AWS performed extremely strongly last year. Once again, they hit the record. The public cloud service providers -in general- performed very well in 2017, all the big players increased their revenues with double digits. Buzz around cloud remains on the high level. It seems that cloud services are not appealing just for certain industry but all of them. Fast paced business environments are more and more depending on dynamic possibilities of x-as-a-service based solutions.
Figure 1. A section from Amazon’s quarterly result
Based on the quarterly result, the income generated by AWS is highly important for Amazon. Just for the last quarter AWS was responsible for income of $1,35B that was a huge part of the total Amazon’s income. Furthermore, AWS generated 1/10 of all Amazon’s net sales in 2017. If the trend continues, there is a possibility that AWS becomes bigger than SAP within a few years.
What those financial numbers means for the current year? AWS is starting once again the new year from the leading position. 2017 they introduced 1430 new services and features and it is expected that they will introduce even more this year. It has begun to be hard to find a nice-to-have service that is not provided by AWS. Yet, the trend is to increase the number of managed services and I expect that trend to continue. Who really likes to be able to look under the hood, people just like to ride.
Full house at Clarion
When I arrived at the scene the further orienteering was simple. Just follow the queue. After registration, I wrapped some snacks and decided to reserve my seat in the containers session. The decision between tracks was not simple, though. There were three simultaneous sessions and two workshops… Lots of content for a single day!
The containers track was hosted by AWS gurus Abby Fuller and Paul Maddox. All the empty seats disappeared well before the official start. The first session included good insights to ECS, EKS and Fargate services. Especially EKS part was waited for as it includes some demonstration of the new service. Slides and recoded videostream will be available by AWS some day soon (link to Slides and Recordings). That enables not only a possibility to refresh own notes from all those sessions but provides also opportunity to get insights from interesting overlapping tracks that I was not able to attend.
ECS is the oldest service among these three, and unlike the new ones, it is used in production at the moment. The new insight was relating to Fargate, as new ECS clusters can be launched in Fargate mode (Fargate’s preview mode is only available in us-east-1). Fargate mode might be interesting option in those scenarios where there are no need to have SSH access to EC2.
Fargate is, as previously indicated, managed service that relief some of the pain that relates to backend infrastructure configurations. Using Fargate, one really have only to define memory and cpu for the task. AWS will takes care of the rest. The default values (at the moment) for memory is 0,5G and CPU 0,25vCPU. And naturally define how many healthy tasks there have to be up and running at all the time. Fargate seems to be one of those services that I will look deeper.
Kubernetes is will be integrated into AWS, at least for orchestrating perspective. EKS was and is one of the most waited for service, for me at least. Ramping up EKS with AWS Console is pretty quick and neat. The sneakpeak revealed that during the preview phase the process includes a couple of Cloudformation stacks but those are expected to be hided under the hood later on. After those initial setups, there is not much to do than a couple of clicks and kubernetes cluster is up and running. EKS provides a cluster endpoint, something like my-cluster.EKS.<region>.amazonaws.com. Behind that endpoint there is the kubernetes master and etcd. Migration to EKS seems to be piece of cake as kuberctl works as before.
I also attended AWS meet-up Finland at Siili Solutions. Nicely the event was on the same day than AWS DevDay Nordic. It was fully buuked event and there were also people on the wait list. I was expecting a full house but reason beyond my knowledge, for some reason a quite many people had faced force majeure that not only hindered them to participate but also to inform organizators about their absence. Hopefully people that were on the wait list don’t read this… Anyhow the panel discussion with the AWS gurus really wrapped up the AWS day.