In the part 1 of my reflections regarding the AWS re:Invent conference reflections I described the overall preparations and general practicalities related to the conference. In this part 2 I describe some reflections regarding the Squad and Expo activities.
Expo at the Venetian
The expo area is just huge. It is amazing what a vibrant ecosystem of companies, tools and services have grown around AWS. My recommendation is to reserve at least half a day just walking down the aisles, have short discussions with company representatives and and read the introductions regarding the tools and services companies provide, and realize that everything is related to the cloud one way or the other.
While walking at the expo area I had a conversation with my colleague Timo Tapanainen regarding what kind of companies, tools and products there are, could we shortly categorize them in the blog post I would write later in the evening. We did a short categorization. There seemed to be a lot of companies providing various consultation services and related products regarding how to migrate your services to the cloud, how to do big data on cloud, security in the cloud etc. Then there seemed to be a lot of companies providing different DevOps tools. A lot of companies provided kind of cloud abstraction services related how to do hybrid cloud. It is obvious that in this year’s re:Invent conference artificial intelligence / machine learning has been big news and you could see it also in the expo area — many companies were providing services and tangible AI/ML products. One category was especially interesting. There were quite a few companies who provided products to manage Docker containers and Kubernetes. Let’s see how many of these companies are still kicking and alive after a couple of years — AWS just announced new container services: Fargate (abstraction to run containers without needing to manage cluster of EC2 resources yourself), and EKS (Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes).
Squad at Aria
The Squad area at Aria comprises some smaller company stands (main expo area is at the Venetian). There are also interesting demonstration stands where enthusiastic AWS developers show innovative ways to combine various AWS services to their own services or to create new tangible products.
AWS has managed to create a vast ecosystem of companies, products, services and enthusiastic developers who will create together a self-enforcing cycle which seems to make AWS just stronger and stronger every year.