Ep 2: What we’ve learned so far at AWS re:Invent…

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Lesson two: Amazon’s goal is to bring the benefits of serverless to as much of its existing ‘serverful’ software as possible.

With free beers handed out and a covers band playing Crowded House covers to gee up the crowd, there was a party atmosphere in the Venetian as re:Invent kicked off in style last night. Peter DeSantis walked onto the stage for his self-styled ‘Monday Night Live’ keynote more like a rockstar than AWS’s senior vice president of utility computing. And he certainly played the hits.

‘Serverless’ was the buzzword for the night… Desantis announced three new serverless innovations to help customers analyse and manage their data at scale, simplify their operations, and, in doing, so save them both time and money. Among them was an update to Amazon Redshift Serverless that will use AI to predict big workloads and direct more resources at them to stop the whole system slowing down.

And while generative AI is still widely expected to be the biggest talking point this week, Desantis finished by focusing even further into the future – quantum computing. He gave a sneak peek of Amazon’s new custom designed gold-coated quantum chip. The tech giant is getting in early on the nascent technology expected to bring yet another digital revolution.

As is custom at re:Invent, several other big reveals continued to drop throughout the day. And for a company famous for turning doors into desks, one announcement made perfect sense. Amazon has repurposed an old piece of consumer hardware – the $110 Fire TV Cube – into a brand new offering for its cloud customers. The idea was to create a cheap but effective piece of kit for the large number of people still working from home to access their virtual desktops on AWS. The $195 Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client  can be ordered already pre-configured – and will save companies forking out on expensive laptops up to six times the cost, AWS said.

And while Jeff Bezos spends billions trying to get us all into space, extraterrestrials are reminding us of the power we already have here on earth. Creative agency Experience.Monks debuted its sassy new robot alien ‘Wormhole’, created using AWS’s roster of generative AI tools. When asked a question, Wormhole uses a pre-trained model for automatic speech recognition, hosted on SageMaker. It then relies on a serverless chatbot tool built on Amazon Bedrock to generate an answer, and uses text-to-speech software Amazon Polly to answer out loud. Asked in a demo for its thoughts on re:Invent so far, Wormhole’s reply echoed the thoughts of many of us here: ‘AWS rules Vegas, baby!’

With the announcements coming thick and fast all day, AWS customers face a ‘daunting challenge’ keeping up with them, our head of solution architecture for North America, Robert Rodriguez, said yesterday. The AWS veteran said his job at re:Invent was to make sure VeUP customers did not miss out on all the vital updates that will ultimately save them money. AWS might seem like a ‘constant road of change’, he said, but this was ultimately its strength. ‘If we ever stop, it’s a problem, we need to keep innovating’.


Come meet Robert and the rest of the team at VeUP, an official partner of AWS, at booth  #264 today.