AWS re:Invent Recap: Freedom for Builders

December 04 2018

AppDynamics was excited to participate in one of this year’s biggest cloud events: AWS re:Invent.

AWS re:Invent continues to build momentum. Amazon’s annual user conference, now in its seventh year, took place last week in Las Vegas with more than 50,000 builders on hand to share stories of cloud successes and challenges. The atmosphere was exciting and fast-paced, with Amazon once again raising the bar in the public cloud space. And AWS, which unveiled a plethora of new capabilities before and during the show, continues to delight and innovate at a rapid pace.

Are We Builders?

In his opening keynote, AWS CEO Andy Jassy shared a new theme that reverberated throughout the event: software engineers are now “builders,” not “developers.” Indeed, the internet recently has been ablaze with discussion and debate on this moniker shift.

Whether you see yourself as a builder or developer, Jassy helped categorize builders into different personas for enterprises that either like or dislike guardrails. (In AWS, a guardrail is a high-level rule that prevents deployment of resources that don’t conform to policies, thereby providing ongoing governance for the overall environment.)

If you like guardrails you could easily implement machine learning labeling with SageMaker. Not a fan of guardrails? AWS still focuses on core compute, which helps autoscale, for example, the exact number of GPUs a machine learning process needs with Amazon Elastic Inference. Still, the question remains: Are we builders or developers? The debate likely won’t end soon, but one thing is certain: the lower bar of entry for application infrastructure gives us the freedom to pick the best building blocks for our AWS environments.

Simplifying Cloud Migration

Depending on where you are in your cloud migration journey, the move to a public cloud vendor could cannibalize your development stack. AWS certainly has lowered the bar of entry, making diverse application infrastructure available to more individuals and organizations. In fact, you potentially could build a robust API without writing a single line of code on AWS.

Freedom to Transform

Another builder-related term popular at re:Invent was “freedom.” The most notable example was the series of announcements for databases evolving to Amazon Timestream, a managed time series database—check out the hashtag #databasefreedom to learn more. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Jassy’s “builder” designation, today’s enterprise is ripe for transformation. Partnering with AppDynamics can help you become an Agent of Transformation.

AWS in Your DataCenter

Some big news from the show made migrating your datacenter to AWS even more tangible. AWS has partnered with VMware to introduce AWS Outposts, an interesting proposition that seems to address the one place AWS was not reaching—the physical datacenter. Microsoft Azure has a similar product in Azure Stack, a combined software and hardware offering with the established management capabilities of VMware. Innovation in both platforms is sure to drive greater competition.

A Driverless Future

The dream of autonomous vehicles has been building ever since the first automobile hit the road. For re:Invent attendees who used Lyft to get around, this dream is now far more real. Lyft partnered with Aptiv to provide autonomous transport up and down the Vegas Strip, allowing those who opted in to be taken from session to session in a self-driving car.

Amazon Web Services also garnered a lot of buzz by introducing AWS DeepRacer, a scaled-down autonomous model race car. This isn’t just another toy, however. DeepRacer is a great tool for teaching machine learning concepts such as reinforcement learning, and for mastering underlying AWS services such as AWS SageMaker. Coupled with the large number of autonomous rides powered by Aptiv, many attendees will no doubt be inspired to use DeepRacer to study up on ML concepts.

AppD at re:Invent

AppDynamics’ Subarno Mukherjee leading an AWS session.

AppDynamics Senior Solutions Architect Subarno Mukherjee led an AWS session called “Five Ways Application Insights Impact Migration Success.” Subarno offered great insights into the importance of the customer and user experience, and how it impacts the success of your public cloud migration.

AppDynamics ran ongoing presentations in our booth throughout the show, covering the shift of cloud workloads to serverless and containers, maturing DevOps capabilities and processes, and the impending shift to AIOps.

Attendees showed a lot of interest in our Lambda Beta Program, too. Feel free to take a look at our program and, if interested, sign up today!

AppD Social Team

The AppDynamics social team was in full swing at re:Invent. From handing out prizes and swag to helping expand the AppDynamics community, we had a great time meeting our current and future customers. AppDynamics and AWS also co-hosted a fantastic happy hour at The Yardbird after Thursday’s sessions.

See You Next Year

We were thrilled to be a part of this year’s re:Invent. The great conversations and shared insights were fantastic. We’re looking forward to expanding our AWS ecosystem and partnerships—and to returning to re:Invent in 2019!



Ravi Lachhman
Ravi Lachhman is an evangelist at AppDynamics focusing on the Cloud and DevOps spaces. Prior to AppDynamics, Ravi has spent time at Mesosphere, Red Hat, and IBM helping enterprises and the federal sector design the next generation of distributed platforms. When not helping to further the technology communities, Ravi enjoys traveling the world especially with his stomach.

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