AWS Summit June 2017

During the recent Amazon Web Services Summit in London, the focus was very much on DevOps, security and digital transformation. Read more about the key points in the show in our latest blog post.

AWS Summit London

Last week saw the Amazon Web Services Summit open its doors to cloud aficionados in London, taking over one of the largest events venues in town – ExCel. Over 6,000 people visited the Summit to pay homage to and learn from AWS, ranging from students, to enterprise IT managers, start-ups and sole traders.

The keynote introduction from Gavin Jackson, the UK and Ireland managing director, really did set the scene and introduce the gargantuan scale of AWS to those attendees who may not have realised just how big the cloud business is for Amazon. Their $14 billion revenue run rate, presence in 16 regions with 43 availability zones spread across them, and another 3 more opening this year combined with the announcement that 44% of those visiting the summit are already running part, or all of their IT infrastructure on AWS made it apparent that this is no mere passing fad. The first of many customer case studies throughout the day came from the DVLA , who in a brief few minutes managed to put to rest the myth about the cloud being inherently insecure by revealing that they host a huge amount of their infrastructure with AWS including their card payment service, which processes around £2.5 billion of transactions per year.

Dr Werner Vogels, the larger than life CTO of AWS took the stage next and blew the audience away with his keynote, covering some of the more recent innovations that AWS have released. Security and DevOps tools were a large part of this presentation, with a recommendation that security should be the number one priority for everyone, no matter what you are building, or where you are hosting it. With DDoS attacks on the rise, and hacking attempts becoming more sophisticated and targeted, it’s more important than ever for businesses to design and architect their solutions with security in mind. Managed Security Services is an ever-growing industry, which helps businesses to protect their vital data and detect and respond to cyber-attacks. Most businesses don’t have the expertise in-house to design and build their own information security infrastructure, so it makes sense to partner with someone like CenturyLink to take advantage of their proven cyber-security expertise.

The bewildering array of tools that Werner unveiled showed that the possibilities for what could be built and hosted in the AWS cloud are vast. BP Downstream were the next client case study to step up to the plate, backing this up by talking about how moving some of their systems to the cloud helped them to decommission 30% of applications, achieve a one third reduction in the cost base for hosting their SAP systems, and an overall 30-40% reduction in the total cost of their IT hosting.

One caveat to point out here though is that just because BP was able to save 30-40% on the total cost of their IT hosting, that doesn't mean that every business will be able to. Not every application can or should be migrated to the cloud, and moving to the cloud doesn't always result in cost savings. There are so many more benefits of cloud hosting like business agility, ability to cope with seasonal traffic spikes, the option to host in other geographies than your own and more that should be the focus of any digital transformation journey ahead of cost-cutting. CenturyLink have developed an advisory and consultancy service that analyses business critical applications and systems to determine the target platform, deployment type and service model. This helps businesses understand the impact of their cloud decisions, and ensures that they find the best execution venue for their key applications.

BP Downstream and the DVLA weren’t the only AWS customers to stand up and tell their story – there was a plethora of household names stepping up to the microphone from Comic Relief, to Deliveroo, to Nandos, The Trainline and Ocado (note that this isn’t an exhaustive list!) telling the story of their journey to digital transformation. We recently partnered with 451 Research to survey organisations across EMEA to explore the extent of digital transformation and to assess how planning and application of digital transformation is progressing. One of the key findings of this report was that a majority of those surveyed will be looking for external assistance from a trusted partner to ensure they are able to meet their business objectives.

In addition to the 6,000 attendees and numerous speakers from AWS and their customers, there were also 74 partner solutions that were being presented at the summit. Offerings ranged from application performance monitoring, to security solutions, migration services, support, consulting, training, cost optimisation and more. What was really interesting to note, but which wasn't that openly discussed, was that most of these partners don't just operate on or support the Amazon Cloud.

The key takeaway from the summit for me is that the cloud isn’t just for shadow IT, developers and start-ups anymore – everyone can, and should be using the cloud for at least part of their infrastructure. However, it is clear that not everyone has the skills in-house to get the most out of the cloud, and it’s far too easy to get carried away and let your hosting bills spiral out of control as more resources are created with little or no governance in place internally. Finding the right partner is essential to ensure that you get the most out of your cloud spend, can secure and control access to your data effectively, and are able to achieve your digital transformation goals across whichever of the public clouds you are using. Click here to find out more about how CenturyLink can help you to manage your cloud resources and keep firm control over your spending in the cloud.


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Matthew Johns, Product Marketing Manager, EMEA

Matthew is a member of the CenturyLink marketing team. He has over 20 years' experience in the IT, cloud and hosting industry gained in a variety of roles spanning project management to product release and product marketing. Matthew has a key focus on Digital Transformation and Cyber Security, including how organisations can best transition to the cloud and secure their critical assets - particularly with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) looming ever closer..

Digital Transformation Security

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