Findings from AWS re:Invent 2019, Part 2

I was expecting the usual set of service and feature announcements in Wernel Vogels’ Thursday keynote, but instead he did focus on what is happening behind the scenes of AWS, especially EC2 Nitro architecture and S3. So instead of analyzing Werner’s keynote, I picked 2 announcements from Wednesday that didn’t make to keynotes but are worthy of attention because how these will simplify building APIs and distributed applications.

Amazon API Gateway HTTP APIs

Amazon API Gateway HTTP APIs will lower the barrier of entry when starting to build that next great service or application. It is now trivial to get started with HTTP proxy for lambda function(s);

% aws apigatewayv2 create-api \
    —-name MyAPIname \
    —-protocol-type HTTP \
    --target arn:aws:lambda:REGION:ACCOUNT_ID:function:FUNCTION

It is also nice that HTTP API has Serverless Application Model (SAM) support from day 1. And when your API start getting attention, pricing is up to 70% cheaper than generic API Gateway. Compatible API Gateway definitions (=HTTP and Lambda backends with OIDC/JWT based authorization) can be exported and re-imported as HTTP APIs.

Amplify DataStore

Amplify DataStore is queryable, on-device data store for web, IoT, and mobile developers using React Native, iOS and Android. Idea is that you don’t need to write separate code for offline and online scenarios. Working with distributed cross-user data is as simple as using local data. DataStore is available with the latest Amplify Javascript client, iOS and Android clients are in preview.

DataStore blog post and demo app is a good way to get your feet wet with DataStore and see how simple it can be to create applications using shared state between multiple online and offline clients.

Interested in reading more about Petri’s views and insights? Follow his blog CarriageReturn.Nl

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    Findings from AWS re:Invent 2019, Part 1

    ML/AI was definitely the topic of Andy Jassy’s re:Invent Tuesday keynote. Another area of major investment was service proximity to customers and end-users. With that it was only natural there were also some new networking features to help building multi-region connectivity.

    Machine Learning for the Masses

    ML/AI received a lot of love in Tuesday announcements. If there is one thing to pick from the group, it would be SageMaker Autopilot:

    “With this feature, Amazon SageMaker can use your tabular data and the target column you specify to automatically train and tune your model, while providing full visibility into the process. As the name suggests, you can use it on autopilot, deploying the model with the highest accuracy with one click in Amazon SageMaker Studio, or use it as a guide to decision making, enabling you to make tradeoffs, such as accuracy with latency or model size.”

    Together with SageMaker Studio web-based IDE this is to democratize artesan work of data analytics. There were also 3 interesting real-world applications of ML announced (all in preview);

    • Amazon CodeGuru for automated code reviews and application performance recommendations.
    • Amazon Fraud Detector is managed service to identify fraudulent activities such as online payment fraud and the creation of fake accounts.
    • Amazon Detective is service to analyze, investigate and find root cause for potential security issues or suspicious activities based on analysis of logs from AWS resources.

    As services these are all very easy to consume and can bring a lot of value in preventing costly mistakes from happening. These also follow the same pattern as SageMaker Autopilot, automating artesan work traditionally performed by skilled (but overloaded) individuals.

    Getting Closer to Customer

    Another theme in Tuesday’s announcements was cloud services getting physically closer to customers. This is important when you must keep your data in certain country or need very low latencies.

    AWS Local Zone is an extension of AWS region. It brings compute, storage and selected subset of AWS services closer to customer. The very first local zone was announced in Los Angeles but I would expect these to be popping up in many cities around the world that don’t yet have their own AWS region nearby.

    If local zone is not close enough, then there is AWS Wavelength. This is yet another variation of (availability) zone. Wavelength has similar (but not the same?) subset of AWS services as Local Zone. Wavelength zones are co-located at 5G operators edges that helps in building ultra low latency services for mobile networks.

    AWS Outpost is now in GA and support for EMR and container services like ECS, EKS and App Mesh was added to service mix of Outpost. Pricing starts from $225k 3-year-upfront or $7000/month for 3 year subsciption. I think many customers would want to wait and see how Local Zones are expanding before investing in on-prem hardware.


    AWS has had a tradition of changing networking best-practices every year at re:Invent. This year it wasn’t quite as dramatic but there were very welcome feature announcements that go nicely with the idea of different flavours of local regions.

    Transit Gateway inter-region peering allows you to build global WAN within AWS networks. This is great feature when building multi-region services or have your services spread across multiple regions because of differences in local service mix. That said, please notice inter-region peering is only available at certain regions at launch.

    Transit Gateway Network Manager enables you centrally manage and monitor your global network, not only on AWS but also on-premises. As networking is getting much more complex this global view and management is going to be most welcome help. It will also help in shifting the balance of network management from on-premises towards public cloud.

    Finally support for multicast traffic was one of the last remaining blockers for moving applications to VPC. With the announcement of Transit Gateway Multicast support even that is now possible. Fine print says multicast is not supported over direct connect, site-to-site VPN or peering connections.

    Interested in reading more about Petri’s views and insights? Follow his blog CarriageReturn.Nl

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      Cloud Center of Excellence Supports Continuous Transformation

      In this chapter of ‘The Role of Transformational Partners in Organization Change’, we introduce Nordcloud’s vision for Cloud Center of Excellence and multi-cloud governance.

      Digital transformation is a must win strategic battle for most of Nordcloud’s customer companies and cloud is the most important enabler of accelerated transformation. Successful transformations require changes in organization cultureoperational modelscapabilities and adapting workflows to support continuous development.   

      Public Cloud Adoption Pillars
      All three pillars must be in place to successfully adopt public cloud at scale.

      Why You Need Multi-Cloud Governance

      IDC believes that by 2023, 500 million new apps will be created. The number equals to number of apps built within past 40 years. 

      Organizations that are looking to roll out new digital products, services and experiences quickly must accelerate digital transformation and provide API-led integration across apps. There is rapidly increasing need to integrate across hybrid, multi-cloud environments. Secondly, changing application deployment architectures challenging traditional integration architectures and IT-organizations and under pressure to support business innovation.

      Biggest possible downfall of cloud adoption is ending up running IT-operations same way as in legacy infrastructure model.

      Every public cloud platform requires work to prepare the platform for use. Biggest possible downfall of cloud adoption is ending up running IT-operations same way as in legacy infrastructure model. In multi-cloud set-up teams operate in agile way and governance is more distributed from infrastructure team to for example software developers. Therefore it is essential that governance model sets guidelines on how cloud environments are created, what kind of developer tooling is available, what are the best practices for architecture, automation, security and cost management.

      Target Operating Model

      Building on our long experience in cloud transformation and implementation projects Nordcloud have defined an operating model that allows Nordcloud’s customers to achieve the set targets fast and with certainty. Key Elements of the target operating model are: 

      • Cloud Center of Excellence: Focused on cloud governance and service development, the Cloud Center of Excellence core will support the continuous transformation, Cloud Center of Excellence development and cloud native platform development 
      • Cloud Managed Support: Acceleration of customers cloud native managed service capability development 
      • Training Services: Cloud native competence education with focus on competence analysis, upskilling and onboarding to digital projects 
      • Migration & Modernization: Identification of application modernization patterns and migration & modernization planning 
      • Cost Governance: Support for identification of cost optimization opportunities, project TCO calculation and new cloud proposal estimation 
      • Data Services: Focused on Data platform & services architecture design, pilot data project identification, planning of the data platform and Data as a Service models

      Governance During Cloud Journey

      Transformation is hardly ever straightforward and requires careful planning. Initially it is important to 

      1. align cloud strategy with business strategy
      2. define cloud service model
      3. plan model deployment. 

      Big part of the work is identifying concrete capability gaps in the current set-up and creating joint capability gaps and creating an capability development plan which includes upskilling, adding and replacing resources. 

      Nordcloud Cloud Journey
      Cloud Journey from drivers to outcomes.

      When strategy and governance models are designed and validated, it’s easier to move forward with building cloud landing zone and start onboarding users to cloud. Clear guidelines provide base for operating in organizations cloud environment and furthermore help to move forward with new business innovations and transform the way of working. 

      In the following parts of ‘The Role of Transformational Partners in Organization Change’, we will introduce how to align cloud strategy with business strategy, how to build solid cloud service governance and support models and how to promote cloud awareness.  

      To pursue the keys to supercharging your digital success, download our IDC Infobrief Hyperscale Cloud Platforms As An Accelerator For Digital!

      Yes, I want to learn more


      This is the second instalment in our series “The Role of Transformational Partners in Organization Change”. Read the previous post:

      Right Partners Are The Key To Digital Transformation Success

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      Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.