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AWS re:Invent 2015: A guide to Amazon's sold-out event

Introduction

Since its start in 2012, AWS re:Invent, Amazon Web Services' annual conference, has offered attendees a chance to dive into all things AWS public cloud. The sold-out event features a slew of workshops, hackathons, boot camps and expert Q&A sessions -- all geared toward helping existing customers and the AWS curious gain a better understanding of working in and with Amazon's public cloud services.

As AWS products and services continue to grow and change, so does the solar system of vendors and partners that revolve around it. During the inaugural re:Invent conference, the expo floor housed row upon row of vendors -- spanning categories such as security, monitoring and management, data analytics, storage, application development, partners and integrators and many more. Those numbers have increased each year, which can make it difficult for attendees to keep track of who does what or to map out a course of action while on the show floor for just a few days.

In this AWS re:Invent 2015 guide, we bring you AWS news and developments leading up to, during and after the conference. We also spoke with industry experts, analysts and AWS users to get their take on the AWS market in four key areas: security, monitoring and management, data analytics and application development. We look at how AWS' presence in those areas has grown and how it could evolve in the coming years. We also delve into the need for third-party tools that fill certain gaps or help make enterprise public clouds more seamless and robust.

1Keep up -- AWS re:Invent 2015-

News

Amazon Web Services (AWS) never disappoints at its annual user conference -- introducing new products, services and price cuts left and right. And this year's sold-out event likely will be no different. Our news coverage offers preshow predictions and developments as well as the latest announcements as they happen in Las Vegas. We also offer insights into what these changes mean for AWS in the cloud market and how that translates to the user community.

Feature

Unlocking reaction from re:Invent keynote speeches

At AWS re:Invent this year, announcements included new capabilities for existing products, as well as management tools and a new storage appliance -- setting social media abuzz. Continue Reading

News

Some AWS 'Simple' cloud services harder than you think

Ease of use and speed are hailed as two advantages of AWS, factors that were further stressed at re:Invent 2015 in products and tools to help simplify cloud development and management. Continue Reading

News

AWS IoT gives billions of connected devices a home in the cloud

Businesses have only seen the tip of the Internet of Things' iceberg, and Amazon plans to blow open the potential with the new AWS IOT cloud service. Continue Reading

News

AWS Lambda wave of the future drowns microservices hype

Amazon's cloud now offers more container services to meet demands of the Docker craze, but the cloud giant pins the future on Lambda, to take servers out of the application equation. Continue Reading

News

New AWS cloud migration tools stoke lock-in concerns

Amazon launched a host of cloud migration tools to make it as easy as possible to move data into its cloud, but IT shops want a simple cloud exit plan as well. Continue Reading

News

New AWS cloud management tools cut business intelligence costs

Amazon launched a deluge of new tools this week, many that offer alternatives to more expensive third-party cloud management and business intelligence tools. Continue Reading

Feature

Re:Invent 2015 through the eyes of AWS customers

This year's re:Invent conference was Amazon Web Services' most popular, which led to some conference congestion. AWS users took to Twitter to share sights and thoughts from Las Vegas. Continue Reading

News

AWS buys Elemental Technologies to boost mobile app development

AWS' new multimillion dollar acquisition is expected to improve upon its slate of mobile app development tools -- Elemental offered faster than real-time processing. Continue Reading

News

Weekend AWS outage disrupts multiple products

A Sunday AWS outage started with DynamoDB but quickly snowballed into a widespread disruption. Continue Reading

News

AWS to move away from back-end infrastructure

Infrastructure as a service might soon take a back seat to serverless computing. AWS has already taken some steps into that movement, but some customers think it needs to evolve faster. Continue Reading

News

Customers still want more in AWS products

Users see a variety of improvements that could be made to AWS cloud products, while federal and container-based offerings are also in demand. Continue Reading

Feature

Social media reaction divided on AWS

Following #AWS on Twitter, the staff of Modern Infrastructure gathered a mix of emotions from AWS users, expressing praise and complaints about the public cloud provider. Continue Reading

News

AWS' enterprise push still resonant

As organizations integrate more quickly and fully with AWS, questions remain about whether enterprises are moving too quickly, leaving IT resources vulnerable. Continue Reading

Feature

AWS re:Invent 2015 -- What the experts expect

Our team of experts provided predictions for this year's AWS conference, with expectations ranging from cloud interoperability to Docker development. Continue Reading

Opinion

AWS to highlight cloud management, security at show

A variety of new AWS tools could be introduced at re:Invent, including services to help with the management of microservices and the cloud environment as a whole. Continue Reading

2Lock down public cloud apps-

Security in AWS

Adopting AWS cloud services changes the landscape of enterprise IT. And while these changes can be beneficial from a computing perspective, IT teams must still consider security in this shift in services. AWS has a long list of security native tools, and end users must acclimate to how to incorporate those tools into their procedures. In addition, AWS takes a shared responsibility role in safeguarding public cloud services so enterprise IT professionals must know how to incorporate traditional security measures into the new IT landscape of public cloud computing.

Feature

AWS security a two-way street

Enterprises that want to fully protect applications in AWS must also bear the burden on security. Third-party security as a service tools are essential. Continue Reading

Tip

Defend your AWS cloud with these security measures

Applying security groups and network access control lists are two of many options available to help prevent unwanted access to cloud resources. Continue Reading

Tip

One size does not fit all for AWS compliance

Enterprise concerns about public cloud security are waning, but IT teams must still remain diligent to meet compliance requirements and lock down sensitive workloads. Continue Reading

Answer

Amazon Container Service security explained

Container technology isolates applications in a shared OS, but that doesn't guarantee security. We take a look at native security features in Amazon EC2 Container Service. Continue Reading

Tip

Using preconfigured AMIs to secure Amazon instances

One way to secure new AWS EC2 instances is through the use of preconfigured Amazon Machine Images. Using these hardened OSes can also shorten development times. Continue Reading

Tip

How AWS IAM access groups can ease security woes

Cloud admins can set up access groups using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to better control access to resources. Here's what you need to know about AWS IAM. Continue Reading

3Control AWS performance, costs-

Managing AWS resources

The cloud continues to evolve. And with that, enterprises are more willing to put multiple workloads into AWS. But this complicates cloud management, making it even more important for IT teams to closely monitor costs and ensure application performance remains in check. While AWS offers several tools to manage and monitor resources, there is an entire ecosystem of third-party tools to help pick up what native AWS utilities like CloudWatch and the AWS Management Console leave off. This section takes a look at the sometimes tricky task of managing multiple workloads that reside in the AWS cloud as well as other public cloud services. You'll also receive information on development tools to help ensure you build apps right the first time.

Feature

Management tools help keep cloud in check

Native tools like AWS Management Console and CloudWatch help control cloud assets, while third-party tools can go into greater monitoring detail. Continue Reading

Tip

Don't take a gamble on future AWS costs

Many enterprises are entering the cloud explicitly for cost savings, but projecting future expenses can help them with long-term planning. Continue Reading

Tip

Understand cloud, enterprise limitations

Startups need to keep a close eye on computing resources to fit within tight budgets. IT administrators need to be watchful and know when to scale down. Continue Reading

Tip

Give developer productivity a shot in the arm

The right tools and a watchful eye can improve application deployment, configuration and provisioning. Continue Reading

News

Ooyala's tricks for managing the multicloud

Video processing company and early AWS adopter Ooyala shares its tricks for keeping workloads highly available across multiple clouds. Continue Reading

4Analyze big data-

Data analytics in AWS

Enterprises are sinking more money into big data analytics, seeking to mine gold from heaps of information they obtain. AWS offers a variety of tools to help businesses put all the data they collect to use, including data warehousing services and machine learning. AWS customers can combine these analytics tools with other compute-intensive programs to programmatically update software in response to data. And enterprise interest in AWS analytics tools could push the cloud provider to new analytical heights. This section outlines the rise of big data projects as well as some of the most useful features to help enterprises get an edge over their competition.

Feature

Surveys point to big rise in big data analytics projects

The appeal of cloud data analytics has skyrocketed, as nearly half of midmarket and enterprise-class businesses are interested in big data projects in the coming year. Continue Reading

News

User-defined functions help complete Redshift

AWS customers clamored for greater functionality within Redshift, and the company finally obliged. Is it everything they hoped for? Continue Reading

Answer

Tools to help kick off a data analytics project

The AWS Marketplace has a host of third-party tools for developers and data scientists that will keep their hands busy with big data analytics. Continue Reading

Tip

AWS grows along with Internet of Things

As the undisputed leader in public cloud services, AWS has the network connectivity and massive infrastructure needed to push IoT forward. Continue Reading

Answer

Four steps to create a machine learning app

AWS provides model management support, but users only have to follow these steps to put a machine learning algorithm to work. Continue Reading

5App dev and performance-

Application development

Many enterprises move to the cloud to reap the benefits of running scalable and flexible applications. And AWS has a range of services aimed at helping developers build and deploy apps in its infrastructure. With the development landscape constantly changing and tools evolving at a rapid pace, it can be tough for dev teams to keep up. In addition, containerization and microservices are pushing app development to the next level -- speeding up development cycles and lessening the burden on IT teams. But, while containers are popular, they're not perfect.

Feature

Too many tools can complicate app development

There are plenty of native AWS and third-party development tools available, but too many tools can create problems for developers. What are the essentials you need for deploying and managing AWS applications? Continue Reading

Tip

Develop and test apps in Docker containers

Container technology is moving along at breakneck pace, and its portability offers a cure for test and development headaches. Continue Reading

Tip

Amazon Cognito ensures consistent app performance

Amazon Cognito could be the lynchpin of the company's mobile portfolio, offering data synchronization as well as identity and credentials management. Continue Reading

Tip

Tweak your Amazon Echo to connect with loved ones, ask customized questions

Developers can customize Amazon's new voice command service to accept new commands, thanks in part to AWS Lambda. Continue Reading

Tip

AWS SDK functionality draws crowds

Amazon Web Services has an ecosystem of SDKs, allowing developers to expand on the provider's services and add their own functionality. Continue Reading

Tip

Amazon API Gateway bridges apps and cloud services

Allowing for greater connectivity between applications and cloud resources, Amazon API Gateway helps enterprises deploy complex workloads. Continue Reading

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