Tuesday, November 29, 2016

AWS re:Invent 2016 Highlights - James Hamilton

Here are some highlights of the AWS re:Invent 2016 Tuesday Night keynote with James Hamilton, VP & Distinguished Engineer, AWS.


AWS continues to build at a crazy pace.. adding the data center capacity of a Fortune 500 every day.


AWS plans to add 4 more data center availability regions in '17

AWS now operates a 100GbE global network and has a growing interest in transoceanic cables.

Several AWS Availability Zones now exceed 300,000 servers but the benefits of building even larger is not always better.

AWS says its custom routers are "way more reliable" and flexible than commercial equivalents.

AWS' custom routers run Broadcom's Tomahawk ASICs.

AWS has pushed SDN down to the network interface card (NIC) to offload networking functions.

AWS not only builds network hardware, it's now in the silicon business too building custom chips.

AWS barebones server is optimized for power and thermal efficiency - not density inside the box.


AWS Adds Tools for its Partner Ecosystem

Amazon Web Services announced three new programs to help its partners who provide solutions and expertise for specific services, workloads, and industry verticals:

  • The AWS Service Delivery Program: Identifies APN Consulting and Technology Partners that have passed technical reviews, and have a validated track record of customer success with a specific AWS service. For example, a customer planning to use Amazon Redshift can look to partners that have earned Amazon Redshift Partner status to provide tested and validated expertise or solutions. At launch, the AWS Services Delivery Program has over 150 APN Partner solutions and practices validated across 15 categories, including Amazon Alexa, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon Aurora, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon EMR, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon Machine Learning, Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL, Amazon Redshift, AWS CloudFront, AWS Config, AWS Database Migration Service, AWS GovCloud (US) workloads, AWS Lambda, and AWS WAF.
  • The AWS Public Sector Partner Program: Designed for APN Partners with solutions and experience to help deliver government, education, and nonprofit customer missions around the world leveraging the AWS Cloud. With more than 350 partners at launch, the program helps qualified APN Partners build and accelerate their AWS Public Sector business.
  • The VMware Cloud on AWS Partner Program: In October, VMware and AWS announced a strategic alliance to build and deliver a seamlessly integrated hybrid offering that will give customers the full software-defined data center (SDDC) experience from the leader in the private cloud, running on the world’s most popular, trusted, and robust public cloud. VMware Cloud on AWS will be delivered, sold, and supported by VMware as an on-demand, elastically scalable service that leverages AWS’s global footprint and breadth of services. Launching in 2017, the VMware Cloud on AWS Partner Program will focus on supporting customers as they deploy and operate VMware Cloud on AWS.

AWS also launched two new AWS Competencies to help partners in Financial Services and Internet of Things (IoT).

“There’s never been a better time to be an APN Partner. Customers are turning to the AWS Cloud to address an increasingly broad set of needs across their organizations, which translates to business opportunities for the APN partners that help them achieve their goals,” said Dorothy Copeland, General Manager, Global Partner Programs, AWS. “This is why we continue to invest in programs that help APN Partners differentiate based on the specialized value they provide to customers. AWS Competencies and other APN distinctions help customers know that an APN Partner can deliver the right expertise, solution, or technology for the job.”


Ofcom to Seek Separation of Openreach from BT

Ofcom, the official regulator for the telecom market in the UK, will seek the legal separation of Openreach from BT.  Openreach is the division of BT Group that develops and maintains the UK’s main telecoms network used by providers such as Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and BT’s retail business.

Ofcom said the decision follows after BT failed to offer voluntary proposals that address competition concerns. Ofcom believes BT has the incentive and ability to favour its own retail business when making strategic decisions about new network investments by Openreach. This concern arises because BT runs the national network, Openreach, as well as its own retail business.

The Ofcom proposal requires Openreach to become a distinct company with its own Board, consisting of a majority of directors who would not with BT. Ofcom is now preparing to notify the European Commission of its intention to implement these plans, requiring the legal separation of Openreach to make it more independent.


Nutanix Hits $166.8 million in Quarterly Sales, up 90% YoY

Nutanix reported first quarter FY 17 revenue of $166.8 million, growing 90.1% year-over-year from $87.8 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2016.  Billings were $239.8 million, growing 86.9% year-over-year from $128.3 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. GAAP net loss of $162.2 million, compared with a net loss of $38.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2016.

"The time warp between an enterprise-friendly VMware and a consumer-friendly AWS is our cloud opportunity," said Dheeraj Pandey, chairman and CEO of Nutanix. "Our first quarter results are reflective of the strength of our thesis on how enterprise computing will morph in the coming three to five years."

Nutanix ended the first quarter of fiscal 2017 with a total of 4,473 end-customers, adding a total of 705 end-customers during the quarter. Cumulative end-customers with lifetime bookings over $1 million grew to 256 in the quarter.


Alibaba Invests in Israel's InfinityAR Start-up

Infinity Augmented Reality, a start-up based in Israel, announced US$18 million in Series C funding for its software-based Augmented Reality engine.

The round was led by the Alibaba Group, the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume, with participation from InfinityAR’s existing Series B investor, SUN CORPORATION, a large Japanese public company.

“This is about so much more than the funds raised - it is about the strategic partnership,” said Motti Kushnir, CEO of InfinityAR. “With Alibaba’s endorsement, InfinityAR will further cement itself as a leading developer in the augmented reality space. We are very excited to partner with one of the world’s leading companies.”

InfinityAR has pioneered its solution for augmented reality headsets by using standard, off the shelf, mobile cameras and IMU to efficiently map the environment while also enabling Inside-Out Marker-less Orientation and Positional Tracking (SLAM) for the augmented reality world.