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From ‘Chaos Engineering’ to ‘The Future of Mixed-Autonomy Traffic’: Sessions I enjoyed from re:Invent 2018

I got the chance to take in a good selection of sessions at Amazon’s recent re:Invent conference.  Here are the ones that I particularly enjoyed and recommend!

CON310: Chaos Engineering for Modern Applications on AWS

A bit of history on Chaos Engineering (made famous by Netflix in many ways), followed by a demonstration of a product from Gremlin which is designed to help in this area.  Top tip: “If you’re building a new application, build chaos into it from the beginning”.

ARC338: How AWS Minimizes the Blast Radius of Failures

I watched this shortly after the Mars Rover had successfully landed, which puts a bit of context into avoiding failure! This talk is interesting as it starts off with the ‘obvious’ blast radius elements (Regions, Availability Zones…) and develops to discuss the use of cells to further improve resilience.  Shuffle sharding is a key element, and I also found an earlier blog that discusses this concept.

DVC203: Pro Tips for Scaling AWS Training to Accelerate Adoption

A very insightful talk from Drew Firment of A Cloud Guru.  This is a topic close to my heart as I’ve been working within StepStone to roll out appropriate training programmes on AWS.  Lots of great tips in here, and if nothing else, inspired me to build an IOT button for my son that plays ‘Baby Shark’ on demand…

ARC337: Closing Loops and Opening Minds: How to Take Control of Systems, Big and Small

“Quality is not an act, it is a habit” (Aristotle).  Building reliable control planes is a Big Deal [TM].  This talk goes into some interesting detail on the approaches that are taken at AWS to do this in a way that scales reliably.  10 patterns are presented to be learned from…

CTD203-R: Amazon Prime Video: Delivering the Amazing Video Experience

It goes without saying that Amazon Prime Video is streaming a lot of data. In the EU, it is 6.06% of all traffic!  This talk digs into it, although most of it is focused on how CloudFront helps enable that.

SEC325: Data Protection: Encryption, Availability, Resiliency, and Durability

A deep dive into the key management offerings from AWS: KMS

AIS302: The Future of Mixed-Autonomy Traffic

I found this presentation fascinating.  It formed part of the AI Summit that was held at re:Invent this year.  It focuses on the impact of self-driving cars in traffic, and the research that is ongoing in this area.  This includes how Machine Learning is a key part of the work.

NET304: AWS VPN Solutions

An advanced architecture-level talk.  This covers two main aspects: Site to site VPN, and the new Client VPN service.  Interestingly, this included a lot of information on the new Transit Gateway service.  The latter is of particular interest to me, due to working for an organisation with many, many VPCs and accounts, and anything that helps simplify this compared to the existing tools is greatly appreciated!

If you are interested in more, check out https://reinventvideos.com/ which is a great site for searching through the sessions!

Tristan Greaves

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