AWS re:Invent is always a honest tech conference and they have real stuff and not much BS. No reason to think it will be any different this year. Attendees will find the show to be stimulating and keynotes a joy to watch. They always prepare well and put on a good show that will bring a smile to customers. We can expect them to launch new products that will shake up some of the legacy vendors in sleepy market segments.
Having said that, there are three areas I will be watching closely at this year’s keynote:
I will be looking to see if AWS will make efforts to move away from their untenable and complex pricing model with Reserved Instances. Bandaids like convertible RIs are not solving the problem.
A concern of mine has been that AWS may be getting too comfortable to rest on their laurels and does not want to rock the boat. This is what most innovators do after they find success. For AWS to continue being innovative, they should not be afraid to take some of their holy cows like Reserved Instances and retire them. If they do not do that, its either because they are out of touch with smaller end of their customer base or they are too afraid to rock the boat.
Lambda this year has to “Show me the money”. I will be looking for customer success stories that have migrated their apps to Lambda and starting to realize the benefits. Serverless is cool in 2014, its time to show solid results. I do not doubt for a minute that AWS will not have good case studies, but I will be looking for examples of larger and critical workloads on serverless model.
3) AI / ML / Excel Pivot tables
AWS ML strategy does not inspire much confidence yet. I will be watching AWS investment into ML. I would look to see them hire some more super AI/ML talent and invest in new things. I still don’t get a sense that AWS understands what it takes to be better than Google at this. Empty partnership announcements is not the right answer. I would like it if this year’s reInvent were to inspire confidence in AWS’s ML strategy.
I do think, AWS will pleasantly surprise us all. What do you guys think?