This year was my first re:Invent and it was an impressive event. There were over forty-three thousand people in attendance and the show occupied a number of hotels along the Vegas strip. It wasn’t just that there were a lot of people there, it was that there were a lot of people who wanted to be there – after attending hundreds of trade shows and user group events you get to know the difference. There was a buzz and excitement at the show that reminded me of early VMworld and TechEd shows. Sessions were sold out and queues were long as people waited for the doors to open. All the attendees I spoke to had specific reasons for attending; many were in the process of moving to a cloud first strategy and were there to learn.
Clearly the main point from the keynotes was to remind everyone that AWS is continuing to innovate and provide services to help organizations of all sizes transition to cloud by offering the greatest breadth and depth of capabilities for a cloud platform, thus, making it easier for organizations to make the transition to the cloud and ensure AWS has capabilities for all possible use cases… thus potentially expanding its already dominant forty plus percent share of the market.
On the expo floor it was good to see a mix networking companies attending to help customers better understand how to connect to the public cloud. In fact, ESG research on network modernization indicates that the top impact that organizations have reported that public cloud computing services has had on their network strategy is that they've integrated their data center and WAN links to create a seamless network that connects on-premises and off-premises resources (38%). That is why it was important for companies like Cisco, Juniper, and Arista to be at re:invent to talk about how they can enable seamless connectivity from the data center to the cloud for hybrid cloud environments.
According to the same ESG research, the next biggest impact that public cloud services have had on organizations' network strategy was to make them seek out increased and/or improved connectivity to cloud service providers (31%). Fortunately for the attendees, they could visit service providers like ATT, Verizon, Comcast, and even China Telecom Americas (for those looking to connect to public cloud in China), and SD-WAN vendors VeloCloud (VMware recently announced its intent to acquire VeloCloud) and Cisco (who recently acquired Viptela). The SD-WAN technology is shaping up to be an important piece of the public cloud computing equation. So much so that AWS commissioned ESG to validate a number of the SD-WAN vendors to demonstrate the ease and value of connecting to the AWS cloud with SD-WAN solutions. The complete ESG Lab report, SD-WAN Integration with Amazon Web Services, is now available on the ESG website.
Just over a quarter of respondents (26%) in the same research claimed that they had increased their usage of co-location facilities to locate data centers closer to cloud providers. That is most likely why Equinix (who, thanks to the Verizon assets they just acquired, are extremely close to AWS – literally!) and RackSpace had a presence at the show.
Given the growing importance and relevance of the network in cloud computing and IoT, I expect to see even more network and SD-WAN vendors at next years re:Invent and even more sessions on networking.
Watch our recap video below, and catch up to ESG's full coverage on AWS re:Invent on our website.