in the bio-sciences,climate forecasts, driverless cars and many more new-age use cases. To that end, AWS is making inroads into the analytics and machine learning space.

Customer stories shed light on the cloud benefits for analytics. Today, people drive collaboration and faster innovation with AWS. They do this by leveraging this single platform, which integrates with thousands of partners and supports 475 instances to unify data across an enterprise. AWS positions itself as an end-to-end solution with full integration of BI, ML, storage and database tools, and customer stories support this.

Quick Takes: Cloud Use Cases & Stories

Breakout sessions shared cutting-edge use cases that hint at the future of cloud computing. These included:

  • Johnson & Johnson is migrating its entire enterprise data warehouse to the cloud to get better performance, reduced costs, and superior scalability.

  • Redshift, AWS’ data warehouse that powers data exchange, provides 3x performance (3TB, 30 Tb, 100Tb dataset).

  • AWS is supporting green initiatives: Sessions covered new innovative advancements, including open data initiatives that provide new paths to space exploration

  • AWS provides end-to-end data strategy for ML use cases to address world challenges in biotech (pandemic), climate change, driverless cars, healthcare, and more

In Conclusion

In summary, AWS powers next-generation analytics with the best of both data lakes and purpose-built data stores. In effect, the cloud platform “puts your data to work”, helping you to build new experiences and reimagine old processes with a modern data architecture on AWS.

This brought our own product, Alation Cloud Service (ACS), into sharp focus. By pairing up ACS with AWS, joint customers are already increasing analyst productivity and trust in data.

On a personal note, it was great to attend this event in person, and the Alation team had a ball. Our booth raised $3,515 dollars for three local charities, and ran some fun giveaways for those who stopped by. Be sure to catch us next year!

  • AWS Keynote: “Still Early Days” for Cloud
  • AWS’ Top Cloud Challenges
  • Other Keynote Highlights
  • Quick Takes: Cloud Use Cases & Stories
  • In Conclusion
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