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Live Blog: Amazon Web Services (AWS) CEO Andy Jassy Interview

AWS CEO Andy Jassy

Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy steps up to the microphone for an AWS re:Invent 2017 interview. Stay tuned to this live blog from noon PT to 1:00 p.m. PT, recapping thoughts from Jassy — including the state of the AWS customer and partner ecosystem.

AWS Size: Amazon Web Services has an $18 billion revenue run rate and the business is growing 42 percent year over year, he says. Every size company in every industry imaginable building atop AWS, he asserts. “We don’t have set targets on what we’re trying to reach revenue wise each year. We make a projection as all of our business units do. But it’s such a big, early stage market. We try to remind ourselves we’re at the early stages of enterprise adoption in the U.S. Outside the U.S. it’s 12 to 36 months behind.” But the growth will be lumpy, he added.

Will AWS Be Spun Out?: “Never say never but I would be very surprised because there isn’t a need to do so.”

AWS Workloads: “People who mistakenly believe most of AWS is startups running workloads are mistaken. They’re aspirational and motivational. But we have a very large enterprise and public sector business. We have a big amount of customers who use AWS are very healthy financially.”

AWS GuardDuty Security Service: ChannelE2E asked if the new GuardDuty service is just for protecting AWS workloads, or would the company extend out to protect customer endpoints, consumer endpoints and more. Jassy’s response: Today, GuardDuty is just for protecting AWS workloads and AWS infrastructure. But he added, “Could I imagine supporting more endpoints over time? It’s possible.”

Blockchain: No announcements today. “We’re watching it carefully. But we don’t yet see a lot of practical use cases beyond the distributed ledger. We don’t build technology because we think it’s cool. We build to solve a customer problem.” He mentioned some potential use cases but it’s a watch-carefully situation.

Will Artificial Intelligence Destroy or Create Jobs?: “It will create jobs. It will just be different jobs.”

On Kubernetes and partners: “We have thousands of systems integrators who have built solutions on AWS. We have a lot who are trying to make it easier to make mass migrations to the cloud. A bunch are focused on using smaller pieces of compute such as containers and serverless.” Kubernetes is a growing opportunity for those partners, he asserts.

Is Multi-Cloud Real?: “We certainly get asked about it a lot. Most enterprises, when they think about a plan for moving to the cloud, they think they will distribute workloads across a couple of cloud providers. But few actually make that decision because you have to standardize on lowest common denominator when you go multi-cloud. AWS is so far ahead and you don’t want to handicap developer teams. Asking developers to be fluent in multiple cloud platforms is a lot. And all the cloud providers have volume discounts. If you split workloads across multi-cloud, you’re diminishing those discounts. In practice, companies pick a predominate cloud provider for their workloads. And they may have a secondary cloud provider just in case they want to switch providers.”

On AWS Hardware Innovation: “We have actually been innovating at the hardware level for a long time. Some we’ve discussed publicly, some we haven’t. We’re at the scale for the performance requirements where it makes sense for us to design and build our own servers. A few years ago we acquired a chip company…which has been incredibly impactful in the AWS business.” Things like Snowball and Snowball edge fall into that category as well. And the new high-definition video camera, for developer usage, is another example.

On Hybrid Cloud: “In the fullness of time — I don’t know if it’s five, 10 or 15 years out — relatively few companies will own their own data centers. Those that do will have a much smaller footprint. It will be a transition and it won’t happen overnight.” AWS builds gateways and direct connects to support those on-premises data centers. Also, the VMware relationship with AWS allows customers to make that move more smoothly, he asserted. Overall, Jassy stopped short of saying AWS would ever extend to offer some sort of on-premises cloud (a la Microsoft Azure Stack).

Bad Actors Using AWS: There’s always the potential for bad actors to use AWS in a bad way. But if anyone violates the AWS terms of service, Amazon will suspend that account, he said.

More AWS re:Invent News Coverage: Read it all here.

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