What to expect from AWS re:Invent 2020

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Cloud computing giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) has its biggest event of the year next week, with running online-only and free of charge for the first time, starting November 30 and closing December 18.

This year the event will not be spread across various hotels on the Las Vegas strip, but rather across a three-week period online. This brings its own logistical challenges.

The event will kick off with a “Late Night with AWS” session on Monday night, followed by CEO Andy Jassy’s typical three hour keynote on Tuesday, December 1. This will be followed by the Thursday partner keynote. CTO Werner Vogels will give his technical keynote during the third week, on Tuesday, December 15. The other keynotes will focus on technical areas like machine learning and infrastructure.

Aside from the keynotes there are various “leadership” sessions, breakouts, lounges, and “ask the expert” sessions across 50 content tracks and multiple language options. Except for the Late Night sessions there will be no content on Mondays or Fridays.

Industry-specific news

It’s safe to expect Jassy and his senior leadership team to continue its recent efforts to make AWS more accessible to business decision makers, while keeping its core developer audience excited and engaged.

“AWS has missed a direct line of communication to the C-suite, not just IT leaders or the developer community, but a business conversation. How does AWS help a senior leader of a business react, respond, or transform? This is the time for AWS to be doing that, as technology and business have never been so entwined,” Nick McQuire, vice president for enterprise research at CCS Insight told InfoWorld.

at last year’s re:Invent but will look to maintain momentum as 5G networks start to come online.

This industry-specific work will span the whole portfolio at AWS but specifically its efforts around the and hybrid cloud, where Outposts and could see some updates as they see momentum across those key industries. We also wouldn’t be surprised to see more vertical-specific machine learning products, like the anti-fraud detection for financial services and various medical applications which were announced last year.

proposes that such a product is due to be announced at re:Invent. AWS did not deny the validity of the claims when asked by InfoWorld.

AWS has long tried to convince the market that enterprises should shift all of their workloads to the public cloud—ideally theirs—but has since enabled more hybrid cloud options to run cloud-like workloads in on-prem or private clouds. Now it could be set to soften its stance further in face of market pressures.

Whatever is announced should help AWS compete with products like multicloud management platform, or , or IBM’s suite of options via its .

In an interesting piece of timing, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian —one that “ensures operational and technical consistency across public clouds or private data centers and effective management of infrastructure, applications, and data across the organization.”

around the Amazon’s work with custom silicon, of an extended partnership with Arm to design the Graviton2 and a new EC2 Inf1 instance that features AWS’s own Inferentia chips, which are optimized for machine learning workloads and now .

AWS expert lounges and learning

AWS re:Invent will be particularly difficult to navigate this year, even without having to keep track of the shuttle schedule. The session catalog is difficult to parse and there is no clear agenda to follow.

For those worried about missing out on all that networking they normally get to do, AWS is setting up plenty of virtual lounges. These lounges will also have AWS technical experts on hand to break down technical presentations and answer questions.

It wouldn’t be AWS re:Invent without some training and certifications, with AWS running its usual range of “Jams” and “GameDays” for hands-on learning.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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