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December 1, 2020

Re:Invent Begins, So What Will AWS Unveil?

Thanksgiving is over, which means it’s time for Amazon Web Services annual re:Invent conference. But instead of filling conference halls and hotel rooms in Las Vegas for a week of in-person learning, AWS reimagined re:Invent into three-week long virtual extravaganza. What will the cloud giant unveil? It’s anybody’s guess, but the fun kicks off today, so we’ll soon find out.

Andy Jassy, the CEO of AWS, will deliver his much-anticipated keynote address today at 8 a.m. PT. He’s been allotted three hours, but odds are good it could stretch longer, given recent history of Jassy’s keynotes, not to mention the COVID tendency for vendors to stretch the bounds of time during conferences.

Amazon and its AWS public cloud subsidiary were already flexing their might before the coronavirus hit the United States in March. Since the economic lockdown began, the ecommerce giant and AWS have solidified their grip on their respective markets, with AWS owning a 32% share of the public cloud market, and hiring a quarter-million people to keep up with a shift to online shopping.

While AWS is seeing increased competition from its Seattle-area neighbor, Microsoft, it is still the king of the public cloud hill. The company grew revenues from $27 billion in 2018 to $35 billion last year, and is on pace to have revenues of $46 billion this year.

AWS has become a one-stop shop for IT departments, with nearly 200 cloud features to choose from, ranging from object storage in S3 to data warehousing in RedShift. Companies are increasingly parking their data in AWS to take advantage of the wide array of analytics and machine learning, including the Sagemaker data science environment and pre-built AI services like Rekognition, Lex, DeepLens, and Comprehend.

If history is a guide, the company will roll out more availability zones around the world. There will be more infrastructure offerings, including bigger and more powerful EC2 instances. Chances seem good it will unveil new file system and databases types (perhaps for its graph or time-series databases), and enhancements to existing ones.

re:Invent is a virtual event this year (Michael-Vi/Shutterstock)

Of course, this wouldn’t be re:Invent without a healthy dose of data analytics and AI tools. There will likely be an assortment of tools for developers unveiled during the three-week show that’s starting today, as well as shrink-wrapped services that are ready to be plugged directly into data flows.

But not all new AWS services are unveiled at re:Invent. Last month, for instance, the company rolled out a data preparation tool called Glue DataBrew. And in March of this year, it announced that its Elastic Inference offering was compatible with PyTorch. Clearly, the breadth and scope of AWS’ offerings are so great that it can only update them once a year.

So what will AWS unveil this week, and next (and the week after that) for the 500,000 registrants? The keynotes will be stretched out this week, with AWS CTO Werner Vogels much-anticipated keynote anchoring the show during the last week. Nobody knows for sure what AWS has in store, but several industry observers have inklings they shared with Datanami.

Marcelo Tamassia, the Global CTO at managed cloud provider Syntax, predicts AWS will make a play for small and midsize businesses by including new products into its Savings Plans. Additionally, he predicts the release of an archive tool for Amazon Elastic Block Storage snapshots.

Nicolas Avila, the CTO of North America for the tech services firm Globant, predicts that AWS make go big into cloud gaming, which has increased in popularity during the pandemic, along with the 5G roll-out.

You can watch all AWS re:Invent keynotes for free at

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