First Impressions of AWS Re:Invent

We’ve come a long way, baby.  I worked at Amazon when they were just an Internet bookseller. I put in the first enterprise-wide backup system back in 1998.  I was there on the day they came out with the “universal product locator,” which is the day they sold something other than books.

Oh, and if you’re here, make sure you stop by our booth and meet Data!  We have Brent Spiner from Star Trek Next Generation in our booth and at our party. Details here.

It’s a big show

There are definitely 10s of thousands of people here.  Amazon says is 40K, most of which are actual customers.  That’s a refreshing change to some shows that I’ve been at that are more about partner meetings than potential customer meetings.  Now that I’m viewing this show as a sponsor (since I now work at Druva), that’s really important. Almost everyone here is something we could potentially sell something to.

Of course, AWS being what it is, there is everything from a very small company with one VM or a couple of GB in S3 to a large enterprise.  Amazon says it’s more the latter than the former, of course.  But as a company with solutions aimed at the middle enterprise, that’s the first thing we have to determine.

The show is actually too big

It’s the first large show I’ve been at in Vegas that is in multiple venues. And there’s a sign telling you to expect it to take 30 mins to travel between venue.

There are plenty of cities that can host an event of this size without requiring people to travel between venues.  (I live in one of them.  San Diego hosts ComicCon, which is three times the size of this show.)  So I’m curious as to why Amazon has chosen Las Vegas.

The show is also sold out.  Druva has a large team here, but it would be larger if we were able to get more tickets. Even as a sponsor, we’re unable to buy more tickets for people just to work the booth.  Why is that?  Either it’s a marketing tactic or they’ve actually hit the agreed-upon capacity of the venues they chose. Either one is totally possible.

Remember when?

Amazon only sold books?  Remember when they only sold “stuff,” and weren’t the largest IaaS vendor on the planet?  Remember when we said no one would run production on Windows?  Remember when we said no one would move production to the cloud?  Ah, those were the days.

As a company that runs its entire world on Amazon, it’s now hard to imagine a world without them.  Their ability to scale infrastructure and applications like DynamoDB has enabled an entirely new class of production applications that simply weren’t possible before.  Druva is able to do things for our customers because we’re built as a cloud-native application.  We can dynamically and automatically scale (up and down) every part of our infrastructure as our customer’s needs demand.  This gives us unlimited scalability without any of the limits associated with typical backup apps.  This is why some of the largest organizations in the world trust us with their user data and ROBO data. And none of that would be possible without something like AWS.

Like I said, we’ve come a long way, baby.


----- Signature and Disclaimer -----

Written by W. Curtis Preston (@wcpreston). For those of you unfamiliar with my work, I've specialized in backup & recovery since 1993. I've written the O'Reilly books on backup and have worked with a number of native and commercial tools. I am now Chief Technical Evangelist at Druva, the leading provider of cloud-based data protection and data management tools for endpoints, infrastructure, and cloud applications. These posts reflect my own opinion and are not necessarily the opinion of my employer.

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