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Amazon AWS re:Invent 2017: Five Cloud Partner, MSP Trends to Watch

Andy Jassy, CEO, AWS
AWS CEO Andy Jassy

Amazon's massive AWS re:Invent 2017 conference will attract thousands of partners and customers this week in Las Vegas. ChannelE2E will also be on hand. So what are we expecting to see? Here are five major trends to watch.

1. (Nearly) Everyone's A Partner: This is AWS re:Invent's sixth annual event. Thousands of traditional VARs and MSPs in the SMB sector have overlooked the conference year after year -- somehow assuming there's no money to be made in the AWS ecosystem. What a colossal mistake.

Last year's gathering attracted 30,000 attendees -- including many of the top 50 MSPs supporting AWS customers. Watch for the attendee number to climb again this year -- including a continued influx of certified partners. Hundreds of partners "pre-announced" various exhibitions at the show. For example: Candid Partners, an Advanced Consulting Partner in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partner Network (APN) that has achieved AWS DevOps Competency status, will highlight customer success and migration capabilities at AWS re:Invent 2017.

2. Full Stack Monitoring: Quite a few companies got their start in AWS infrastructure monitoring -- including names like New Relic. Others specialize in application performance monitoring -- where Cisco AppDynamics is well known. Now, companies like SolarWinds (and business unit SolarWinds MSP) are evangelizing full stack monitoring. And upstarts like Datadog are adding log management to the APM and infrastructure monitoring conversation. Many of those companies -- particularly SolarWinds and Datadog -- have MSP-centric partner programs...

3. VMware Cloud on AWS Update: The long-awaited VMware Cloud on AWS surfaced in selected cloud regions in August 2017. Intrigued partners include Presidio, the midmarket IT solutions provider that has long partnered with VMware, and is now embracing AWS for some workloads. It's safe to expect Amazon and VMware to update customers on their cloud partnership. Especially since the Microsoft Azure team earlier this month vowed to support VMware workloads for customers -- even without VMware's blessing. Meow. VMware and Microsoft are in a cloud cat fight. It's safe to expect Amazon to show some of its own claws this week...

4. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Experts Arise: Keep an eye on Amazon ML Solutions Lab, a new program that connects machine learning experts from across Amazon with AWS customers to help identify practical uses of machine learning inside customers’ businesses, and guide them in developing new machine learning-enabled features, products, and processes, the company claims.

5. Rethinking Cloud Security: Most of the major firewall companies now offer virtual instances -- i.e., software appliances -- of their products in the Amazon cloud. For nearly a year, Barracuda CEO BJ Jenkins has been talking up his company's firewall momentum on both AWS and Azure. Plus, some endpoint security companies (example: VIPRE Security) have completely re-architected their software to run on Amazon's cloud. But here's where it's important to clarify things:

  • Some security products are designed to run on AWS while protecting various end-customer customer devices and third-party networks.
  • Other security products are specifically designed to safeguard AWS itself.

Building on those trends, Amazon has been updating its own security configurations, default settings and guidance to help customers properly configure AWS. The goal: Eliminate AWS data leaks caused by misconfigured customer settings. We'll be watching closely to see how that work is progressing, Keep an eye on MSSP Alert, our sister site, for more coverage in that area.

6. Bonus -- The Names to Know: AWS leaders like Peter DeSantis, Andy Jassy and Werner Vogels are set to keynote. Also, we'll be involved in media Q&As with Jassy, Mike Clayville and Channel Chief Terry Wise. Stick around for ongoing coverage and meeting recaps though at least Thursday, Nov. 30.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.