At mso, our hosting platform of choice is Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Gavin started off with some stats for the event, telling everyone that this year's event is the biggest AWS Summit London ever, with 12,000+ attendees and 65+ technical sessions, making it one of AWS’s biggest learning events of the year.
Andrew DixonTechnical Director
At mso, our hosting platform of choice is Amazon Web Services (AWS) and on Wednesday and Thursday AWS held several events at the Excel in London, and I was lucky enough to attend two of them, the Builders’ Day and the AWS Summit.
For the Builders’ Day, I attended three technical sessions focused on Containers and the services Amazon offer for using Containers with their services. These sessions started with an overview of all the services Amazon currently offer for using Containers on AWS along with some details of upcoming developments they have coming soon. The next two sessions were more in-depth, with one focused on the Elastic Container Service, including the new Fargate service and the second focused on the upcoming Elastic Kubernetes Service. These sessions gave me some excellent insight into Amazon’s Container services and a good understanding of how we can make use of these at mso going forward.
The AWS Summit day started off with a keynote presentation given by Gavin Jackson, Managing Director, AWS UK & Ireland and Werner Vogels, CTO for Amazon.
Gavin started off with some stats for the event, telling everyone that this year’s event is the biggest AWS Summit London ever, with 12,000+ attendees and 65+ technical sessions, making it one of AWS’s biggest learning events of the year. He then went on to say that the AWS business was strong and now was a $22B revenue business and had experienced 49% year on year growth (Q1 2018 -v- Q1 2017). The growth is being led by large enterprises now moving to cloud services at a rapidly increasing rate.
Werner then took to the stage to give the main bulk of the keynote and covered lots of information about existing services being offered by AWS, along with lots of information about new services either available now, or coming soon.
He initially covered some background information about how cloud computing has changed the hosting landscape and how AWS’s service offering is far ahead of any other cloud services provider, in the breadth and depth of its services.
Next, he spent some time talking about, what turned out to be this year’s hot topic of the summit, Machine Learning. AWS has been offering some machine learning services and tools for several years now, but in the past year, this offering has expanded rapidly and with their new SageMaker service, they are trying to put machine learning into the hands of everyone, not just data scientists. They also now have a range of “pre-built” machine learning tools, which can be used “out-of-the-box”, these are:
Werner then invited Dr Ali Parsa from Babylon Health to take to the stage to explain how they are using AWS machine learning to help provide an initial diagnosis before seeing a doctor to help real doctors see more people and provide better diagnoses, helping bring affordable health care to everyone on Earth. It was interesting to hear Ali speak about how, through the use of AWS’s Machine Learning technology, they are able to provide people all over the world, with high-quality health care at affordable prices, by reducing the “manpower” required to provide the health care services.
Werner then moved on to talk a bit about AWS’s database services and how they are moving their own Aurora database service forward with some interesting new features, including:
Backtrack – rewind to a previous point-in-time specifically helpful for testing
A true “multi-master” database, allowing you to create multiple read/write master instances across multiple Availability Zones
Serverless – no provisioning, automatically scales, starts up and shuts down automatically and pay per second only for the capacity you use
Next, he moved on to talk about security, a particular passion of his, and how AWS has security at the heart of everything it does. He explained that AWS now offers encryption everywhere, both in transit and storage and has a large range of security services, including certificate manager, where you can get certificates for free or bring your own. AWS also now offers Secret Manager, to store secrets safely and outside your application, as well as offering the ability to automatically rotate secrets, like database credentials, at a frequency of your choice, with no need for you to do anything.
Lastly, he spoke about compute at AWS and the range of different services they now offer with both server and serverless environments. He spoke about how a lot of compute is moving towards Containers and then about the Container services that AWS offered and the new Fargate service for running containers without having to run EC2 instances, which is now available in the EU West Ireland availability zone, as well as the Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), that is available for preview in Ireland.
If you are interested in seeing the keynote, Amazon have made it available to watch on-demand via Youtube:
After the keynote I, attended five breakout sessions, two about machine learning, one about containers and two about security, which was all very interesting and has given me some great new information about services we can make use of here at mso to improve all aspects of our web hosting setup.
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