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Innovation hotspots heat up AWS re:Invent


Crowds gathered at Amazon Web Services Inc.’s massive post-pandemic re:Invent conference in Las Vegas this week. As with previous shows, AWS did not disappoint with a laundry list of new and improved products, services, and features.

For a company of this size, AWS has continued to do a great job of pushing the innovation pedal all the way up. Nonetheless, the most intriguing innovation stories were scattered among the 350 strong exhibitors showcasing their products in the cavernous halls of the Venetian Convention and Expo Centre.

It took 80,000 strenuous steps, but we were able to narrow the list down to the six most innovative vendors. Additionally, we were able to pay tribute to AWS itself. Here are my favorites:

AWS: It’s Not Just Cloud Anymore

For all its innovations, AWS has de-emphasized its core offering, cloud computing. Of course, everyone takes the cloud for granted, but this downplay reflects Amazon’s perception that the infrastructure-as-a-service battle has largely been won.

Instead, its focus has shifted to value-added services, especially data and AI-centric products. The list also includes more and more comprehensive support for application development efforts. Especially when these efforts are piecing together different combinations of his AWS services.

Event-driven workflows that couple such services with Amazon’s Lambda serverless offering formed the core of Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogel’s outstanding keynote (for a detailed analysis, see Vogels’ keynote See Mark Albertson’s article on and Kyt Dotson’s detailed analysis).

So while the individual products represent AWS’ continued innovation, the way customers combine services to enable increasingly sophisticated, high-performance applications is perhaps the most exciting of AWS’ offerings today. part.

Managing and optimizing cloud costs: more popular than ever

With a recession on the horizon, it’s no surprise that some of re:Invent’s more innovative vendors have focused on optimizing and managing cloud costs. As with any innovative corner of the market, the mixed views on this product category have led to confusion. Learn about the best approach to cloud cost optimization (CCO).

Some vendors have looked to the CCO as an aspect of FinOps, providing information to the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer to give them a complete picture of cloud budgeting. Other vendors took a more hands-on approach, helping customers adjust their cloud usage and avoid overspending.

A standout innovation in the crowded CCO space was Zesty Tech Ltd. Zesty purchases storage and computing cloud resources on behalf of its customers and resells those resources to customers on an optimized basis, much like gym memberships.

Different customers consume more or less resources at different times without affecting the amount they pay. Zesty then passes the economies of scale on to its customers.

Zesty’s core innovation is an artificial intelligence-driven predictive algorithm. This allows Zesty to be profitable while optimizing the customer’s cloud costs, as each customer is optimally priced based on their anticipated cloud usage.

Diverse innovations in observability

Observability is a crowded and noisy corner of the cloud management market, centered around tools that process various forms of telemetry such as log data, metrics, traces and events.

Wandering through the re:Invent exhibit halls, I came across three particularly innovative observability vendors.

Coralogix Ltd. analyzes logs, metrics, traces and security data in real time. However, what sets the company apart from other observability vendors is the ability to analyze three months of streaming telemetry data without requiring storage.

The secret of Coralogixs technology is a revolutionary alternative to traditional data indexing, providing real-time insight into observability data via the open-source columnar Apache Parquet format. This novel approach to managing streaming telemetry data provides insight into most types of incidents.

However, sometimes an event is completely unexpected. For situations like this, Coralogix also provides telemetry data archiving to support those unknown unknowns that slip through the cracks of the Parquet format.

Coralogix provides observability for anyone who needs visibility into production, while Helios (Heliosphere Ltd.) focuses specifically on developer needs.

Helios leverages the Open Telemetry specification to give developers the visibility they need into their software’s behavior. Helios is therefore essentially a testing tool, allowing developers to investigate problems, reproduce scenarios, and generate tests for cloud-native applications.

Helios is reminiscent of debugging tools from a generation ago, but it can also auto-generate test code that can run your microservices at its own pace, fully updated for modern cloud-native contexts.

In contrast to these two observability vendors, Lumigo Ltd. provides observability specifically for AWS environments, including Kubernetes and serverless deployments on AWS. Initially he focused on AWS Lambda observability, but now Lumigo offers distributed tracing for the event-driven workflows Vogels described. in his keynote.

Lumigos’ core innovation is a way to track interactions from one cloud service to another without requiring agents, code changes, or even the existence of correlation identities. Ensure developers, DevOps engineers, and operators have the trace information they need to manage such workflows.

Clean up the cybersecurity chaos

Large analyst firms have segmented the cybersecurity software market into several distinct product categories, each with its own acronym. The result is an alphabet soup of products that wreak havoc on a CISO’s must-have shopping list.

Uptycs Inc. faces this fragmentation and chaos approach with its integrated cybersecurity products including (deep breath) CNAPP, CWPP, CSPM, KSPM, CIEM, CDR and XDR. As a result, customers can prioritize responses to threats, vulnerabilities and misconfigurations across their IT estate through a single pane of glass.

Uptycs continuously monitors the behavior of all components in a distributed environment, identifying suspicious patterns that may be the result of malware or other threats.

Adherence to cloud best practices

A final highlight of my innovation defies simple categorization.

Firefly (Infralight Ltd.) abstracts infrastructure as code or IaC scripts and recipes for DevOps engineers to catalog, organize, and control resources across clouds to improve performance, governance, and efficiency. increase.

Firefly sees itself as a cloud asset management vendor, but that description doesn’t do justice to the company. Continuously scan for unmanaged, misconfigured, and inefficient resources by looking at IaC code that provides continuous integration and delivery, or CI/CD automation that moves software through its lifecycle. increase.

Unmanaged resources are resources that are properly included in an IaC workflow. The tool can even identify them and generate the missing IaC code needed to manage them.Firefly leverages its knowledge of cloud best practices to improve resource efficiency. increase.

Challenges of market maturity

AWS (not to mention in general) is a big company and an established leader in the cloud computing space. The cloud itself is now commonplace for most organizations as innovation has migrated to other areas of technology.

However, as the vendors in this article demonstrate, innovation is alive and well across the cloud landscape, and re:Invent remains exciting and popular.

But as a repeat attendee of Macworld in the 1990s and InternetWorld in the 2000s, I’ve seen the innovative marketplace with exciting conferences eventually fade and disappear. But given this week’s innovations, both within AWS and in its broader ecosystem, re:Invent promises several more years of vibrancy.

Jason Bloomberg is the founder and president of Intellyx, which advises business leaders and technology vendors on their digital transformation strategies. He wrote this article for his SiliconANGLE. None of the organizations mentioned in this article are his Intellyx customers.

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