Sifting Through the Jibber Jabber of Amazon’s Annual Cloud Conference.

14,000 nerds (including myself) just descended on Las Vegas to drink, gamble, party with Skrillex, and get first-hand information from Amazon Web Services on their existing solutions and new announcements.  You can already search Google for some in-depth analysis of each announcement.   But, this article is for those who think DevOps is a division of the military, and a g2.2xlarge  sounds like a confidential report on some sort of husky garment.

Amazon announced several new security and administrative enhancements, all seemingly aimed at the enterprise end-user to make the cloud a more trusted solution for large corporations.   Developers were rewarded with new ways to deploy code.   Faster servers, better security and easier management were appreciated enhancements.     The most interesting and potentially most disruptive new solutions overshadowed the other enhancements.

  • AWS Lamda – This service totally abstracts development code from cloud server hardware.   Now developers can deploy their code directly to the AWS service instead of to AWS EC2 instances (servers).     At time of announcement, only Node.js applications are supported and only 3 AWS services are supported.   But the concept is potentially game-changing.   Today developers often write code to a server environment (AWS EC2) to run routine polling services – for example, a server might need to run every few seconds to see if any users have requested a service from your website.  With Lamda, this administrative overhead is completely removed by separating the software from the server hardware.   Servers are placed into action in response to an event.   Exactly how this works was unclear in the keynote presentation, but the result was impressive. With Lamda, your application is lying in wait in the AWS cloud with no servers running (and therefore no usage fees accumulating).   Within milliseconds of an event, AWS resources can be called into action.
  • Docker Support – Docker is a relatively new application development and deployment method for Linux and Windows.   Docker, like the name suggests, makes applications easily portable, like a barge delivering a container.  Docker eliminates the need for considering hardware or hypervisors when developing applications.   AWS announced new support for the Docker container service – eliciting cheers from the developers in the crowd.   It was as if Marvel had announced new superpowers for the X-Men.   AWS announced support only for container services on Linux with this release.   Developers on the service will no longer need to set up a private Docker repository in order to keep their applications built inside private.
  • Aurora – Amazon announced a new relational database service.   The database is reported to be 5 times faster than MySQL and will have the enterprise features of high-end expensive databases running high-end and expensive SAN storage.     In a nutshell, Amazon just fired a massive shot over the bow of Oracle and Microsoft.    Aurora was estimated to be 1/10th the price of enterprise databases (ie: Oracle, Microsoft).   Of all the announcements, this one seemed most like the start of a religious holy war.   AWS took a first step in commoditizing enterprise databases and ending the most expensive form of vendor lock-in for large companies.   Anurag Gupta, general manager of the Aurora service seemed emotional when he announced this service, like his baby boy had grown up, joined the army and was about to be deployed.   Meaning “new dawn” it will be exciting to see what becomes of Aurora.

Relus Technologies helps companies prepare for and migrate to the cloud.    We support legacy infrastructure, architect cloud solutions, implement complex consolidation and migration projects, and manage hybrid and cloud environments.   We help companies accelerate innovation.


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