Learnings from the AWS Summit London – 2019

The AWS Summit London took place on Wednesday the 8th May at the Excel London. The London Summit saw 12,000+ attendees attend keynote presentations and take part in over 60 technical sessions. 98 sponsoring APN partners took part, Version 1 included as an AWS Premier Partner and Silver Sponsor. With so much on the agenda, it was difficult to attend everything our representatives wanted to see, but thankfully, if you missed out on anything, there is a bank of recordings from the summit available here.

In the following blog post, we look back over the overarching themes attendees came away from the Summit thinking about, themes largely related to databases, innovation, invention, productivity and customer stories.

Database Freedom

Considering the focus AWS has placed to date on ‘Database Freedom’, and Version 1’s ongoing collaboration with AWS and our customers in this arena – it was no surprise that Databases and the related services in AWS were a hot topic of the keynotes and sessions at this event. Database Freedom is a unique program designed to assist qualifying customers migrating from traditional database engines to cloud-native ones on AWS. Version 1 recently co-hosted a Database Freedom Day for our customers in Dublin and will be co-hosting our next Database Freedom Day with AWS in Scotland soon. Feel free to contact our Cloud experts through the form at the bottom of this page to learn more about these exclusive workshops.

Attendees Urged to Innovate and Invent

The topic of innovating, inventing and ‘building’ featured heavily throughout the event. Darren Morey, Director of Business Development EMEA at Amazon Web Services kicked off proceedings during the keynote session by looking back at monumental moments of innovation and invention in the history of the United Kingdom. Morey noted the nation’s ‘DNA of invention’. Referencing the fact that AWS now has over 100,000 active customers in the UK alone at the moment, he urged attendees to embrace their potential as innovators as they spent their time at the summit, as AWS believes invention and revolution won’t come from its own work alone, but from AWS customers and partners collectively working together to speed the invention of new and interesting solutions.

Insights from the Ministry of Justice on Critical Cloud Migration Programme

If you have been keeping up to date with our AWS Summit and re:Invent coverage to date, you will have read in our coverage of AWS re:Invent 2018 about the Collaborative Effort in a Critical Migration Programme by Version 1, AWS and the Legal Aid Agency Discussed by Phil Eedes, Technical Architect with the UK Ministry of Justice. This talk was based on an exciting and critically important large-scale Cloud migration programme for the Legal Aid Agency executed in partnership with AWS and Version 1. If you want to catch up on Phil Eedes’ initial presentation on this cloud migration programme, check out Best Practices for Running Oracle Databases on Amazon’.

To bring us up to date on the story at the AWS Summit in London this year, Tom Read, Chief Digital and Information Officer of the Ministry of Justice shared the organisation’s success to date with this large-scale cloud migration programme.

One of the most impactful moments of the presentation by Tom Read was the moment he described how the Legal Aid Agency of the Ministry of Justice does not innovate for competitive advantage, or to stop anyone from ‘overtaking’ the organisation, but that it is a monopoly service that people use for a variety of reasons in their time of need in very vulnerable points of their lives.

Therefore, innovation for the LAA is all about serving the people that require the LAA’s services. This responsibility drives the organisation’s mission, and that’s why they do what they do in terms of technology.

Tom Read stated in his presentation that despite the importance of the organisation’s services, a few years ago they were not in an ideal situation in terms of technology, with an old on-premise datacentre and mixed IT estates. The organisation’s IT estate was suffering outages – and to further make matters difficult for the organisation – the complexity of its IT estate meant that the LAA could not deploy releases as often as they wished to make services more easily accessible for citizens, who in a digital world are increasingly expecting to access services on their mobile phones digitally rather than in-person as they would have done before the ‘digital revolution’ cited by AWS at the beginning of the keynote.

Tom Read described the approach taken to successfully migrate the LAA estate into the Cloud with the support of AWS and Version 1, describing the ‘before’ and ‘after’ for the LAA:

Before the Cloud Migration Programme:

After the Cloud Migration Programme:

To listen to Tom Read’s full presentation, it is available at 55 minutes and 30 seconds in the following video of the full keynote session from the AWS Summit London.

 The Impact of Cloud in Today’s Business Landscape

The London School of Economics released a study from which attendees were shown key statistics to highlight the importance of the ‘digital revolution’ and the power of Cloud, how the Cloud has reduced the barriers to entry for modern startups and impacted productivity and business efficiencies positively.

  • Uplift in productivity of up to 20%
  • Reduced time to market and associated governance by 500-2000%
  • Development times for code have reduced by 60-80%
  • Developers could perform tasks 5x faster with cloud

Impact of the Cloud on UK Retailer

Phil Jordan, Group CIO of Sainsburys and Clodagh Moriarty, Group Digital Officer of Sainsburys discussed how their organisation took their online grocery business and rebuilt it in the Cloud. Phil Jordan described how the organisation essentially took a ‘websphere e-commerce monolith’, an Oracle RAC database, moved it, modularized it, and put it into the Cloud. The transition from the RAC to RDS, their large-scale database migration was all achieved using AWS services and now they have a fully Cloud native service that runs groceries online across all of their business today. Sainsbury’s make huge use of the AWS compute services and today they run about 80% of their groceries online with EC2 and about 20% is serverless. The outcome of Sainbury’s migration to Cloud has been a significant transformation for their business.

Announcement of New Amazon EC2 I3en Instance

AWS today boasts over 190 instances to match any workload and the newest instance shared during the Summit was the EC2 I3en, which is now available should you wish to avail of it. Before today, I3en was their first NVMe-based instance storage platform and it’s the go-to platform for most of their customers that are doing high I/O applications that need great random I/O performance. Based on customer feedback, a lot of customers stated that they loved the platform but they needed more storage, and for said storage to be available at a cheaper price. I3en was designed to meet that use-case, for I/O intensive applications and workloads such as high-performance relational databases NoSQL databases and distributed file systems data warehouses. AWS stated that I3en instances deliver the highest instance storage in the Public Cloud lowers the price per GB by 50% over current solutions.