Around 9am on a relatively warm Saturday morning in the middle of winter, the brand new Amazon office located in Gachibowli, Hyderabad suddenly had their reception overflowing by a lot of new faces lining up with one word on all of their lips – “reCap”. “A lot” here means well over 200 people with the final tally coming close to about 250! The excitement in the air was palpable and soon they would all be part of the largest AWS community gathering that Hyderabad has seen so far. They were all there for one reason, to learn what’s new on AWS and updates from the recent re:Invent conference held in Las Vegas last month.
On behalf of the AWS User Group community(AWSUGHYD), a big thank you to everyone who attended the event and making it a grand success, much more than we had expected! As a community, our goal has always been to help others who are new to AWS to get to understand the platform and it’s services better while at the same time, gain deeper insights into best practices and methodologies for those who are already actively working on AWS. We do this by conducting meetups in Hyderabad on different topics every month as well as larger events like this reCap session. We would also like to thank Amazon for providing their office space to conduct this event.
Scenes from re:Invent 2019 in Las Vegas:
AWS re:Invent is an annual conference that showcases new services and features that AWS has been working on over the past year to make the AWS platform more feature rich, cost efficient, faster actioning and productive to use. During the re:Invent conference, it has become a common sight to see AWS announce well over 250+ updates over a 2-3 day time period. For the average person working a regular day job, this becomes incredibly difficult to keep up with. The event ‘re:Invent reCap’ was designed specifically to put these updates in perspective and help the common AWS user by picking the most important updates and help understand how it can improve their daily use of AWS.
The agenda for the event was set out as below:
- 09:30am – Introduction
- 09:45am – Compute & Storage Updates
- 10:15am – Databases & Analytics Updates
- 10:45am – Tea Break
- 11:00am – AI/ML Updates
- 11:30am – Security & Networking Updates
- 12:00pm – Infra & Beyond
- 12:15pm – Q & A
- 12:30pm – Closing
We had 3 speakers for the event. Myself Faizal Khan, leading a born in the cloud startup ‘ecomm.in’. I was scheduled to talk on Compute, Storage, Security, Networking & Infra updates. Then there was John Solomon, a cloud consultant from Amazon who would talk on Database & Analytics updates. We had one more cloud engineer from Amazon, Hari who was scheduled to talk on AI/ML updates. Needless to say, also Kapil Dutta, Founder at Coderplex for co-organizing this event.
With a full house as seen in the images below, we couldn’t wait to get started!
After a quick introduction, we jumped straight into the Computing & Storage updates, starting with the latest new EC2 instances type, the Inf1 instances that supports applications doing machine learning inference. Other new updates that were covered were the new Graviton 2 ARM based processors, Quantum Technology service Amazon Braket, AWS Compute optimizer for EC2 cost optimization, Managed Kubernetes(EKS) on AWS Fargate, EC2 Image builder to streamline your AMI creation pipelines, Direct APIs for EBS Snapshots, Amazon S3 Access Points.
On the Security & Networking front, we discussed CloudTrail Insights to detect unusual activities, IAM Access Analyzer for cross-account access verification, Inter-region peering for Transit Gateways & Network Gateway Manager for Single pane of glass for global connectivity, Accelerated Site-to-Site VPN and VPC Ingress Routing for traffic filtering & inspection.
On the topics of extending your cloud beyond the regions, we explored AWS Outposts which is the same AWS Hardware but deployed in your DC, Local Zones which allow for ultra low latency computing and AWS Wavelength which provides AWS compute and Storage inside telco provider’s 5G networks.
Here are some more pictures from the above topics.
We had John from Amazon give updates on Databases & Analytics domain. It included Machine Learning Integration for Amazon Aurora with Sagemaker and Comprehend, Amazon RDS Proxy for scalability and resiliency, Ultrawarm for Amazon Elasticsearch to reduce costs, Amazon Redshift Materialized Views, Redshift Data Lake Export to S3, Redshift Federated Query, Redshift on RA3 instances and Advanced Query Accelerator (AQUA) a hardware-accelerated cache for 10x performance on data warehouses .
Hari, who also works with Amazon gave us some insights into the updates in AI/ML space. The topics included General availability (GA) of Amazon Transcribe Medical for Conversational Transcription of Medical information, Amazon Rekognition Custom Labels & Amazon Augmented AI for human review in ML workflows. New AI releases included Amazon Fraud Detector for realtime fraud detection at scale, Contact Lens for Amazon Connect for automated quality customer experience, Amazon Code Guru for automated review of code using AI and Amazon Kendra for Natural Language Processing. New ML updates had Amazon SageMaker Studio an IDE for ML, SageMaker Notebooks for secure & fast sharing, SageMaker Experiments to manage training experiments, SageMaker Model Monitor for continuous monitoring, Sagemaker Autopilot for automated model creation, Deepracer improvements (Deepracer EVO) and new AWS DeepComposer for music generation using Machine Learning.
Some more shots of the above topics.
We did not call it a day after the updates, there were a ton of goodies left to give away to the amazing audience who kept us engaged and on our feet. iPad bags, Amazon water bottles, AWS Badges, Table toys & stickers were given out to the audiences who could answer the quirky questions our organizing teams came up with. Some attempted to answer all the regions of AWS, some attempted to list out all the features of S3 and some were challenging each other in listing out the maximum services on AWS! It was a laughter fest and everyone’s active participation just made it golden!
Before we closed out the session, we had several team members from Amazon both in technical and business side who introduced themselves to the audience and offered any help or support anyone needed while working on the AWS platform. Few names I recall are Sourabh (Senior Technical Trainer), Rakesh Vangari (Area Head – Business Team).
The AWSUGHYD team also bought to everyone’s attention about the upcoming AWS Community Day in Hyderabad which has been planned for the month of April. This will be the first AWS Community Day in Hyderabad and I look forward to seeing everyone of you there for more learning and fun!
Here are some of the scenes from the goodies distribution & closing.
We want to say a big thank you to everyone who attended, including the volunteers that helped with the event. Thank you for being a wonderful audience! Leave a comment below and tell us what you thought about the event. And do not forget to share this article.
The slides for the event are available at: https://www.slideshare.net/secret/dtJxu6WJGrdbuk
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