Amazon Web Services (AWS) organised a conference in Sydney, showcasing cutting-edge technology related to the cloud. The AWS Summit 2019 was a two-day event with more than 100 educational sessions, workshops, and a large expo area that allowed attendees to network with AWS partners and their peers. Michael (Cloud Infrastructure Manager at Cerebrum) attended this year's AWS Summit in May, and dived deep into the latest and coolest visions of cloud technologies - and saw how we can improve efficiency and scale when it comes to modern web hosting solutions for our clients.
We at Cerebrum employ cloud services from AWS in a wide range of solutions. If your website or web application is hosted with us, it’s most likely deployed in the cloud. The technology behind this buzzword lets us operate highly available, robust and secure applications, and AWS has established itself as the market leader.
The AWS Summits, which are held annually, are designed to educate attendees about cutting-edge solutions, and to inspire technical managers and developers to build bespoke and sophisticated applications for their clients. More than 100 useful, often fascinating sessions were delivered by subject matter experts from AWS and its partners.
“Security first!” has always been a top priority at AWS, and this year’s conference was no exception. We at Cerebrum strive to implement the best possible security and privacy solutions for our clients. This includes encrypted client-server communication (HTTPS) by default, and encrypted storage for data at rest. Michael expanded his knowledge at the summit, and returned from Sydney with many exciting new ideas on how to further improve our existing security models for our clients. One area of cloud tech that particularly caught Michael's eye was the use of systems that detect attack patterns, and automatically adjust to defend themselves.
Another hot topic at the AWS Summit this year was container services. In the IT world, containers are small, lightweight environments which isolate an application and its dependencies into a self-contained unit which can run anywhere. Rather than building one monolithic application, specific functions are implemented in containers which are decoupled from each other. Containers are not a new idea, but the services AWS offers around this technology help us to make our internal development processes more efficient. For example, container technology is an integral part of our development/test/deployment workflow, and lets us deploy changes more often and more quickly. This agile approach reduces the time taken to fix an issue and allows us to make updates live, which lowers development costs.
High-end hosting solutions were not the only topic at the AWS Summit. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solutions cause new market disruption, and here, cloud computing companies are at the forefront. AWS offers affordable, highly functional services for image and voice recognition in this area. The latter can be seen in consumer products like Alexa, which allows users to control appliances, and access weather details or the latest news, just by speaking a command. Image recognition comes into play when objects in photos need to be detected, for example. Michael developed a prototype for TYPO3 - the enterprise content management system used by many of our clients. His solution uses AWS, and automatically suggests a description for images uploaded to the system.
It's clear that AI technology is going to become an increasingly important part of our everyday lives. Sometimes it'll be obvious (e.g. built into consumer products), while sometimes it'll be in the background (e.g. a feature provided by a smart web application).
The AWS Summit 2019 was a highly informative event, and well worth attending for literally hundreds of reasons. It was not only a chance to learn and further understand modern best practices in the web hosting space, but also a springboard for the development of new ideas, new concepts and new state-of-the-art solutions for our clients.
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