AWS re:Invent 2021: Few new providers recommend AWS is maturing (in a great way)


Commentary: AWS did not fill re:Invent 2021 with new product bulletins. As a substitute, AWS appears to be attempting to assist clients make higher use of what they have already got.

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Attendees stroll by an expo corridor throughout AWS re:Invent 2021, a convention hosted by Amazon Net Providers, at The Venetian Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Picture: Noah Berger/Getty Photographs for Amazon Net Providers

“Nonetheless transformational AWS was again in [its early] days, it selected a somewhat conservative path for crucial two hours of its 12 months,” Tom Krazit famous after AWS CEO Adam Selipsky’s re:Invent 2021 keynote. That is a well mannered approach of claiming Selipsky did not announce a lot. Certain, there was the gee-whiz personal 5G community (gee-whiz as a result of it is technically attention-grabbing, not as a result of thousands and thousands of enterprises will need it), and it is spectacular to see continued innovation within the firm’s ARM-based Graviton chip household, however the whole lot else felt … samesy. 

This is likely to be the most effective signal that AWS is rising up.

A brand new type of innovation for AWS

This isn’t to recommend that AWS engineers are sitting round, lazily having fun with the spoils of years of service launches. (Disclosure: I previously labored for AWS.) Removed from it. As Gartner analyst Lydia Leong burdened, “We’re principally previous the times when a #reinvent would include a ton of brand-new main providers. There are nonetheless IT markets that AWS hasn’t eaten but, however a lot of what is being launched now’s incremental capabilities (which could nonetheless be spectacular engineering feats).” No, it is not that AWS is not “innovating on clients’ behalf,” as they wish to say, however that the type of innovation has modified.

SEE: Hiring Package: Database engineer (TechRepublic Premium)

Extra innovation-through-integration, because it have been. Much less “here is this new factor you did not know you wanted [e.g., serverless]” and extra “listed here are enhancements to what we already supply.” 

To wit … when was the final time that AWS did not announce a minimum of one new database at re:Invent? (Charles Fitzgerald quipped throughout Selipsky’s keynote, “half-hour in. Nonetheless no new databases.“) This time, AWS introduced a collection of new options for current databases to make them incrementally higher (e.g., Amazon DynamoDB Normal-Rare Entry desk class, serving to clients scale back DynamoDB prices by as much as 60%). This form of factor is arguably extra customer-obsessed, to make use of the AWS lingo, than yet one more purpose-built database.

Taming the AWS complexity beast

It is nice that AWS did not “dive deeper” into product proliferation, however AWS additionally did not do a lot to start out organizing its chaotic mess of 200-plus providers. Redmonk analyst Stephen O’Grady was clear on this: “If AWS has a vivid future of upper stage abstractions, as I’ve argued they do, the longer term just isn’t this 12 months.” O’Grady wrote about this in June 2021, arguing that “[I]t’s been evident for a while that its present market dominance apart, AWS’ quickly rising portfolio was a legal responsibility in sure contexts as a lot as a energy.” 

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Amazon Net Providers CEO Adam Selipsky delivers a keynote deal with throughout the AWS re:Invent 2021 convention at The Venetian Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Picture: Noah Berger/Getty Photographs for Amazon Net Providers

AWS is fond of claiming that it is buyer obsessed, and, in my expertise working there, that is largely true. However it’s equally true, a minimum of from what I’ve seen, that clients are emphatically, unequivocally not asking AWS to roll its personal service for each product class recognized to humankind. However what clients are asking AWS to do is to make sense of its Byzantine array of providers. Forrester analyst Boris Evelson recommended that AWS ought to “lead with fixing enterprise issues,” to which dbInsight principal Tony Baer responded, “A primary step could be placing the items collectively somewhat than requiring clients to do it.”

But AWS did not actually say a lot about service synthesis at re:Invent 2021. The closest it got here was throughout Selipsky’s keynote, wherein he talked a bit about vertical options: “Over the previous couple of years, we have constructed abstractions or higher-level providers that make it even simpler and much more accessible for folks to eat the cloud and work together with AWS throughout a variety of industries, from well being care, the place we have launched focused providers like Amazon Well being Lake to monetary providers or manufacturing or automotive.” He went on to speak about AWS Automotive for instance, and introduced a monetary services-focused partnership with Goldman Sachs to construct a finance-oriented cloud. He then concluded, “We will proceed to construct extra of those abstractions on prime of our current foundational providers, collaborating with business leaders on new choices or constructing brand-new purposes.” 

All for the nice. 

SEE: Past the migration: Accenture and AWS develop partnership to help steady cloud innovation (TechRepublic)

As I heard somebody say at re:Invent 2021 this week, “I wish to assume we’re beginning to ‘rationalize’ greater than we’re persevering with to ‘produce.'” It seems that such “rationalization” is each bit as revolutionary and arguably extra vital at this part of the corporate’s existence. Enterprises not solely wish to work out the best way to use the most effective of AWS native providers, however additionally they must pair them with their current infrastructure, which is why AWS Mainframe Modernization was the very first product that Selipsky addressed and presumably crucial factor talked about throughout all of re:Invent 2021 (the Graviton3 chips excepted, maybe). 

Sure, mainframes. Impossibly boring, but additionally a permanent anchor holding enterprises again from modernizing. Because the folks operating mainframes age out of the workforce, AWS is throwing these enterprises a lifeline, serving to them embrace a future constructed into the cloud. It is a constructive, customer-centric strategy.

Much less so are the 200-plus providers that clients are made to wade by. In response to Selipsky’s assertion that “YES! [Customers] want all of those providers,” Duckbill analyst and bête noire for AWS, Corey Quinn, wrote: “I guarantee you, whereas AWS wants to supply all of them, ‘YOU’ don’t want to gather all of them as in the event that they have been Pokémon, pricey reader.” 

Disclosure: I used to work for AWS and now work for MongoDB, however the views expressed herein are mine alone

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