Mick McGuinness
Mick McGuinness DBmarlin Co-founder & Product Manager

AWS Summit 2023 roundup

AWS Summit 2023 roundup

Last week I attended the AWS Summit. This year, the annual event at ExCeL in London was huge. It was my first event on this scale since before the pandemic and it felt bigger than ever. I still remember the early days of the AWS Summit when everything was on a smaller scale. Back then, you felt like you could have a reasonably good understanding of all the AWS services, see all the sessions and visit all the sponsors.

These days with 20+ parallel sessions it is hard to choose which session to attend and there is always that nagging feeling, that whichever one you choose, you might have missed out on a better one. The sessions ranged from the 100-level introductory sessions to the 400-level expert sessions for attendees who were deeply familiar with the topic. I attended sessions on a variety of topics around data and databases where we specialise, as well as a number on AI and ML that I was keen to learn more about.

While Amazon were proud to promote the number of services and options now available in AWS, the phenomenon of choice paralysis will certainly be a factor for some, with over 200 services and coverage in 245 countries. For example, a single service like EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute, which is Amazon’s virtual machine service) now has over 600 instance types to choose from. Deciding which instance family and size to select could be a real dilemma, and benchmarking several options to determine the best fit for your workload could be time-consuming.

Similarly the choice of which vendors to visit was hard, with the number of sponsors this year totalling around 120, with not just gold, silver and bronze but platinum, emerald and diamond sponsors too. The exhibitor hall was split over 2 levels and you had the choice of using the stairs or descending via a slide provided by emerald sponsor Snowflake.

AWS Summit - IBM, Snowflake and CockroachDB

I visited the stands for DBmarlin partners IBM and Cockroach Labs who seemed to be getting a lot of interest from attendees. They had both been smart in advertising on the screens throughout the concourse in ExCeL, so I’d seen their messaging all the way from entering the building. The first couple of times I passed their stands, they were swamped with people and so I came back later in the day once things had eased off.

AWS Summit exhibitor hall

It was good to catchup with our partners, some of who I’d not seen face-to-face before. IBM said they had seen plenty of interest in INSTANA, their full-stack observability solution which integrates with DBmarlin for deeper database insights. Cockroach Labs said they were seeing interest in their scalable DBaaS offering CockroachDB Cloud Dedicated and Serverless which DBmarlin is unique in being able to monitor.

Overall it was an enjoyable day out of the office, I learned some new things about AWS services and I got to catch up with our DBmarlin partners. I’m sure I will attend again next despite my gripes about too much choice 😊

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