AWS Summits 2018: Chicago Recap

Hosting your databases on AWS, and curious about the latest trends is cloud computing?

Who better to go to than the #1 cloud provider in the world, Amazon Web Services. Taking place in multiple cities around the world, the AWS Summits are events designed to bring together the cloud computing community to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. Held in Chicago’s famous McCormick Place on August 1-2, 2018, the event welcomed hundreds of IT leaders, CTOs, DevOps engineers and Database Administrators (DBA) from across to Midwest to meet the latest AWS cloud products. As one of ScaleGrid’s leading partners for cloud database products: AWS hosting for MongoDB® and AWS hosting for Redis™*, AWS Summit was high on my list this year.

AWS Summit 2018 Chicago Recap Developers Lounge - ScaleGrid Blog

The conference format was a typical 2-day format; Day 1 focused on certifications and learning, and Day 2 filled with breakout sessions, hands-on labs, developer lounges and networking sessions flanked by the Expo floor.

The keynote was delivered by Stephen Orban, General Manager of New Initiatives at AWS and author of one on the top business transformation books on my reading list, Ahead In The Cloud. The breakout sessions and labs covered the length and breadth of the AWS ecosystem from Amazon with cloud platform components, security and compliance, storage, hosting, applications, enterprise, data analytics, devops and bolt-ons to AWS. The tracks were well orchestrated and presented by customers and key associates. Some memorable sessions were on security best practices, DevOps management, building and optimizing data lakes, machine learning, and deep learning through Sagemaker, storage best practices on S3, and many more topics of interest. There was even an on-site hackathon where participants developed API’s for the ubiquitous cloud platform.

The expo floor had hundreds of exhibitors, consisting of AWS partners and services providers. Some notables were SAP, Accenture, VMware, and Cloudera. The booths were milling with experts to novices alike looking to take learnings, artifacts and value adders back to their organizations.

It was eye-opening to note that in barely over a decade of existence, and in three years of turning profitable after gaining critical mass, AWS has evolved a complete ecosystem for taking businesses to the cloud. In the meantime, public cloud services on a steady upswing. Gartner says the worldwide Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) market grew 29.5 percent in 2017 to total $23.5 billion, up from $18.2 billion in 2016. The move to cloud is fast becoming an integral part of the digital transformation strategy. AWS is certainly well poised to ride the wave, and we can expect to see more such summits and evolution of the ecosystem in the years to come.

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