AWS re:Invent – what to expect

aws-reinventWhile I am planning on catching up all AWS re:Invent 2016 excitement via live stream, here are the themes I expect to see AWS addressing this week

Enterprise

I expect AWS to make more intentional efforts to reach out to enterprise segment of customers – through new marquee customer success stories, messaging, language or making features such as Amazon Config and Amazon Inspector more enterprise friendly. For example, Amazon Config rules currently doesn’t enable checking for right ELB configuration. I also expect to see additional capabilities/ features targeting enterprise customers to be announced – for example an equivalent of ADFS or an easier way of enabling ADFS on AWS.

AWS needs to win big among enterprise segment to maintain its lead among cloud service providers. To attract enterprise customers, just a slew of capabilities/ features is not enough; they are used to personalized attention from traditional enterprise vendors. AWS has to provide that and I expect to see more doubling down on AWS Enterprise Support.

I also expect to see announcements enabling IoT for Enterprises.

Containers

While Amazon ECS is good, it is not great and here is why – it is still EC2 instance centric and it doesn’t provide the flexibility of using container orchestration engine of choice. Without this choice, one has to retool (if already using something like Kubernetes) or limit to just being on AWS. Otherwise, one has to run containerized workloads on instances directly, after having built necessary infrastructure without using ECS.

Amazon ECS also only supports Docker containers. Though lack of support for other types of containers is not as much limiting as not supporting container orchestration engine of choice, it is a limitation.

I expect to see some announcements on enabling support for container orchestration engines such as Kubernetes natively. I also expect to see support for Bare-metal as a Service (BMaaS), with the capability of building container clusters on bare-metal servers directly. Oh well, there is a wannabe provider offering BMaaS, why not just overpower them!

Pricing

While AWS keeps cutting on-demand pricing, I expect to some announcements around Reserved Instance pricing and ECS pricing.

Currently one cannot get reserved instances discount for types of instances that are not ‘reserved’ ahead. It would be great to provide more flexibility around instance types to accommodate change in requirements of instance types. I expect to see more flexibility around Amazon Reserved Instances pricing.

I also expect to see some type of container based billing. Amazon ECS pricing is currently instance centric – with no additional charges to use ECS, only the cluster instances are charged.  At the outset, it appears great, but this forces one to think in terms of instances, not containers.

Summary

These are my expectations from AWS, let us see what this week beholds!

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