In his keynote at re:Invent, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky started off by addressing the macroeconomic climate.
He said that in times of uncertainty, leaders should not slow down or cut back but instead lean in and focus on seizing opportunity. Keeping with the theme of not cutting back, a huge mass of attendees -- estimated at more than 50,000 -- were met with a large volume of new announcements from the show in Las Vegas. As the world returns to in-person events, last week made it clear that AWS re:Invent has become the in-person technology event to attend.
Amazon EFS leads the storage charge
One of the countless storylines from re:Invent focused on data -- its value to the business and the state of data storage. There were numerous data- and storage-related announcements. For example, Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) saw several updates, including:
- Elastic Throughput. A new mode allows Amazon EFS to automatically deliver the throughput performance that each application needs while the user pays for the amount of data read or written.
- Lower latencies. According to AWS, Amazon EFS now delivers up to 60% lower read operation latencies and up to 40% lower write operation latencies.
- 1-day Lifecycle Management Policy. This policy enables organizations to automatically move files that haven't been accessed in one day to the Amazon EFS Infrequent Access storage class.
Each of these capabilities aims to simplify accelerated access to massive file data sets. For years the file storage space has seen an increased need for performance and scalability fueled by the adoption of analytics workloads, machine learning and cloud-native development. While these announcements represent only a fraction of re:Invent news, they provide insight into AWS' overall approach to data and data storage.
Focus on how to get the most out of data
For decades, the idea that data is the fuel that powers contemporary business opportunity has shaped strategy and operations. In our research at the Enterprise Strategy Group, we have seen how this ongoing desire to maximize the value of data has changed the way organizations think about and select their data storage services.
In the early 2000s, the main challenges with data centered on how to store and protect it. Now, the focus is on how to simplify, accelerate and automate data access. Protection needs have not diminished, but speeding up access to data and simplifying its movement have risen up the ranks.
Given the massive capacities that contemporary storage volumes possess, there has been, rightly so, an increased focus on the cost of cloud storage. That focus has been coupled with increasing price pressures from alternative storage options both on- and off-premises. With these EFS announcements, as well as other advancements across its storage portfolio, AWS is innovating to reduce cloud storage costs.
However, focusing too heavily on costs misses the point. The transformation benefits of AWS' storage portfolio lie in its ability to simplify, accelerate and improve users' abilities to maximize data value.
When you expand the perspective beyond just the announcements on EFS -- to S3 and recent updates on data warehousing and machine learning offerings such as Redshift and SageMaker -- a picture forms of a larger movement to simplify and speed up the use of data to create business value.
And that brings me back to Selipsky's keynote. In this time of economic uncertainty, you can cut back and become overly cost sensitive. Or you can choose the opposite path and focus on how to most efficiently generate value for your business. When it comes to data access, usage and storage, AWS is continuing on that path of speeding up value creation.
For any organization spinning up a new initiative in the next six to 12 months, there will likely be an increased sensitivity to cost. But as leaders, you must stay focused on which storage options will deliver the best opportunity to maximize the value of your data and in turn generate value for the business.
Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget.