AWS re:Invent 2021
AWS re:Invent is always THE event in cloud. As 2021 draws to a close, what path will AWS set the cloud on. What new services, features, and tools will builders get to create with?
That’s a key question and not one easily answered. This page will be the home base for all my activities and content related to AWS re:Invent 2021. The conference runs 29-Nov—03-Dec, 2021 in Las Vegas and (a little bit) online.
The show itself always has a ton of new content but AWS does a great job of releasing new features, functionality, and content leading up to the show as well.
Check back often for updates!
- The Ultimate Guide
- Hero Guide
- What I’m Up To
- Attending Remotely
- 01-Nov—07-Nov // Four Weeks to AWS re:Invent
- AWS Whitepapers reviews
- 08-Nov—14-Nov // Three Weeks to AWS re:Invent
- Amazon Builder’s Library reviews
- 15-Nov—21-Nov // Two Weeks to AWS re:Invent
- AWS Labs code repo reviews
- 22-Nov—28-Nov // One Week to AWS re:Invent
- 29-Nov—05-Dec // AWS re:Invent
- 06-Dec—12-Dec // One Week After AWS re:Invent
The Ultimate Guide
Every year I write a guide to help people get the most out of AWS re:Invent. This year is no exception. A big thanks to A Cloud Guru for hosting the guide again this year.
You can find it here, “The Ultimate Guide to AWS re:Invent 2021”
If you’re interested in a bit of history, here are my previous guides:
- 2020 AWS re:Invent Ultimate Guide
- The Ultimate Guide to AWS re:Invent 2019
- The Ultimate Guide to AWS re:Invent 2018
- 2017’s The Ultimate Guide to Your First AWS re:Invent
- 5 Ways To Get The Most From AWS re:Invent 2016
- 5 Ways To Get The Most Out Of AWS re:Invent 2015
I’ve written an official session guide for the last few AWS re:Invents (and re:Inforce!) that helps builders focus on sessions around security. This year is no different.
What I’m Up To
Sadly, I won’t be attending in person this year. This will be the first re:Invent that I’m missing 😔.
Thankfully, I’ll be attending remotely and that will actually allow me to deliver more content throughout the week. It’s a lot easier to write/share/record/test when you are running from session to session.
As usually, I’ll be tracking all of the announcements that AWS makes leading up to, during, and shortly after the show. You can view those announcements and my take on the bigger ones.
Attention, AWS gurus! 🚨 It’s time for the most exciting extravaganza of the year: #reInvent 2021! Raise your hand 🖐 if you're excited to see what big announcements are to come!— A Cloud Guru (@acloudguru) November 8, 2021
We're sharing our predictions here: https://t.co/zGfXgJcyyT pic.twitter.com/Uw4ycGA0bM
Now that we have more information (finally) on what is available remotely, I’ve created a post dedicated to remote attendance. That’ll make it easier to focus on what’s accessible from afar.
Here’s a time zone adjustable, subscribe-able calendar for the sessions that are live streaming. Remember to make sure that it’s displaying the week of November 28th to December 4th.
If you want to subscribe to the calendar, just click on the in the top right.
…and again, remember timing may change for these broadcasts. Double check the official site if you absolutely must see something live.
AWS has published a lot of whitepapers. Unfortunately, they are often overlooked, mainly because I honestly think that people don’t know they exist.
This week, I set out to do a Twitter thread per day that was a mini-review of a specific AWS whitepaper. Here are the papers I reviewed;
- Practicing Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery on AWS
- Reactive Systems on AWS
- NIST Cybersecurity Framework
- AWS Serverless Multi-Tier Architectures with Amazon API Gateway and AWS Lambda
- Machine Learning Best Practices for Public Sector Organizations
Amazon Builder’s Library
The library aims to host deeper dives into specific technology challenges. Where the whitepapers provide a high level overview of a space, papers in the library try to provide a comprehensive description of a problem space.
I again took to Twitter (where I’m @marknca) to provide some mini-reviews:
- Timeouts, retries, and backoff with jitter
- Making retries safe with idempotent APIs
- Fairness in multi-tenant systems
- Automating safe, hands-off deployments
- Avoiding overload in distributed systems by putting the smaller service in control
AWS Labs Code Repos
AWS Labs has a large number (over 600!) code repositories up on GitHub under /awslabs. Not all of them are still active, as they’ve been replaced by in-service functionality or entirely new services.
But there are still gems out there. Here are some of my favourites:
- AWS Deployment Framework
- AWS Lambda Powertools (Python)
- Gluon TS (Time Series)
- AWS WAF Security Automations
- Amazon QuickSight Embedding SDK
- AWS Perspective
- Amazon S3 Glacier Re:Freezer
- Amazon API Gateway Serverless Developer Portal
- AWS Data Wrangler
AWS Well-Architected Framework
The AWS Well-Architected Framework is a fantastic guide to help you build a practice on key principles to build better in the cloud. The framework is built on five pillars;
- Operational Excellence in the AWS Well-Architected Framework
- Security in the AWS Well-Architected Framework
- Cost Optimization in the AWS Well-Architected Framework
- Reliability in the AWS Well-Architected Framework
- Performance Efficiency in the AWS Well-Architected Framework
Wow. AWS re:Invent 2021 came out of the gates swinging. We had some great announcements and started to see the first sessions in person…and sort of streaming.
Despite the glitches, I still had a lot of fun diving into some great new announcements. I’m continuing to track those in this post, “The Top AWS re:Invent Announcements”.
One of those announcements was the newly revamped Amazon Inspector. I tweeted about that one quite a bit, you can read that thread if you’re interested.
Near the end of the day, I jumped on a Twitter Space with fellow AWS Hero, Andrew Brown. Andrew is hosting a series of these Spaces and I strongly recommend that you check them out if you can.
The event calendar is up for Virtual #reInvent2021!— Andrew Brown (@andrewbrown) November 28, 2021
☁️ Twitter Spaces for multiple AWS Beginners topics
☁️ Social Networking Events via Spot
☁️ Keynote Watch Parties via Spot
Go to the calendar and set your reminder for multiple!https://t.co/2fuynIII4b
After that, I jumped right into a great conversation with another AWS Hero, Mike Chambers. Mike streamed out chat to his YouTube channel. We covered a few of the day one announcement and what we were hoping to see from the rest of the show.
Day Two brought Adam Selipsky’s first keynote as AWS CEO. He did a really great job. I’m still processing my overall impression and takeaways but you can read through my initial reactions as I live tweeted the whole thing.
There wasn’t a ton of live streaming content today but some of the sessions did start to be published on demand. That’s a nice change as we had been expected to wait up to 72 hours to see that content.
That lack of live streaming content afforded me a chance I don’t often get. I managed to set aside some time to take a first look at an AWS service.
I was really excited to take a first look at the revamped Amazon Inspector and created a video of that walk through along with some additional thoughts.
I’m still trying to get enough time to build a custom lens for the AWS Well-Architected Tool and to dive into the new Amazon SageMaker Canvas…not to mention the serverless versions of MSK and Redshift!
Corey Quinn continued his, “Opinions my own” series. This time chatting with Bill Vass. Bill is AWS’ VP of Technology and Engineering. He’s got a fascinating perspective on how AWS works and what it’s delivering for customers.
In the evening we got the always fascinating talk from Peter DeSantis. Peter is AWS’ SVP of Utility Computing and his talk always pulls back the curtain a bit on AWS. This year was no exception.
He walked us through how AWS is focusing on custom silicon in order to power specific and general workloads more efficiently.
Last year, the focus was on resiliency and how we need to build everything with that in mind. This year? Efficiency.
Werner tied that directly to sustainability and recalled his “21st Century Architecture” principles from re:Invent 2012. He also introduces six key API design principles that will help everyone build more reliably & sustainably;
- APIs are forever
- Never break backward compatibility
- Work backwards from customer use cases
- Create APIs with explicitly and well-documented failure modes
- Create APIs that are self-describing and have a clear, specific purpose
- Avoid leaking implementation details at all costs
👆 Principles to build by!
This is always a great talk as it looks ahead, reinforces (ha! pun intended) key security tenets, and reviews the most impactful security announcements of the past year.
I finally had a chance to take a breather…not much of one but a little bit. More and more of the on demand content is getting published.
That means I finally get to take in some sessions. As I do, I’ll probably push out twitter threads for the more interesting ones and then publish them here.
I also hosted my first Twitter Space. A lot of builders turned out and we shared some of our favourite announcements and happenings from the show.
For my actual day job—yes, I have one 🤣—I published, “What AWS re:Invent 2021 Means For The Future of Cloud Computing” over on the Lacework blog.