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Observations from the AWS Summit Toronto - October 3, 2019
I decided to walk the fifteen minutes from my apartment to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the brisk fall air. What awaited was a much bigger spectacle than I had previously experienced. Over five thousand attendees this year - roughly double last year’s Toronto Summit, which was significantly larger in size than the previous year. It is clear that AWS is on the radar of more Canadian organizations than ever before.
The keynote address kicked off with AWS Country Manager Eric Gales and then carried on with the General Manager of Compute Services, Joshua Burgin. Despite some rowdy protesters, they were able to convey how much AWS usage had increased in Canada. They highlighted the contract that was signed with the Canadian Federal Government for hosting Protected B workloads. They announced that a third Availability Zone (AZ) would be launched in 2020. They brought various customers on stage to talk about their cloud journeys. Major themes included the power and cost-savings of AWS Aurora, as well as the growing popularity, both in the public and private sectors, of microservices and container technologies. I attended several breakout sessions throughout the day centered on these themes.
I attended one such session right after lunch.
Stosh Fabricius from the fintech startup Pungle described how they
rearchitected their solution in a session entitled, “Goodbye VMs, Hello
Containers: Improved Deployment Time & App Management.” It was great to
hear from an organization that is practically in my own backyard. As was the
case with most of the sessions held directly in one of the theaters in the Expo
Hall, it was so well attended that there were many more people standing than
In all, the event went off pretty well. I was able to meet up with some of my counterparts on the Training & Certification team at AWS and even ran into some former colleagues and students. I checked in on the DeepRacer League results and was shocked to see the fastest lap was under 8 seconds. This eclipses the 50+ second laps that I witnessed at last year’s re:Invent and even blows away those that I saw just four months ago at the Public Sector Summit in DC. It seems that individuals have really risen to the Deep Learning challenge.
My final observation of the day was that next year, they will probably need to use the larger of the two buildings at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.