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In the News: Sydney AWS Summit 2017

The 2017 Sydney AWS Summit impressed on many levels.  Not only was the event seamless and well-tuned but the content (especially from the Key-note speakers) delivered a message befitting of the times – Adapt or die!

Adaptability and agility were certainly the key take-aways from the Summit, something that Amazon clearly wants us to increasingly associate with its Web Services – like we hadn’t already!  Spotlighting the relatively new features of AWS was Glenn Gore, the company’s Chief Solutions Architect, and in particular the focus on Lambda Amazon’s serverless Cloud computing platform.

From the advent of Lambda, AWS are challenging the nature of Software Development – which over the decades has already progressed from Monolithic blocks of code into more manageable components and now mirco-services.  However significant time was spent talking about evolving these micro-services further into matrices of individual functions, namely “ephemeral functions”.  Gore described this concept as Pieces of business logic coded and linked together, meaning in the case of one function failing the application will only lose that particular feature whilst still operating at say 95%

Under the hood of the Lambda Service is of course EC2 Instances but without the headache of actually having to manage any “Virtual Machines” and with the cost benefit of only being charged when the function and resources are used.  All we need to worry about now is simply the code, and perhaps monitoring the function itself for errors and performance, something which our friends at Datadog currently know all about.

Continuing the theme of serverless platforms was the introduction of Athena – amazon’s serverless query product which uses standard SQL to search data on S3, eliminating the need for complex ETL jobs to prepare data for analysis.  Again the pricing model will be charged per query.  This is a very interesting development in the use case for S3 and I’m sure there are many customers who will now make use of this great new feature to integrate with QuickSight for data visualization.

So what else was in the news – well a big one (in case you missed the March announcement and one we have been waiting for here in Australia) is the availability of the Elastic File System service (EFS) in the Sydney APAC region, most welcome news for applications and clusterware that relies on shared storage architecture which mainstream cloud providers have neglected to offer until now.

Of course there was so much more going on at the Summit and unfortunately I would have liked to attend every session over the two day period but I will catch those seminars I missed on the ‘Summit On Demand’ service which should be available soon.  As for my closing line, I would like to leave you with a quote from the Summit which the CEO from Xero used –  “It is not the big fish which eats the small fish, it’s the fast fish which eats the slow fish.

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