Three Key Takeaways from Amazon re:Invent 2015

Upon returning from AWS re:Invent, a jam-packed cloud computing frenzy in Las Vegas, I was a) pumped up about the impact that cloud environments can have for all of our customers and beyond; and b) left thinking about what key messages really stood out.

There was a lot to take in—but one thing was abundantly clear: AWS has done a remarkable job of making the move to public cloud seem inevitable: taking things like security off of the table, starting to remove some of the roadblocks around migration, and referencing a number of enormous companies who have either completed their migration or are making a major commitment.  It’s impressive. But what does all this mean for AWS, Talend, and our customers? Here are my key takeaways:

Data warehouses, analytics and IoT are all driving a continued migration to the cloud

Over two days of keynotes, executives from the following companies were among those who made presentations discussing their use of Amazon Web Services’ cloud: General Electric, Capital One, John Deere and BMW. If people were wondering before if enterprises are really using this platform, AWS re:Invent 2015 proved that they are.

The cloud is still in hyper-growth mode and small-to-medium sized companies are also using the cloud more than ever before—particularly as data stores continue to grow and the economics around managing these growing stores of data become unfeasible for most.

Migration made easy with Snowball

Given that, one perceived roadblock on the way to AWS is around the effort of moving existing data away from current servers, it is not surprising that they had a few migration offerings.  Snowball is a hardened disk appliance that allows you to physically ship up to 50TB of data via UPS (literally) as well as Database Migration Service (DMS) and a Schema Conversion Tool.  The DMS is a simple wizard that does a like for like bulk migration to or from a “legacy” database to something in AWS including data and code, and compressing along the way for performance.  They quote $3/TB to migrate.  The Schema Conversion Tool is an option that will attempt a best fit heterogeneous migration including data type and stored procedure migration (with some exceptions, I’m sure).

QuickSight and the need for CLEAN data

The announcement of AWS QuickSight was an important one. At face value, it’s a tool customers can use to analyze data they already have stored in AWS’s cloud using fancy graphics. Salesforce has taken the same approach with its analytics cloud. However, as the expression goes—‘Garbage in, garbage out.’ The success of QuickSight will all depend on having really clean data. That said, both Redshift and Aurora integrate with Talend, which makes it significantly easier, faster and cheaper to get all of your data into one repository and have high quality clean data for analytics so that you can have the best insights to infuse back into your business. Talend’s free Data Quality components would also play a critical role in getting the best data possible.

Symbolically, it also signals that AWS is an Infrastructure-as-a-service company – it provides virtual machines, storage, databases and a whole lot of other cool cloud-based infrastructure components. QuickSight is a Software-as-a-Service offering.

So what does all this mean for the future? Cloud is becoming the more obvious choice as the future of data warehouses. It’s more flexible, scalable, affordable and insured. And now, with these new offerings, AWS is making it even easier for customers to get into the cloud. All of these tools are being made more affordable and available so that companies looking to transform their organization into a data driven business have a fast, painless, and obvious path to take.

In addition to the myriad of messages targeted at CxOs, at re:Invent AWS also had the full attention of the world’s leading edge developers (both corporate & ISV) and it’s clear that we’re seeing the next winning multi-year platform franchise emerging.  AWS is (reportedly) already at a $7B annual revenue run rate, up 85% from last year (with their Q3 earnings expected to be announced today). Wow. All of this adds up to the fact that there is nothing but momentum in this space and Talend + AWS makes perfect sense.

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