AWS re:Invent 2020 recap — from Vegas to virtual

The biggest Amazon Web Services (AWS) event of the year is now over, and we at Druva were delighted to be part of the most accessible AWS re:Invent ever. With upwards of 500,000 registrants over the three-week event, this year’s virtual conference featured more than 50 tracks with access to over 500 sessions offering unparalleled access to AWS experts, leadership sessions from major players in the industry, and provided attendees with a unique experience you can’t get anywhere else.

Highlights of AWS re:Invent 2020

As a result of the ongoing global pandemic, 2020 brought revolution and rapid digitization to nearly all facets of business operations, and AWS is no different as they took their largest event of the year virtual. 

When we think about AWS re:Invent, a major highlight is always the keynotes. This year, although very different in it’s virtual format, was no exception. The highly anticipated keynote from AWS CEO Andy Jassy did not disappoint as he delivered a near three-hour session jam-packed with new announcements from AWS. He also highlighted the importance of speed and reinvention, and focused on eight steps to create a culture of reinvention, which was a fascinating insight into how AWS continues to drive such impressive growth.

Later in the event, Amazon CTO Werner Vogel (and friends) made some more pivotal announcements that included AWS CloudShell, and AWS Fault Injector Simulator among others. His keynote was delivered from an old sugar factory in his homeland, Holland. The main theme of the discussion focused on building truly resilient architectures and what this means for the future of software development.

Druva’s top five announcements from AWS re:Invent 2020

In the seemingly never-ending slew of new product announcements and updates, we wanted to list Druva’s top five highlights from this year’s event:

New Amazon EC2 Mac instances for Apple developers

As of November 30, 2020, the new Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Mac instances for macOS are generally available. This will be a major benefit to all Apple developers, as these are built on Apple Mac mini computers, so EC2 Mac instances will enable customers to run on-demand macOS workloads in the AWS cloud for the first time. AWS hopes to benefit by extending the flexibility, scalability, and cost benefits of AWS to all Apple developers. With these new EC2 Mac instances, developers who create apps for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Safari, can now provision and access macOS environments in just a few minutes, allowing customers to dynamically scale capacity as needed. There is also the added bonus of pay-as-you-go pricing offered by AWS.

Containerized flexibility with Amazon ECS and EKS Anywhere 

In another exciting AWS announcement, Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) and Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) will both be able to run “anywhere,” even in an on-premises environment. This release will allow customers to run either platform across their current AWS cloud or on-premises environment, and importantly, manage these deployments from a single console. These features are due to be released in the first half of 2021.

By adding Amazon ECS Anywhere and Amazon EKS Anywhere, the container orchestration software used in ECS and EKS, will be freely available to deployments outside AWS, including other cloud providers. This is a game changer for some, as it will provide increased integration, lower latency, and follows in the footsteps of Microsoft and Google who already offer this.

Amazon ECS is a fully-managed container hosting platform that is tightly integrated into the AWS ecosystem. Amazon EKS is a Kubernetes-focused container platform provided by AWS that allows for more flexibility by tapping into the broader Kubernetes ecosystem. However, for those looking to protect these workloads, Druva invites you to explore our solutions for containerized Kubernetes applications.

AWS Aurora Serverless v2 released in preview

As part of his keynote, Andy Jassy announced that AWS Aurora Serverless v2 is now in preview mode. AWS describes Amazon Aurora Serverless v2 in its release blog as providing “the ability to scale database workloads to hundreds of thousands of transactions in a fraction of a second.”¹ Instead of doubling capacity every time a workload needs to scale, it adjusts capacity in fine-grained increments to provide just the right amount of database resources for an application’s needs. The major benefit here for customers is that there is no database capacity for you to manage, so you pay only for the capacity your application consumes. This means you can save significantly on your database costs compared to the cost of provisioning for full capacity.

AWS Well-Architected now supports AWS SaaS Lens

The AWS Well-Architected Framework started in 2015, but has now expanded to include domain-specific lenses, hands-on labs, and the AWS Well-Architected Tool. Now, to help accelerate building Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions, the AWS SaaS Factory team has led an effort to build the new AWS Well-Architected SaaS Lens, which is tailored to SaaS specific workloads and intended to guide you when developing and operating SaaS workloads. It has been designed with AWS best practices in mind, and lists improvement plans to help you implement them. For more information on the AWS Well-Architected Framework for SaaS applications, check out Druva’s, “Meet the cloud architects” on-demand webinar series, where our cloud engineers, along with special guests from AWS discuss each of the five key pillars of operational excellence in more detail. 

New AWS region in Melbourne coming in 2022

We were also excited to hear that the new Asia Pacific (Melbourne) region is coming soon, and will open in the second half of 2022 with three availability zones. In addition to the Asia Pacific (Sydney) region, this will be the second region in Australia, and the ninth in Asia Pacific, joining China, India, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. This is great news for our Asia Pacific customers and will be a huge benefit for their business continuity planning.

Druva at AWS re:Invent 2020

Druva was proud to be a platinum sponsor at AWS re:Invent 2020. Throughout the entire event, everyone was able to witness Druva’s strong partnership with AWS and how we innovate together to bring customers a comprehensive data protection solution based on best practices, incorporating the latest technologies from AWS.

Attendees also flocked to our featured sponsor breakout session, Rethink data protection for hybrid & cloud deployments, with Druva’s CTO, Stephen Manley. During this session, he explained how Druva is helping customers protect applications in hybrid cloud environments, secure backups from ransomware, lower TCO, and improve resiliency with orchestrated VM failover/failback and automated disaster recovery testing for cloud applications. 

Comprehensive cloud data protection with our product demos

The Druva team is here to ensure your data is always on, always safe. We offered a number of product demos at the conference, which are available via our sponsor page, and feature the following use cases: 

  • Reduce risk and complexity of data protection: Eliminate challenges with infrastructure cost and complexity, and improve business resilience with simple, secure, and scalable data protection.
  • Accelerate and protect cloud initiatives: Meet the expectations of agile cloud workloads via a unified experience to protect and manage data, and deliver on SLAs.
  • Cyber resilience, ransomware protection, and compliance: Confidently protect, respond, and recover your remote workforce and enterprise data assets with automated ransomware response and recovery.

What’s next

Did you think it was all over? Think again. AWS announced that there will be 200+ new sessions on the virtual platform beginning January 12, 2021. The great news is that all of our content is available to view until the end of January 2021. So if you still want to check out our featured sponsor breakout session, or any of Druva’s product demos, visit our AWS Sponsor page. You can also access additional Druva content from our AWS event page

We look forward to seeing you at AWS re:Invent 2021!


¹ Amazon Web Services, “Introducing the next version of Amazon Aurora Serverless in preview,” December 1, 2020.