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AWS re:Invent 2020: Reflections of a Cloud CTO

Posted by Jacob Ben-David on Jan 11, 2021 7:45:00 AM
Jacob Ben-David
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Mor Cohen-Tal Headshot

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently wrapped up their annual conference. Due to the global pandemic, this conference was delivered exclusively online over a three-week period free for all attendees.

The flow of announcements from the event was overwhelming. The AWS re:Invent announcement page listed 145 new announcements (as of January 8) of new services, offerings, and surprises.

After re:Invent 2020 was concluded, we sat down with Mor Cohen-Tal, Cloud CTO & Platform Leader at Turbonomic, to hear her thoughts on which announcements caught her attention and why. Here is what she had to say.

Mor Cohen-Tal’s re:Invent 2020 Impressions

“At a high level, there were three key announcements and themes that I loved the most because I know they will offer the most impact for our customers.

The first, and you have to look at those two together, is ‘EKS Anywhere’ and ‘AWS Proton.’”

Amazon EKS Anywhere

Amazon EKS Anywhere

Image Credits: Amazon

”With Amazon EKS anywhere, AWS recognizes that there are environments other than AWS Cloud. They are doubling down on hybrid environments and the ability to move between different cloud providers and on-premises.

They're doing it specifically for containerized microservice-based applications, which enables customers with the ability to burst out from on-prem to the cloud. Let’s face it – this is something that has been mostly theoretical up until now, but AWS is making it practical with EKS anywhere.”

AWS Proton

AWS Proton

Image Credits: Amazon

“AWS proton is a combination of infrastructure-as-code in the CI/CD pipeline for easier deployment of microservice-based applications. When you look at EKS Anywhere and AWS proton, they marry very well together. Suppose you are thinking of microservice, big architectures, and looking at an application that might be rearchitected. In that case, whether it was a monolithic or a three-tier application previously, once you “microservice” an application, there are so many more components that you need to manage. Therefore, the pipeline infrastructure-as-code aspect makes a big difference in simplifying and making sense of some of the mess by streamlining microservice-based architectures' life-cycle in production. And together with EKS Anywhere, our customers will be able to do it in any environment that they want.”

Babelfish for Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL

Babelfish for Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL

Image Credits: Amazon

“The second announcement I found most interesting is Babelfish for Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL. With this announcement, AWS is trying to make it easier for customers to move into Amazon Aurora.

Let's start with Amazon Aurora, AWS’s built-in-house relational database offering that is similar to databases customers are familiar with, such as Microsoft SQL server. Amazon Aurora runs on Amazon RDS, enabling users to elastically add and remove resources in a non-disruptive fashion to Aurora, making it a fascinating option for customers.

But when moving into Amazon Aurora, organizations will need to write the integration into the database from scratch, which is often expensive and time-consuming. With Babelfish, AWS is introducing the ability to map and convert SQL servers into Aurora quickly by creating a plug-and-play ability to change the database behind the scenes without any disruption to the application.”


AWS Fault Injection Simulator (AKA Chaos Engineering as a service)

AWS Fault Injection Simulator

Image Credits: Amazon

“Let's start with Chaos Engineering in general. Chaos Engineering was a term that was originally coined by Netflix and the famous “Chaos Monkey” tool they open-sourced, among other tools. When you think about cloud-based architectures and cloud-native architectures, the entire goal behind them is to create highly-available, scalable, and resilient applications. It's not enough to have an elastic infrastructure, you also need to ensure that your applications react appropriately when things fail. That is what chaos engineering is all about -introducing chaos into the application and seeing how it behaves and reacts.

The Chaos-as-a-service, AWS Fault Injection Simulator, makes Chaos Engineering easy and streamlined (if your application was built on top of AWS services, of course). Organizations who will build that practice into their application life cycle, and their engineering practices, will be able to offer highly resilient applications that can handle scenarios and incidents that you don't necessarily expect.”

AWS re:Invent January 2021

AWS has also announced a three-day mini-re:Invent event, running January 12 – 14, 2021 with over 200 new sessions. Stay tuned for our take on any new announcements coming from the second part of re:Invent.

Watch On-Demand:  AWS vs. Azure Block Storage Services Deep-Dive for a detailed comparison and overview of the latest Amazon EBS announcements!

Topics: News, AWS, Events, Cloud

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