December 4, 2017
0 min
James Hall
Director (Technology)
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AWS re:Invent - Largest developer conference in the world - Part One

James Hall
Director (Technology)

With over 40,000 attendees re:Invent is one of the largest developer conferences in the world. It hosts breakout sessions on every conceivable technology and practice as well as plenty of opportunities to speak with service teams and fellow AWS users.James Hall, Director of Parallax, brings you this three-part article discussing the innovative product launches available to review...

Product Launches

Kinesis Video Streams

The product is just what you might expect; it ingests video, stores, encrypts, and indexes it for simple analysis. This comes at the same time as the launch of their developer-friendly DeepLens.You can do either real-time or batch analysis. It can support audio and other timestamped data.

Amazon MQ

There seems to be a trend of Amazon launching competing products to their own recently. With Apache MQ a popular choice instead of Amazon’s own SQS, they seem to want to support the users that are using these open source alternatives.One of the many criticisms Amazon products have had in the past is that customers get too tied to them. This seems to be changing now with them offering simplified and managed versions of products that are already out there.,If you haven’t heard of Kubernetes, you’ve been living under a rock. ,"An interesting article expanding on the importance and refined focus on the innovation of open source tools,": is a great way to develop your knowledge behind vendor on ramps. It looks like the big providers are using open source as an on-ramp to their USP. If people can develop their workloads on-premise, and then move it to the cloud, they’re more than happy to let you do that.


Sumerian is a product we used before Amazon bought them. Originally named ‘GooCreate’, this is an in-browser 3D tool. It’s great for producing WebGL content. Amazon has rebadged and retooled this to better fit AR and VR experiences. They’ve come up with the idea of “hosts” which narrate a screen. This tries to gear it towards virtual classroom and training experiences.We used it on an interface for demonstrating different sponsorship packages at basketball games. You can move around from different standard camera views in the game so sponsors can see how their creative or spend limit changes the outcome.

Alexa for Business

This seemed to take a centre stage at Werner Vogels’ Thursday morning Keynote. The ‘killer’ feature seemed to be the idea that voice was a common interface to multiple APIs and products.I’m not entirely convinced yet, but the conference calling solutions looked really interesting.Some handy suggestions for the Alexa Business team: “Alexa: mute everyone who isn’t talking”.“Alexa: transcribe this to the email it could have been to begin with”


Another re:Invent, another announcement of compute instance types. If you’re interested in these, you probably already know about them because you’ve been asking for them.

Bare metal Instances

This is a brand new service from Amazon and comes after a major evolution in their hardware and software stack.They’ve been working on a project to move components of their hosting from software, off the CPU into hardware. This is the final fruit of their labour. They’ve moved the entire hypervisor into bespoke hardware, which I think is seriously impressive, and puts them way ahead of the competition.I wonder if this is what will allow them to become more competitive in the container space?This isn’t something I’d use personally, but I’m sure many customers that need high performance, or their internal container teams, will make a lot of use of it.

T2 Unlimited

This is the smallest instance size we all know and love, but now instead of just burstable CPU — you can have sustained high CPU usage and pay a flat fee. This sounds handy for microservices and the like.


If you haven’t heard of Kubernetes, you’ve been living under a rock. Developed at Google, this popular container hosting platform has seen a massive surge in interest over the years. It’s open source, but maintaining a highly-available cluster is not for the faint of heart. There is a lot you need to worry about.Thankfully, Amazon now provides EKS as a managed Kubernetes service. It works with Elastic Load Balancers, VPC, Private Link and CloudTrail. It is provided over multiple Availability Zones so will stay up in the event of a disaster.I’m really looking forward to this one.Amazon kept mentioning that 60%+ of Kubernetes deployments were actually on AWS. It will be interesting to see if they manage to get anyone to migrate across from Google.For part two of our article, please "click here": to learn more about AWS products including AWS Cloud9.