3 Key Takeaways from Awesome AWS Summit at Stockholm

Amazon Web Services organizes yearly a series of AWS Summits in different countries. Solita participated in this year’s AWS Summit at Stockholm on 4th May with a cross-functional team of over 10 people. We got to spend the sunny day with over 1000 colleagues coming from as far as from Middle East. Here are some key takeaways from the day.


Summit was started with a nice breakfast combined with the expo and continued with AWS keynote including numerous interesting customer cases. Afternoon included more specific presentations divided into 4 tracks:

  • Services
  • IoT, Mobile & APIs
  • Enterprise
  • Startup

It was also possible to take some hands-on labs or meet the AWS experts for more challenging questions during the day.

Takeaway #1: AWS continues growing and introducing a lot of new features and services

This year’s keynote put heavy emphasis on how Nordics generate more innovations, startups and exits compared to the rest of the world.  “Small in population… Big in innovation” as Darren Mowry, Head of AWS Nordics and Baltics, put it. This is naturally interesting environment for AWS, its partners and customers because it generates a lot of demand for AWS services. Ian Massingham, Chief Technical Evangelist for EMEA, continued showing impressive numbers regarding AWS growth – 64% year over year and 1M active customers per month. Ian also went through major updates and upcoming feature launches in AWS services including:

  • 2 new EBS volume types built for throughput (e.g. log processing)
  • Inspector service for detecting and remediating security issues early and often
  • Serverless architecture with EC2, Lambda and DynamoDB services
  • S3 transfer acceleration to increase upload speed into S3
  • Managed identity pools with Cognito in order to allow developers maintain own identity management systems
  • Database migration service, which supports migration between Amazon Aurora, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle, SQL Server and Amazon Redshift

Takeaway #2: Nordics is hot AWS scene and customers and partners in Nordics are creating world-class services on top of AWS services

Ian also reminded us of the wide range of accreditations and certifications AWS has, which many regulated services in US and Europe rely on (e.g. NASA and FINRA). There are not probably many traditional data centers which have same level of accreditations.

Takeway #3: New services and features reviewed in the Summit are already widely in production use and thus customers and partners can rely on that the new releases are really functional and production-ready stuff

One of the interesting cases in the afternoon was Microservices at Wrapp, which is a service providing personal offers and rewards. This case was especially interesting because the presenter went through the transformation process showing how things used to be and how they are now. They used to have a lot of servers and registries just to orchestrate the environment, but with the AWS EC2 container service (ECS) they were able to get rid of most of the components. Some shortcomings listed in the presentation were lack of service discovery, routing and load balancing in ECS with their current setup. In overall they were really happy to get rid of most of the maintenance work related to the orchestration.

Another interesting case in the afternoon was Telenor Connexion presenting their IoT platform. First Amazon presenter went through the best practices with IoT platform. He put heavy emphasis on how one should always use shadow of the IoT device instead of directly communicating with the IoT device. The shadow allows sending commands in correct order and also allows communicating with a device, which is not currently available. As a demo the presenter showed how he was able to control a toy robot with PS3 controller so that all the commands and responses were transferred over AWS IoT platform. It just proved how small latency one can achieve.

Presentations of the Summit are available at https://aws.amazon.com/summits/stockholm/presentations/ and http://www.slideshare.net/AmazonWebServices/tag/aws-summit-stockholm-2016

Kimmo Kantojärvi works as a data scientist in Solita. He is focused on cloud architectures and is working together with customers to transform their businesses into cloud. During sunny days he can be found in a golf course or in forest looking for orienteering control points.