Just a few days ago Amazon announced that sales rose nearly 64% for its first quarter 2016, and profits soared nearly 128% to the comparable quarter in 2015. After attending the fourth AWS summit in Sydney, it’s no wonder they are achieving numbers like these. Like the AWS platform itself, the event has evolved to become a “must do” in the tech world. In business, cloud has become the new norm, SaaS is the acronym du jour, and running a hybrid cloud environment is the journey most corporations are taking.

iQ3 sponsored this year’s Summit and it proved to be a very valuable and enlightening event. The crowd was bustling as the summit saw just over 7500 bodies through the door, with IT professionals representing a broad range of businesses in Australia. The Summit also saw attendance from business owners, journalists, and students, which proved the reach of AWS and the shift to cloud computing as the new standard.

So what were the highlights?
Hybrid Cloud and the variety of businesses moving in this direction – whether it be banks, financial institutions, or government agencies, they’re all adopting a cloud first strategy. A few years ago this was unthinkable given the security and governance concerns, these fears have since been addressed and cloud computing is now taking the front seat. To achieve the cloud first strategy, most businesses will need to build a hybrid cloud environment. It’s important to note that every business is unique in it’s technical requirements and various combinations of compute and storage may be needed to satisfy your business needs.

Devops – cloud computing has re-defined the pace of how swiftly applications and new services can be delivered. Out of this, a new way of working has been developed known as “devops”. Devops places emphasis on the collaboration and communication of both software developers and infrastructure engineers, while automating the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes. The intention of devops is to create an environment where building, testing, and releasing software, can happen rapidly, frequently, and more reliably. It was clear to see at the Summit that more and more IT departments are taking on this kind of approach. This form of operations appears to be the future for most businesses and service providers.

AWS Lambda – the hype around the release of AWS Lambda in Australia was evident amongst the developers in the audience. Lambda is a zero-administration compute platform for back-end web developers that runs code in the AWS cloud. You don’t have to configure, launch, or monitor EC2 instances. There’s no need to install any operating systems or language environments. Nor do you need to think about scale or fault tolerance and you don’t need to request or reserve capacity; music to a developers ears, and again another enabler in swiftly deploying applications. More information on this product can be found here: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/run-code-cloud/

The Internet of Things (IoT) – We seem to be hearing a lot about the Internet of Things (IoT). This year, the guys at AWS created a fun little project that allowed us to see what IoT meant first hand. The AWS tech team built a beer keg and named it SBS (Simple Beer Service). Basically, it was a cloud-connected kegerator that streamed live sensor data to AWS. They had other kegs from around the world built in the same fashion reporting data to this URL “www.simplebeerservice.com”. Rasbery Pi was powering the compute on the keg, but don’t take it from me, visit Github to get down to the tech nitty gritty. “github.com/awslabs/simplebeerservice”.

Big Data and Analytics – another popular topic at the moment is Big Data. For many businesses Big Data and data analytics can prove to be the differentiator between them and their competitors. Gaining insights into customer behaviour, trends, and associations can really assist in improving how your business services its clients. There were two technical breakout sessions on Big Data and how to best provide end to end services on AWS. As businesses move toward the hybrid cloud, how we bring data repositories together will prove to be a vital part of our Big Data strategy. Here at iQ3 this topic is close to our hearts. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to reach out to your account manager and they will be able to help you.

Building Enterprise-Class Disaster Recovery as a Service – disaster recovery was another hot topic at the AWS Summit and it’s certainly a topic we here at iQ3 are passionate about. For many businesses their first foray into using a publicly hosted cloud service will be replicating their production workloads from VMware and Microsoft environments to AWS or another cloud provider. This is a great way to get a “hands on” feel for using a cloud service for your DR environment, with products like Zerto it’s never been easier to stand this up in the cloud. When it comes to designing and implementing your DR environment there are many elements that require consideration, and the breakout sessions provided a great starting point for addressing some of these.

That about wraps it up for our review of the AWS Summit 2016. When it comes to cloud and AWS, we could talk all day about the many advantages these platforms provide your business. As mentioned previously, it really is the destination most businesses are headed towards, and we at iQ3 will only be too happy to have a conversation on how to best implement some of these services and to see how we can assist your migration to the cloud. We look forward to seeing you at the Summit next year but until then, we wish you plenty of uptime!

iQ3 Sales Team