AWS re:Invent – Day 1

I’ve arrived in Las Vegas in Friday and had a couple of days vacation prior to registering for the conference at the MGM Grand.

I don’t think I’d truly realised how big an event this year it was going to be as the MGM Conference Centre is huge but it’s dwarfed in size in comparison to The Sands Expo down at the Venetian (and that’s just two of the venues).

Today started with Breakfast over at the Mirage where all the training and certifications are being conducted. I spent breakfast chatting with a guy from Arizona State University who was sitting his SysOps exam later that morning and another guy who had only just flown in from Denmark who was feeling the effects of jet lag.

After walking over to The Sands Expo to catch the shuttle bus back up to the MGM for my first breakout session I was in awe of the whole setup.

The sheer number of people walking just to get to the bus and there sessions was amazing. It’s estimated that there will be in excess of 40000 attendees this year.

I’m currently sat waiting for the ENT302: Optimizing Costs as you Scale on AWS session to start.

Now that the breakout has finished I just thought I’d post a quick update based on that session. The main theme was around the 5 Pillars of Cost Optimization, these being:

  • Right Sizing Instances.
  • Increases Elasticity.
  • Picking the Right Pricing Model.
  • Leveraging the Right Storage and Services.
  • Governance, Measures and Targets for Optimizing.

There was a good example used with Expedia telling there story of projected growth of Cloud costs for the year was expected to be 40% over there budget, but working through the pillars they successfully reduced that estimate to be only 7% over their budget.

Next up is WIN302: Deep Dive on Active Directory- From One to Many Regions. This specific session was based around AWS on EC2 Instances only as there are separate sessions for the AWS Managed Active Directory later in the week. There were a few key takeaways mainly around the networking side of things regarding ensuring you utilise Active Directory Sites and Services at the Availability Zone level rather than the VPC and the use of VPN, Direct Connect (including Direct Connect Gateway) or Transit VPCs when utilizing Multi Region deployments.

After a little bit of lunch it was a walk down to the Aria after seeing the hour and a half queue for the shuttle bus. Walking around the Quad was interesting with varying sponsor booths, content lounges, lego great ball contraption and builders fair.

I even saw the AWS ninja down there on the DJ’s deck spinning some tracks.

As I was needing somewhere to charge my phone battery I headed down to the Venetian where the AWS Certification Lounge. It was good to be able to take the weight off my feet (and there’s a bit of it) and have a drink, pick up a bit of swag and play some retro arcade games like space invaders.

To finish the day off it was back to the MGM to the Hakkasan Night Club for some beers and nibbles for the Global Partner Conference Welcome Reception which was good fun meeting fellow attendees.

All in all it’s been a productive day with a bit of swag to boot.

Off to bed for an early night since it’s an early start tomorrow for Solution Architect Professional Readiness Bootcamp.

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