This content is part of the Essential Guide: An insider's look at AWS re:Invent 2014
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AWS reInvent: Not just for hipsters anymore

Amazon Web Services is catering to more than hipsters and Valley venture dudes, with a mix of enterprise IT-focused sessions at reInvent.

My impression of last year's AWS reInvent conference was that it included a whole lot of hipster developers with beards, hoodies and skinny jeans, a smattering of "smartiferous" data scientists and a never-ending procession of Valley venture dudes.

But judging by the AWS reInvent session catalog for this year's event in November, Amazon is actively attempting to lure stodgy enterprise IT -- the editorial North Star of my publication, Modern Infrastructure -- out to Vegas. And there are quite a few technical sessions offered that might appeal to those folks.

"Architecting Microsoft Workloads on AWS" is one session that comes to mind. Sure, some packaged enterprise apps run on Linux, but a lot of them run on legacy Unix and … (gasp) Windows. This is even more pressing with end of life looming for Windows Server 2003, and organizations actively weighing their migration options.

Could AWS actually be a suitable landing spot for Microsoft apps? Mega-retailer Family Dollar, for one, thinks so, and will share its experience running Microsoft's ubiquitous storage and collaboration platform in "Independence Day: How Family Dollar Delivered SharePoint via AWS."

Besides Windows, you know what other technology is practically synonymous with the enterprise? Oracle – the database and the applications.

Amazon has gotten the hint and is featuring both a session on best practices covering the raft of Oracle apps commonly found in traditional IT shops in "Best Practices for Deploying Oracle on EC2," as well as a real-live case study, in which American Commercial Lines shares its experiences migrating Oracle ERP to AWS in "Case Study: Migrating Oracle E-Business Suite to AWS."

Beyond managing relationships with tier-one vendors, those fuddy duddies in enterprise IT tend to put an inordinate amount of focus on cost, availability and security. AWS has these topics covered too.

To wit,  there's  "Cloud Native Cost Optimization," which looks at how re-architecting applications for cloud architectures can save money (software development costs not included); "Deploying a Disaster Recovery Site on AWS: Minimal Cost with Maximum Efficiency," for IT folks interested in using AWS as their disaster recovery target; and "Closing the Gap: Moving Critical, Regulated Workloads to AWS," for anyone who's ever had to justify their existence to an auditor (i.e. just about everyone in enterprise IT).

Amazon also seems to be acknowledging that it's not enterprise IT's one and only -- at least not yet. VMware is still the enterprise's sun, moon and stars. (OK, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration.) For those riding high on the VMware bandwagon, there's "Getting Started with AWS for VMware Professionals," where they can learn how to bridge that gap. And there's also "Hybrid Infrastructure Management" for IT pros in need of a deep dive on the AWS Management Portal for vCenter and AWS Management Pack for Microsoft System Center.

Attending all these AWS reInvent sessions should provide enterprise IT with a good understanding of the strengths -- and weaknesses -- of running enterprise applications on AWS. But it does not, I repeat not, give them a pass to wear skinny jeans.

About the author:
Alex Barrett is editor in chief of 
Modern Infrastructure. Write to her at

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More khakis!
I hope you are right! Our offering is entirely focused on enterprise IT, helping the enterprise customer save money on legacy IT hardware, while architecting a cloud environment in AWS. See you in Vegas!