With an estimated 60,000 attendees, AWS re:Invent 2022 was evidence that “live events” are back and as strong as ever. And despite the flood of news emerging at the show, two key messages rose to the surface: Cloud continues to rise despite the sluggish tech sector, and good enough is no longer good enough.
The steady growth of cloud was cited by attendees, employees, reporters, and analysts alike as a bright spot in the otherwise tough tech sector. Rather than projects and one-off DevOps experiments, cloud is now a fundamental strategy enabling digital transformation, business agility, cost control, and addressing a growing skills gap. Organizations are definitely not looking to repatriate. In fact, there’s growing talk of looming data center evacuation deadlines.
Furthermore, enterprises’ investment in multicloud seems to be driving the next wave of industry growth. Even AWS was front and center saying that, “You are going to hear us talking a lot about multicloud,” representing a major company shift and posture change in just the past two years.
As enterprises dive in and migrate business-critical applications to cloud, the next challenge is making cloud practical for their businesses. As one industry analyst shared with us at the show, the problem is that companies know they have a lot of inefficiencies (like VPC sprawl), which are hindering their ability to grow in the cloud. In this next phase, good enough is no longer good enough. Attendees echoed this sentiment as they raised issues of growing pains and scalability thought the week. We also saw attendees focused on sessions with practical applications and having deeper technical discussions than in years past as they searched for the right solutions to their real-world cloud challenges. As one industry analyst put it, “Customers are outgrowing short-term solutions.”
Insights from the Show Floor
During the show, Aviatrix President and CEO Steve Mullaney sat down for a lively and insightful interview with theCUBE, where he discussed why “good enough is no longer good enough” and what that means for enterprises. According to Steve, businesses are in full-on upgrade mode of their native constructs as they seek enterprise-grade visibility and control to align with the mission-critical applications that are becoming the mainstay of the cloud. (See the full interview here. Further insights from the interview can be found here.)
Aviatrix’s Chief Marketing Officer Mike Welts echoed this sentiment, saying, “Time and time again, we heard or held discussions around the first wave of cloud being dominated by CSPs. With a shift to business-critical apps moving to the cloud, there is a pressing need to shift from native cloud constructs to gain greater visibility, control, security and automation across multiple cloud environments. Basic connectivity is shifting to enhanced network services to provide truly seamless multicloud infrastructure. IT is being asked to deliver end-to-end data services, networking, and visibility across clouds in order to provide digital transformation and consistent services delivery.”
Nauman Mustafa, Aviatrix’s Vice President of Business Development, noted, “Things have changed in last two years where many IT execs are comparably more knowledgeable than before. I see there are leaders emerging in mature cloud organizations (I call them Cloud CRO’s – Chief Repair Officer) that are more visionary and with guts to challenge the status quo with continuous improvement mindset. In some organizations, this role is being brought in from outside to play the ‘fix my cloud, CRO role.’”
As one such leader told Nauman during re:Invent, “I was brought in to fix the company’s cloud analytics deployment and now that I have fixed that, I have been tasked to fix our cloud infrastructure deployment.” Nauman summarized, “Things have grown organically over last 3-4 years and have turned into a giant mess…enterprises who started their journey years ago may actually have a lot of tech debt, and sub-optimal approaches that were done to ‘prove the cloud’ but are not enterprise grade anymore.”
Several enterprises discussed the way they’re tackling these challenges throughout the show. IHG Hotels and Resorts’ Head of Infrastructure, Architecture, and Innovation, Eric Norman, for example, was featured with Aviatrix’s Rod Stuhmuller on theCUBE talking about the global hotel chain’s multicloud environment, compliance, moving business critical applications to the cloud, move to the edge, and enhancing their overall guest experiences. (See the full interview here.)
The Key is to Never Stop Learning
Beyond this year’s key themes, knowledge advancement was a central goal for AWS re:Invent attendees, who sought to learn as much as possible about all aspects of the cloud. This likely correlates to the pressing need and growing requirement to evacuate traditional datacenters in favor of the cloud. Sessions and booths that focused on education and certification were far more flooded than those who stayed the traditional trade show booth route, indicating a real desire to learn more about the cloud and best practices.
At a private invitation-only event for Aviatrix Certified Engineers (ACEs), we discussed the latest developments in the program – including the SAP Specialty Training and FastTrack courses for employees of CSPs like AWS. This group, and the ACEs that stopped by our booth, were highly charged and enthusiastic about becoming leaders and heroes of the cloud generation.
We’d like to thank the Aviatrix crew that made this event a success, as well as the myriad of customers, analysts, AWS employees, experts, and professionals we had the opportunity to meet and mingle with at this year’s event. Can’t wait for next year!
To hear more about the event, join our annual re:Invent Unpacked with AWS and Aviatrix on December 7 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am PST, where we’ll unpack all the important networking highlights and announcements from this year’s show and what they mean for you. Register here.