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AWS re:Invent 2019: Daily Recap – Thursday

Thursday marked the last full day of AWS re:Invent 2019 and the morning after another outstanding 2nd Watch party. If you attended, it is understandable if you were unable to make Werner Vogels’ keynote address.  Have no fear, 2nd Watch’s Victoria Geronimo has recapped all the highlights for you in her blog post, or you can watch it here.  This year, Vogels focused more on how AWS builds to support microservices instead of on new announcements. As usual, his t-shirt choice was a huge topic of conversation.

It has been another great week here in Vegas, and again I am amazed at all the new and interesting people we get to talk to during this conference.  It is truly a global experience getting to talk to people from all over the world and some AWS Heroes.  I hope we got a chance to meet you at the 2nd Watch booth.  If you needed some relaxation time, AWS provided plenty of areas and opportunities to play including Broomball, Dodgeball and the final party, re:Play, which featured  Anderson Paak, as well as A-Trak, Jamestown Revival, Jen Lasher, Miya Folick, and STS9.

A few of the interesting announcements on Thursday included:

  • The Amazon Builders’ Library, which includes articles on how AWS architects and builds to support their own business.
  • Machine Learning Embark Program to help customers train their workforce in machine learning
  • Amazon Fraud Detector, a fully managed service that makes it easy to identify potentially fraudulent online activities such as online payment fraud and the creation of fake accounts
  • UltraWarm, a fully managed, low-cost, warm storage tier for Amazon Elasticsearch Service that takes a new approach to providing hot-warm tiering in Amazon Elasticsearch Service, offering up to 900TB of storage at almost a 90% cost reduction over existing options
  • Advanced Query Accelerator (AQUA) for Amazon Redshift is a new distributed and hardware-accelerated cache that enables Redshift to run up to 10x faster than any other cloud data warehouse

As usual, the announcements this week show that AWS continues to listen to its customers and release services to fill those needs.  There are still sessions going on today and thousands heading to the airport.  Travel safe and see everyone next year November 30 – December 4, 2020 in Las Vegas.

-Larry Cusick, Solutions Architect

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2nd Watch Earns 2019 Cloud Services Provider of the Year Award

We are honored to announce that Channel Partner Insight (CPI) awarded 2nd Watch the Cloud Services Provider of the Year Award last night at its 2019 Channel Innovation Awards (CIA) ceremony in New York City. The Cloud Services Provider of the Year award is designed for solution providers that can demonstrate their skill and ability to drive client success and recognizes our work helping the largest brands adopt and use cloud infrastructure.

“Innovation in the channel is needed now more than ever,” said Josh Budd, editor of Channel Partner Insight. “The chronic skills gap is widening, yet channel partners are making great strides in enabling customers to modernize their infrastructures and develop smarter, more efficient services. We are excited to recognize 2nd Watch’s contributions as a leading channel player and look forward to monitoring their continued growth and success.”

The CIAs are for solution providers, distributors and vendors that are galvanizing the channel and advancing new ideas and opportunities. Independently run, the CIAs shine a spotlight on innovation and achievement in the North American channel over the past year.

Channel Partner Insight provides leaders of resellers, distributors, MSPs and other specialist consultancies with exclusive analysis of the fast-changing channel sector in Europe and the US.

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AWS re:Invent 2019: Keynote Recap – Thursday

AWS re:Invent kicked off Day 4 with its third and final keynote speech, delivered by Amazon.com’s CTO, Dr. Werner Vogels. 2nd Watch was up early with the birds and excited to hear about the architectural investments AWS is making this year.

The name of the game of this keynote was micro. From Nitro to Fargate to use cases at Vanguard, AWS had microservices up on its moodboard because it allows for more efficient services, greater customization, and speedier deployments.

Vogels began the keynote on Nitro System, AWS’ innovative virtualization platform that will be supporting core services. Hypervisors are integral to the cloud and offer multiple functionalities – protecting hardware, virtualizing storage and CPU, etc. Vogels described them as “monolithic,” which translates to fewer customization options. Inspired by microservices, Nitro modularizes each of these functionalities and offloads them onto hardware and software. By breaking each of these capabilities apart, we can tailor each and build a more efficient and less costly platform for our AWS services. Nitro is at the heart of many of AWS’ newer initiatives, including Outposts, VMware, Bare Metal, and Live Updates.

Vogels also gifted us security nerds with good news – Nitro encrypts everything out of the box and passes on Domain 0 (aka Dom0). Dom0 is a critical functionality of Xen hypervisors and has special privileges allowing it to access hardware. This means that if someone can exploit Dom0, they have direct access to the hardware. In fact, Nitro prohibits admin access entirely.

Clare Liguori, Principal Software Engineer for AWS, took the stage next to reinforce re:Invent’s earlier announcement that Fargate will be supporting EKS. With a clever trivia game demonstration, Clare showed how Fargate allows for better capacity and efficiently isolates containers. She also spent time on Firecracker – a lightweight micro-VMs for containers and serverless applications. She even threw the repo on screen for us! https://github.com/firecracker-microvm/firecracker.

Next, Jeff Dowds, IT Executive from Vanguard, presented a compelling story of how Vanguard developed a Cloud Construction Team to adopt a serverless environment, quickly get a cloud initiative in practice, and reduce overall computing costs.

Reiterating the micro theme, Vogels came back on to discuss the theory behind their cell-based architecture, which enables evolvable architecture and reduces blast radius. Things fail all the time, and if it’s a cell rather than a monolith, it’s harder to bring down the whole architecture. Vogels then discussed Amazon Builder’s Library, which empowers users with write ups on how Amazon architects its own resources in AWS – truly a great resource for anyone building on AWS.

Next up, Sebastian de Halleax, COO of Saildrone, presented how they use AWS to innovate in new ways on the unexplored territory of oceans (wow!). Their Ocean Surveyor is mapping the sea floor and sending data in realtime using AWS. They’ll use this innovation to see how the sea affects humans and vice versa. It’s pretty great to see how AWS is leveraged to solve real world issues outside of the IT realm.

Next up was Dr. Martin Hofmann, Group CIO of Volkswagen AG, which is leveraging AWS Autonomous Factories to innovate their supply chain management. Vogels noted how most equipment is old and outdated at manufacturing plants.  Autonomous Factories – used at AWS warehouse and at Volkswagen – envision automating not only manufacturing but repairing of machines. Think Wall-E!

Vogels coined this automation Industry 4.0. As Stefana Muller live-tweeted this morning on 2nd Watch’s feed “This. Is. The. Future… Now.”

Great closeout to a great re:Invent!

-Victoria Geronimo, Product Manager, Security & Compliance

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AWS re:Invent 2019: Daily Recap – Wednesday

Wednesday is the heart of the AWS re:Invent conference. Between Keynotes from Andy Jassy on Tuesday and Werner Vogels on Thursday was a keynote that many did not pay attend to, as it was partner focused.  The Global Partner Summit Keynote by Doug Yeum, head of AWS worldwide channels and alliances, was where the partner community learned about cloud-powered innovation and the opportunity that it creates for partners. There were many examples of the huge partner ecosystem and how it impacts companies in their cloud journey.  One thing is obvious at this conference, the number of services that AWS is delivering provides a basis for innovation in the partner community.  You can read more about the Keynote in a blog post by Evan Luchese Leon here. It’s obvious that the partner community is strong, growing and supported by AWS with the intent of continuing to drive innovation and support for everyone with new products and supporting services.

Stepping back for a moment, it’s amazing to look at the numbers. Over 65,000 people  were attending move than 1,100 sessions during the day.  It was also apparent that the shear amount of excitement and walking required during the day is starting to wear on people as their step counters are telling them just how much they are moving during the day. And don’t worry if you missed a few of the sessions this week. Just head over to YouTube: https://reinventvideos.com/, filter for 2019 and enjoy them on-demand!

A few of the interesting announcements on Wednesday included:

There are sure to be some really interesting announcements from Werner Vogels during his keynote today.

If you are still cruising the expo for the last hour of the show, don’t forget to stop by the 2nd Watch booth, meet some of the team and lets discuss what you are seeing as well as your challenges and opportunities for the future in AWS.

-David Nettles, Solutions Architect

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AWS re:Invent 2019: Keynote Recap – Wednesday

Day 3 of AWS re:Invent 2019 began with the Global Partner Summit Keynote. As a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN) since 2012, we at 2nd Watch were excited to see this in between Andy Jassy’s and Dr.Vogels’ keynotes – it gave us some time to absorb the previous day’s announcements and hopefully helped highlight what is happening within the APN ecosystem to more of the conference attendees.

The Keynote was delivered by Doug Yeum, Head of AWS Worldwide Channels and Alliances.  He began with his background, which included prior experience starting and running a System Integrator (SI), joining AWS in 2014, working as general manager in Korea, and as Andy Jassy’s chief of staff.

Yeum gave some impressive numbers about the growth of APN, such as a 5x increase in the number of partners since 2014, and the fact that they are adding an average of 50 partners per day.  He then went in to three areas that AWS is investing in to ensure the success of its partners:

  • AWS Innovation: New AWS services lead to more opportunities to help clients realize value from them.
  • Geographic Expansion: More regions bring AWS services closer to AWS users and their customers.
  • Enterprise Migration: Enterprise applications like SAP tend to use consultants to help them migrate to the cloud.

All of this growth is driving partner diversification and collaboration.  Yeum gave numerous examples of next-generation service providers, specialized SIs, Value-Added Resellers (VARs), and management consultants that have emerged recently to help clients navigate ever more complex challenges.  Many partners are also combining forces to deliver more complete solutions that they could not offer on their own.  Yeum stated that he believed Digital Transformation is the biggest opportunity still out there.

Next up was Stewart Fry, VP of Enterprise IT for BP.  He spoke about BP’s cloud journey, which started in 2013, and the various partners who helped them along the way – from their digital foundation, to SAP migrations, to modernizing their application stack.  BP continues to accelerate their cloud transformation, announcing that they were going “all-in” in Europe and moving an additional 900 applications.  Fry closed with  the announcement that AWS will purchase renewable power from BP for AWS datacenters in Europe.

Back on stage, Yeum dove in to three areas from the previous day’s announcements where AWS technical innovation and AWS partners were continuing to enable new benefits for customers; Containers, Machine Learning, and AWS Connect.  Christopher Cerruto, VP of Global Architecture and Analytics at Avis, took the stage to discuss ways that AWS services such as SageMaker, EMR, and Redshift were enabling completely new capabilities and efficiencies across their fleet of vehicles, and of course, to talk about the partners that helped them get there.

The next topic was startups.  After discussing the many ways that AWS already supports startups today, Yeum announced the new APN Global Startup Program, with prescriptive benefits, an accelerated path to meeting APN requirements, and other tailored resources and support for startups that meet the qualifications.

Dave McCann, VP of AWS Marketplace, followed, talking about how Marketplace is transforming the software supply chain and some changes in the Marketplace to better support partners and enable customers.  Highlights included the announcement of Seller Private Offers, the Discovery API, VPC Ingress for Partners, and Data Exchange.

Andy Jassy sat down with Yeum for their fireside chat, which lasted nearly 30 minutes (and kicked off with a mention of 2nd Watch just a few minutes in!).  The wide-ranging interview covered subjects such as leadership (which is all about prioritization, according to Jassy), partner experience (which Jassy likened to asking a doctor, “How many times have you done this surgery before?”), and how partners can get the most value from re:Invent (talk to others, ask questions, learn everything you can from the sessions).

Yeum made some more announcements about matching customers with partners who have experience and competency in the right areas – the AWS Service Ready Program and the AWS Retail Competency.

Sandy Carter was the last guest to speak at the keynote, and she gave an update on what is happening in the Public Sector.  Highlights included the Authority to Operate program, the Partner Transformation Program, and the new AWS Public Safety/Disaster Response Competency. Yeum wrapped up the keynote by reiterating AWS’s commitment to partner success, acknowledging partners as a key part of AWS’ growth, and that AWS wanted to partner for the long term.

There was a lot for partners to be excited about during today’s presentation.  2nd Watch is looking forward to helping customers get even more value from AWS in 2020!

– Evan Lucchesi Leon, Director, Cloud Advocacy

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AWS re:Invent 2019: Daily Recap – Tuesday

Day 2 of AWS re:Invent 2019 kicked off with the Las Vegas strip turning into a parking lot as many attendees spent upwards of an hour getting from their hotels to the Sands Expo Convention Center at the Venetian. The increase in attendance this year to almost 65,000 attendees is obvious!

Once you navigated the traffic and arrived at the convention, the highlight of the day was AWS CEO, Andy Jassy’s, Keynote address.

Jassy began with emphasizing that many companies are still trying to make the cloud transformation and struggle or get stuck in the process.  According to Jassy, in order for a company to make a successful transformation to the cloud, it must have four things:

  1. Senior leadership conviction and alignment
  2. Top-down aggressive goals
  3. Training for its builders
  4. Refusal to let paralysis stop you before you start

As is typical of his keynote, today’s was filled with announcements of new features on AWS, largely geared for the Enterprise.  We captured 22 new features in all:

The first announcement was of AWS’ new in-house developed Graviton 2 chip EC2 instances capable of delivering 40% better price for performance.

Other features announced were:

AWS Compute Optimizer, a new machine learning-based recommendation service that makes it easy for you to ensure that you are using optimal AWS Compute resources

The ability to run Kubernetes pods on AWS Fargate using Amazon EKS. There’s no need to provision or manage infrastructure, and you pay for resources at pod-level with secure pod-level isolation by design

Amazon S3 Access Points, a new S3 feature that simplifies managing data access at scale for shared data sets on Amazon S3.

AQUA (the Advanced Query Accelerator) for Amazon Redshift, a hardware-accelerated cache that promises up to 10x better query performance than competing cloud-based data warehouses

Amazon Redshift Federated Query that allows you to query and analyze data across operational databases, data warehouses, and data lakes.

Amazon Redshift RA3 Instances with Managed Storage that allows you to size your cluster based only on your compute needs.

UltraWarm, which lets you store and interactively analyze your data using Elasticsearch and Kibana

Amazon Managed Cassandra Service, thate nables you to run your Cassandra workloads in the AWS Cloud using the same Cassandra application code

Amazon Sagemaker received a ton of love during the keynote with several significant announcements:

Amazon Sagemaker Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for machine learning (ML) that lets you easily build, train, debug, deploy and monitor your machine learning models.

Amazon Sagemaker Experiments lets you organize, track, and compare your machine learning training experiments on Amazon Sagemaker.

Amazon Sagemaker Notebooks allows developers to spin up machine learning notebooks in seconds.

Amazon Sagemaker Debugger is a new capability that provides complete insights into the training process of machine learning models.

Amazon Sagemaker Model Maker detects concept drift by monitoring models deployed to production, automatically.

With Amazon Sagemaker Autopilot, Amazon SageMaker can use your tabular data and the target column you specify to automatically train and tune your model, while providing full visibility into the process.

Still more announcements included:

Amazon CodeGuru performs automated code reviews for development teams.

Amazon Kendra is a new enterprise search powered by machine learning and natural language.

AWS Local Zones place compute, storage and database services close to large cities, beginning with Los Angeles.

Amazon Fraud Detector is a fully managed service to easily identify potentially fraudulent online activities such as online payment fraud and the creation of fake accounts.

Amazon Detective makes it easy to analyze, investigate, and quickly identify the root cause of potential security issues or suspicious activities.

AWS Wavelength provides seamless access to the breadth of AWS services by embedding AWS compute and storage services at the edge of telecommunications providers’ 5G networks.

And the announcement I a most excited about – the GA launch of AWS Outposts.  Outposts brings AWS public cloud functionality to your on-premises data center. For clients that have struggled with full cloud adoption for various reasons, such as regulatory concerns, data sovereignty, physical security concerns, latency issues, migration issues, etc., Outposts addresses all of these concerns.  The other reason I am extremely excited about Outposts is because 2nd Watch is one of AWS’ Outpost launch partners able to help you explore this option today!

That wrapped the Keynote highlights for Tuesday and leaves us looking forward to Amazon.com CTO, Dr. Werner Vogels’, Keynote on Wednesday along with the 2nd Watch After Party.  See you there!

-Dusty Simoni, Sr. Product Manager

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2nd Watch Supports AWS Outposts

AWS announced the general availability of AWS Outposts today, and 2nd Watch was one of the few select launch partners. As an AWS Outposts Partner, 2nd Watch is able to help AWS customers overcome challenges that exist due to managing and supporting infrastructures both on-premises and in cloud environments and delivering positive outcomes at scale.

AWS Outposts are fully managed and configurable compute and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware that allow customers to run compute and storage on-premises, while seamlessly connecting to AWS’ broad array of services in the cloud. As an AWS Outposts Partner, 2nd Watch has been trained and vetted in delivering positive customer outcomes at scale through re-architecting complex workloads to run on AWS operations.

There are AWS customers today that have certain workloads that will likely need to remain on-premises for several years, such as applications that are latency sensitive and need to be in close proximity to on-premises assets. These customers want to be able to run AWS compute and storage on-premises, and also easily and seamlessly integrate these workloads with the rest of their applications in the cloud. Until now, customers lacked the same APIs, the same tools, the same hardware, and the same functionality across on-premises and the cloud to deliver a truly consistent hybrid experience. AWS Outposts solves these challenges by delivering racks of AWS compute and storage—the same hardware used in AWS public region datacenters—to bring AWS services, infrastructure, and operating models on-premises.

We are proud to support AWS Outposts. Our team is dedicated to helping companies achieve their technology goals by leveraging the agility, breadth of services, and pace of innovation that AWS provides. Read more

-Doug McMaster, EVP Managed Cloud

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2nd Watch Earns VMware Master Services Competency in VMware Cloud on AWS

We’re excited to announce that 2nd Watch has achieved the VMware Master Services Competency in VMware Cloud on AWS! This competency demonstrates our commitment to helping organizations accelerate digital transformations by leveraging validated services delivery capabilities around advanced VMware technologies.

“VMware is pleased to recognize 2nd Watch for achieving the VMware Cloud on AWS Master Services Competency,” said Jenni Flinders, vice president and worldwide channel chief, VMware. “This achievement shows customers that partners like 2nd Watch are dedicated, invested and have validated expertise in advanced VMware technologies. We value 2nd Watch as a VMware partner, and appreciate their efforts in achieving this VMware distinction as they work to increase their service delivery capabilities.”

The competency designates expertise in the deployment of an integrated cloud solution that delivers an on-demand service enabling customers to run applications across a VMware Cloud Infrastructure environment with access to a broad range of AWS services.

We are excited to extend our relationship with VMware, a company that shares our commitment to helping companies use cloud infrastructure to drive growth, innovation, cost savings and digital transformation. This latest recognition underscores our skills and experience moving VMware workloads to AWS. Since forming an initial partnership with VMware, we have successfully teamed with the company on numerous client engagements.

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2nd Watch AWS re:Invent 2019 Breakout Sessions

2nd Watch is presenting two breakout sessions at AWS re:Invent 2019. Add these to your session agenda to attend!

Simple Path to AWS Managed Services (AMS): Wednesday, December 4 – 1:45PM – The Venetian

With AWS Managed Services (AMS) you can eliminate the complexity of managing IT Ops and re-focus on enhancing and delivering your applications. In this session, learn how to accelerate your journey to the cloud by using AMS. We’ll cover the process for assessing, migrating and operationalizing your infrastructure from your on-premise datacenter or existing cloud environment to AMS. Attend this session to learn key steps to streamline this process using automation and infrastructure as code to set up network connectivity, access management, logging, monitoring, backups and configuration. You’ll also discover integration points for an existing managed service provider to seamlessly work with AMS.

Add to your agenda

CCPA – State Privacy Laws’ Effect On Cloud Development: Wednesday, December 4 – 2:10PM – The Venetian

Several states followed the European Union’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by enacting their own consumer privacy laws.  California’s Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), effective January 2020, goes even further in defining what constitutes private data. What does that mean for your cloud journey and the development of cloud native applications? How will you secure private data, adhering to each state’s regulations, while building a foundation for future law changes without straining cloud infrastructure and digital application teams? This session highlights obligations to be aware of, policies and procedures to pursue, cloud architectural considerations, and KPI’s to determine successful implementation.

Add to your agenda

See you in Vegas!

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Meet 2nd Watch at AWS re:Invent 2019

Will you be at AWS re:Invent 2019? 2nd Watch is sponsoring the event, and we want to see you! Stop by booth #2013 to speak with a cloud solutions expert or pre-schedule your meeting with us today.

SCHEDULE A MEETING
Pick up your limited-edition t-shirt and enter to win a DJI Robomaster S1 Robot, the coolest way to learn programming! After assembling the RoboMaster, drive it around firing soft pellets with the help of the on-robot camera to see where you’re aiming and driving.

2nd Watch is hiring and will also be meeting with top-talent professionals at re:Invent. If you are attending re:Invent and would like to discuss opportunities to join our dynamic team, please contact us at careers@2ndwatch.com. Check out our careers page to see a complete list of open positions

See you in Vegas, 2nd Watch Booth 2013!

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