re:Invent 2016: What happens when ‘elastic is the new normal’

With cloud, if something works right, you double down, go big, go fast.James Hamilton, AWS

“The cloud allows companies to be agile, to try new ideas, to free up innovation to test things out without waiting for months and months to get resources.”
This is how James Hamilton, vice president and distinguished engineer at Amazon Web Services started his presentation at re:Invent 2016, in Las Vegas.
The cloud is changing the game in a lot of organisations, he told the 32,000 or so attendees at the annual event, which is the largest gathering of AWS community.
“It also happens to be a hell of a lot cheaper. This is the game that is available if you start to exploit the cloud,” says Hamilton.
"When you start talking about tens of thousands of servers, that is a mid-sized data centre that is worth around $150 million to $250 million,” he says. “That can come to life for a few weeks, then brought back down.

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“What this means conventional companies running on premise have to provision for that peak [use], because it takes a long time to get servers through the acquisition cycle.

“You will be really slow to respond to demand signals.”

Hamilton also discussed the 14 AWS regions (data centre locations) worldwide, which he says will grow to 18 next year.
New Zealand was in the spotlight in his presentation as he gave details on AWS’ newest project, the Hawaii trans-Pacific cable.

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The cable starts at Mangawhai Heads in Northland and will stretch 14,000 kilometres through to Sydney, Hawaii and mainland USA. The build started last week and is expected to be completed in the middle of 2018.

At the ground breaking ceremony of the Hawaiki Cable attended by NZ prime minister John Key and communications minister Amy Adams.

The next frontier

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Tom Soderstrom, IT chief technology and innovation officer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, presented on the importance of cloud technologies in the work around space exploration.
“Cloud computing has gone from very nice to have, to something mission critical every single day,” says Soderstrom. “It is speeding up how we work, test and infuse.”
He says NASA Jet Propulsion teams are using the cloud “to search for the big answers in new ways”.
“Our network is in space ... we collect a lot of data.”Some of their space exploration projects centre on answering major questions that will impact humanity, such as ‘how can we protect mother earth?’ and ‘where could we find life?’

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“We are all going to be future explorers,” he says. “Your children will one day go to Mars, whether through AR (augmented reality) or physically as astronauts.”
He issues a call to the audience: ‘Dare to do mighty things’
“Let us answer the big questions for humanity together.”
Divina Paredes attended re:Invent 2016 as a guest of AWS.

Navin Budhiraja, CTO at Infosys talks about their mainframe migration practice on AWS, and the challenges the cloud can help resolve.

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Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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