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AWS Summit NYC reveals themes for the future

By Peter Adams on July 11, 2014

July is usually a slow month in New York City. It’s a time when the “city that never sleeps” pauses long enough to catch its breath.

However, you’d never know it from the 4,500+ attendees at the AWS Summit NYC, held here yesterday.

The Summit started off the way that most AWS Summits do: with a dizzying array of new product and service announcements, including an application logging service and an entire suite of services aimed at mobile application developers. But perhaps even more notable than the announcements themselves were the underlying industry trends that they indicated— trends reinforced by everything from the keynote to the conversations we had with AWS staff and attendees.

As we forge ahead into the second half of 2014, these are the emerging themes we’ll be keeping an eye on.

Amazon is committed to winning the TCO game

A year ago, there was a lot of talk about how public cloud and AWS were more expensive than on-premise or private cloud solutions— and AWS has clearly taken this feedback to heart. Recent price reductions, the new burstable T2 instance type, and Reserved Instance modifications are all new and powerful AWS releases that put more cost levers in the hands of its customers. Every customer that presented as part of this year’s keynote talked about the explicit cost savings they had achieved (or would shortly) by moving to public cloud. The sentiment was echoed by many of the attendees I spoke with, who unlike last year at this same Summit, now had tangible ROI models or business cases for accelerating their move to AWS.

Cloud native applications are driven by data

One of the big advantages of architecting your application to run on a public cloud like AWS is the ability to auto-scale your capacity up or down, based on the usage patterns of your applications. AWS Cloudwatch has played a critical role in facilitating this process in the past, by providing system-level metrics (such as CPU, disk I/O, etc.) that could be used to trigger auto-scaling rules. But while these system-level metrics are very helpful for measuring the utilization state of the underlying instance, they only provide a directional indicator of what might be happening to your actual application.

Recognizing this, AWS announced a new service yesterday called Cloudwatch Logs, which allows your applications to log events which can then be aggregated into metrics (e.g. latency, error rate, etc.). While not a new concept (there are several third-party players in the log aggregation space), AWS is taking things a step further by making these custom application-level metrics available to drive your auto-scaling rules. In practice, this means that more complex business rules can now be used to drive your cloud native applications.

AWS is taking mobile very seriously

Developing a mobile application differs from web application development in a variety of ways. Cross-device data synchronization, identity management, and push notifications are hard problems to solve, and can really slow down the pace of development for mobile apps. Yesterday, AWS launched an entire new suite of services aimed at solving these problems, apparently to woo mobile developers to use its platform. It’s a compelling effort, and it extends past development and operations— once a mobile application is deployed, developers can use a new service called Amazon Mobile Analytics to measure how their users engage.

All in all, this year’s AWS Summit NYC was a fun, exhilarating look at the directions that our incredible industry is taking. As the attendees head home today, they’ll have a ton of new ideas to experiment with— and plenty of new tools to build them.

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We had a great time showing the attendees the latest and greatest approaches to AWS cost management with Cloudability. Didn’t make it to the Summit? Start a free 14-day trial to see for yourself!

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