April 29, 2015

AWS Summit Sydney 2015 wrap-up

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Last week, Odecee was a sponsor at the AWS Summit in Sydney. We had a big contingent attending on the day to man the Odecee booth and deliver our presentation. 

Two of our team – Senior DevOps Engineers Andrew Khoury and Philip Jay – share their experiences of the day:

Andrew Khoury

There was a great turn out at this year’s summit, with a little over 3,000 people attending the event. The venue had huge screens on all four corners, each spitting out live video of presenters as well as their slides. For me, the main takeaways from the keynote presentations were:

  • From the Qantas keynote – “automate everything”
  • There is no compression algorithm for experience (AWS has 9 years)
  • Friends don’t let friends build data centres
  • There has been huge growth for AWS year-on-year
  • Hybrid IT is “part of the journey”, NOT the destination
  • It’s all about big data


The Odecee Booth
The Odecee booth was filled with tech gadgets from our Innovation lab. We got to meet some interesting characters, and enjoyed demonstrating the Oculus Rift and our Makerbot 3D Printer. Along with giving away some swag, we spoke to people about what we do in this space – consulting, taking our customers on a journey, and helping people migrate to the cloud!



AWS Cloud Warrior
This prestigious title is awarded to those demonstrating leadership out in the real world in representing AWS and ‘the cloud’. Cloud Warriors take their clients on a journey, helping them achieve great results and getting them excited about the opportunities that await them in the cloud. There were a couple of familiar Cloud Warriors on this year’s list – Michael Wu from our customer Australia Post (he’s on the banner!), and our very own Bryce Johnson.



A walk around the summit
As we wandered around the venue we were treated to an AWS Flappy Bird demo, an endless supply of food and coffee, a peek at a drone and an architecture challenge (with huge AWS icon magnets). The certification lounge – a special area for AWS certified professionals to relax and/or network – was a nice addition to the Summit this year. We were greeted with certification pins and a gift, and had access to our own barista and of course, couches!



Odecee presentation: ‘Enabling continuous delivery for the enterprise: a delivery pipeline journey’ – Senior DevOps Engineer Anthony Scata and Lead Operations Engineer Peter Hall
This was really a great talk from Anthony and Peter, with many points hitting home for me. The key takeaways for me were:

  • Bring in security & get development buy-in as early as possible
  • Don’t fixate on ‘perfection’
  • Run regular showcases for stakeholders
  • CloudFormation templates are not a programming language
  • Environment automation – create APIs and a UI


Philip Jay

SafetyCulture presentation
My main takeaway from this session was that it takes time to get a quality deployment in cloud.  With 12 people working on it, it took SafetyCulture one year to transition to the cloud. Being a start-up, they didn’t really have legacy systems and processes to deal with; for an enterprise, it takes a lot of work to build up the momentum to transition to cloud.

Qantas presentation
For me, the key observation from this session was that the complexity of IT systems is a proxy for business complexity – if you keep it simple in both business and IT systems, then you can have agility and speed in the marketplace. (One of the reasons simplicity is an Odecee value!)

Amaysim presentation
Amaysim suggested the key factor in moving to cloud was the operational transformation; i.e. it’s not technology challenges in the end that need the most attention – it’s people and processes. They also noted that in Amazon, autoscaling means massive spikes in use result in some extra expense rather than an outage – a key cloud advantage.

It was clear from the presentations that customers are choosing AWS for a few main reasons:

  • AWS has the longest experience in cloud computing compared to their competitors
  • AWS has the largest set of features in cloud computing
  • AWS has the biggest ecosystem of partners and customers

In general, it was a great event. I’ll leave you with this great summary of the attitude to the ‘cloud’ in recent years:

2013 – “Should we go cloud?”

2014 – “How do we go cloud?”

2015 – “Cloud first!!”


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Categorised in: Devops

This post was written by Andrew Khoury & Philip Jay