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AWS should address these key challenges at re:Invent 2019

AWS has flooded its catalog with services, but enterprises still struggle with the gaps that remain. Find out which pain points cloud experts want AWS to address at re:Invent this year.

Despite the ongoing expansion of the AWS ecosystem into new territories of IT, admins and developers continue to struggle with the services they already use. Re:Invent 2019 will be yet another chance for AWS to address those pain points.

Our SearchAWS experts break down the challenges that AWS should address at the upcoming re:Invent show, along with suggestions on how the cloud provider could remedy some common user gripes.

Container capabilities, security issues and feature overlap are among the various areas our cloud experts believe AWS should roll out improvements for at re:Invent 2019.

Kurt Marko, consultant

AWS is customer-focused to a fault. The cloud provider has continuously added features and services in response to customer demand, and this has left the service catalog bloated and perplexing to developers and IT architects who design AWS-based systems. The same can be said of AWS' pricing model, which justifiably tries to apportion costs based on granular usage metrics, but it does so at the expense of so many parameters that it's difficult to ascertain the total cost of ownership of a particular workload.

These issues have created two areas of persistent criticism for AWS. First, AWS is easier to use in the micro than in the macro. For example, AWS makes it easy to select the right instance size for a particular workload, but architects might struggle to design large systems on Amazon's cloud. Second, AWS' often-inscrutable pricing models make it equally difficult to do financial planning and spending optimization without resorting to third-party software.

Kurt MarkoKurt Marko

I expect AWS to address both of these challenges at re:Invent 2019. It could fix feature bloat with an improved design and configuration service that combines Trusted Advisor and the AWS Well-Architected Tool into a single system. This would simplify the task of selecting the best services for particular workloads.

AWS could improve the pricing model with a comprehensive cost management and optimization tool that incorporates existing features like Budgets and Cost Explorer. This improvement might involve an acquisition, similar to what Microsoft did with Cloudyn and VMware with CloudHealth, or an equivalent internally developed tool.

David Linthicum, cloud analyst

David LinthicumDavid Linthicum

AWS cloud offerings come with high complexity. While AWS has done a good job providing valuable public cloud services over the years, the volume and overlap of some services is driving confusion in AWS-enabled enterprises. For example, it is difficult to determine the best encryption or messaging service to use.   

I would like to see AWS address the complexity and redundancy issue at re:Invent 2019 with better education on the capabilities of each service and which services to use in particular scenarios.

George Lawton, IT writer

A main pain point AWS will address at re:Invent will be better security. This should involve components for security by default and new tools for scanning the configuration settings of AWS features for vulnerabilities.

George LawtonGeorge Lawton

The security by default components are likely to take the form of enhancements to the AWS Service Catalog, such as preconfigured services for developers. AWS could also offer tools that make it easier for enterprises to use Quick Starts that are vetted for security.

AWS could also roll out a third aspect -- a risk assessment service to automatically evaluate an enterprise's entire AWS infrastructure for configuration problems. This feature could be similar to third-party services like RiskRecon, which found that 60% of organizations had more vulnerabilities in the cloud than on premises.

Ernesto Marquez, cloud consultant

Ernesto MarquezErnesto Marquez

I'd like to see improvements in the container space, for either Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) or Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). It would be nice to see new EKS capabilities for launching and managing worker nodes, including integration with AWS Fargate, which currently can only be done through CloudFormation templates and AMIs that EKS provides. This method requires customers to complete many tedious tasks. The capability to launch and maintain nodes easily and in a single place using the EKS console or an API would be a useful improvement for this year's conference.

There also haven't been a lot of important announcements related to AWS Lambda this year, so it wouldn't surprise me if there was something involving Lambda at re:Invent 2019.

Chris Moyer, technology vice president

Chris MoyerChris Moyer

I expect some incremental updates, a few price reductions, but also some new features around serverless and event streaming. AWS could potentially announce a new, Amazon-built programming language similar to what Google did with Go, specifically designed for Lambda and serverless computing. AWS is also a bit behind in the no-code/low-code department, so perhaps re:Invent 2019 could bring a Zapier, Integromat or IFTTT type of workflow to expand AWS Step Functions capabilities.

Brian Kirsch, IT architect

Brian KirschBrian Kirsch

Security will be one of the key topics at AWS re:Invent 2019. Security Hub is still a fairly new offering, so I expect to see expansions to its capabilities. While the AWS shared-responsibility model is well known, AWS will continue to put better security tools in the hands of admins.

These tools will be designed as low-effort offerings to allow admins to quickly evaluate and address security issues in their environments. It's in AWS' best interest to keep large-scale security issues out of the news, even if they are due to customer configurations, so I expect to see improvements for security tools, features and automation this year.

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