AWS re:Invent 2023 - Everything you need to know
Just like Christmas rolls around once a year, so too does AWS:reInvent – the largest and most comprehensive event in cloud computing. Back in fabulous Las Vegas, this year’s installment saw the best and brightest minds from across the industry gathering to share the latest insights and innovations in cloud computing.
AWS re:Invent covered several key themes this year, most notably, and perhaps unsurprisingly, generative artificial intelligence (AI). We heard about new technologies and services coming soon, as well as insightful talks on change management and innovation.
Here are some of our key takeaways from the 12th edition of AWS re:Invent.
Generative AI - Amazon Q
The main announcement from Adam Selipsky, Managing Director of AWS, was Amazon Q. This new type of assistant is powered by generative AI and is currently in preview. The goal is to bring generative AI to the forefront of the AWS experience in a range of situations, while enabling businesses to tailor the solution to suit their needs.
Amazon Q will deliver assistance to several different AWS services to simplify cloud development. It is designed to help businesses have conversations, solve problems, gain insights, and generate content, as well as connect company information to other systems. For example, it can be used with Amazon Connect to generate next best actions, or for conversational Q&A capability or network troubleshooting assistance.
On Amazon Q, Adam said: “Nasstar has considerable skills and experience in delivering contact centre solutions and is therefore ideally positioned to utilise exciting enhancements like this.”
Another key focus was cost management. Amazon announced a new AWS billing and cost management feature called the Cost Optimization Hub. This new solution makes it easier to identify, filter, aggregate and quantify savings for AWS cost optimisation recommendations so our customers can manage their AWS spend more efficiently.
Businesses can easily and interactively query cost optimisation recommendations including idle resource detection, resource rightsizing, and purchasing options across AWS regions and accounts, without data aggregation or processing. With the new Hub, it’s going to be easier to filter the lowest risk actions so quick changes can be made to make cost savings. For example, we can see if rollback is possible or if a device needs to be restarted immediately, making it easier to analyse the impact and decide on the best course of action.
David commented: “While cost management is important, it also brings another benefit – sustainability. The impressive home-grown AWS Graviton-based processors, capable of powering services like EC2 and Lambda, can not only reduce business costs but also reduce an organisation’s CO2 impact and output.”
AWS Support is invaluable and at re:Invent, it was announced that the portfolio of proactive Partner benefits would be expanded to leverage the extensive cloud expertise of AWS. The Partner-Led Support program provides access to a range of different diagnostic tools that AWS Support engineers already use, empowering partners like Nasstar to enhance the customer experience and support our customers even better.
With this release, we can accelerate the time it takes to resolve customer issues with secure access to several diagnostic tools used by AWS Support. We’ll have ongoing training to keep us up to date, and we can also utilise greater collaboration with AWS specialist Technical Account Managers.
Adding to this, Adam said: “Nasstar already has a high customer satisfaction rating in our next-generation managed service space, but this new development means we will have more tools in our kit that can help us provide support more quickly and offer additional value to our customers.”
Improving the resilience of critical workloads in the cloud has been a focus for some time, but AWS re:Invent highlighted its importance again, announcing methods for ensuring this played a key role in cloud computing.
The AWS Fault Injection Service (FIS) was announced to help put ‘chaos engineering’ into practice at scale. The service includes new scenarios that will enable us to demonstrate that our customer’s applications perform as intended if an AWS Availability Zone loses power or connectivity between regions is lost. At Nasstar, we can use this to conduct experiments that will build confidence in our applications should something go wrong, enabling us to analyse the results and improve resilience.
“While we always architect and design for failure, some previous failures have been difficult to test.” commented David. “With this new launch, we can continue to evolve our architectural design patterns and improve our proactive next generation managed service partner approach, while testing complex outage scenarios. For example, power issues taking out an entire Availability Zone.”
It comes as no surprise that serverless technology is still paving the way for the removal of ‘always on’ services, helping to reduce costs and improve sustainability. AWS re:Invent announced three new serverless innovations for Amazon Aurora, Amazon Redshift and Amazon Elasticache, building upon the work AWS has been doing since the first service was launched in 2006.
These new offerings aim to improve analysis and management of data at scale, while also dramatically simplifying operations. With Elasticache Serverless, highly available and scalable caches can be created quickly, eliminating the need to plan for, provision and manage cache cluster capacity. This will inevitably help to reduce database costs and improve response times.
Aurora Serverless will be great for getting up and running quickly with a cloud database, and as volumes increase, it will adjust and manage data shards automatically to remove the admin headache that traditional data management methods often incurred. Finally, Redshift Serverless is ideal for customers starting out with analytics or trialling new applications when the utilisation and throughput is unknown ahead of time.
David commented: “AWS continues to take on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of operating and industrialising core technologies with its impressive serverless-based offerings. This allows end users to focus on their core competencies, drive innovation and experiment without the time and skills needed for managing traditional tech.”
AWS at Nasstar
Nasstar is a proud AWS Premier Consulting Partner and we have a long history of working with our customers to solve their most complex cloud challenges. The new advancements announced at AWS re:Invent will help to cement our AWS skills and knowledge, helping us stay abreast of new innovations that can deliver the best value for our customers.