AWS re:Invent 2021 - Day 2

Day 2 at AWS re:invent started with a keynote session from AWS CEO Adam Selipsky. This was the first keynote session I attended at re:Invent and still can’t believe their was an opening act of a band playing at 8am before it started!

The keynote was great to understand the growth of AWS over the past number of years and was super exciting to hear some of the new feature announcements. Some of the main announcements that stood out to me were the following:

  1. AWS Private 5G — a way for users to configure and manage their own private 5G network, with AWS providing all required hardware.

Day 2 breakout sessions

After the keynote, I attended a breakout session hosted by the VP of R&D at Astra Zeneca, Anna Asberg! This talk was all about how they are integrating with AWS managed machine learning services to drive innovation of drug discovery/development by providing predictive insights. It was also super interesting to hear how this integration helped during the pandemic, when it was not feasible to have all employees in labs due to socially distancing and so scientists could still access the data and run simulations whist working remotely from home.

Chris then took us through a deeper dive of the architecture that was built for their specific use cases — including ETL microservices. One of the major issues that they were able to solve using a combination of AWS managed services was breaking down the data silos (some public, some private and some on-prem) and providing a common API layer not only for the applications to quickly query the raw data, but also receive predictions (via SageMaker) for certain simulations the scientists wanted to run.

The second talk of the day that I attended was presented by the sustainability team at AWS, about how they are analysing and utilising satellite images to track coastal and crop changes in Africa — helping humans to further understand climate change. This was a super interesting talk from getting to understand the tools that are being used to power it, like EKS, Lambda, EC2 and SNS — but also getting to see how the data generated could help empower African governments, business and communities.

It was incredible to see the level of detail and what can be inferred by the changing conditions — all from space. If this was scaled across the globe, it really could showcase not only the impact of climate change, but also provide insight into how we can actively tackle it.

The final breakout session I attended on day 2 was an in-depth technical showcase on how you can integrate Amazon EKS with your networking pattern. This was a fantastic talk that went through a full deep dive on what EKS is and best practices for networking when working with VPC’s and load balancers.

The talk took the audience through some of the benefits of using EKS in a ‘standard’ network setup in AWS (VPCs, multiple AZs, public/private subnets). Theo then broke down some of the challenges we might face whenever we want to scale this setup, specifically if we had pods across separate subnets and wanted to facilitate communication with one another, without using a NAT.

Meeting my fellow AWS Community Builders

I am currently an AWS Community builder, and have been part of the program since 2020. This program offers technical resources, mentorship and networking opportunities to AWS enthusiasts and emerging thought leaders across the world.

AWS community builders are situated across the globe, so re:Invent was the perfect opportunity to finally meet some of the builders face to face! It was fascinating to get to know them more and hear more about their day to day roles and about their highlights at re:invent so far.

Only two days in and re:invent has been absolutely incredible – stay tuned for more of my updates and highlights!

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