Last week’s AWS re:Invent conference was a return to semi-normalcy for many, myself included. We’ve all spent the past two years trying to keep up appearances virtually, but there’s just no substitution for being in person. While it was rejuvenating in so many ways to connect face to face, a week of that much action (in that place) requires a period of regeneration.
Much of the commentary surrounding the conference was how it was lighter on big, new product announcements, and heavier on big, old enterprise solutions. Nothing about that shift indicates AWS slowing down, though. A recurring theme from AWS in their announcements was simplifications and abstractions based on customer feedback. That’s an indicator of a mature platform and organization.
Identity only surfaced in a couple non-keynote announcements, but one thing was evident across all keynotes and conversations – more and more are realizing that IAM truly is the service that ties everything together. It’s no accident that right after talking about the Everywhere Cloud during his keynote, Werner dove into the internals of IAM as a reminder of their scale. “At first, it appears that IAM is relative simple”, he said. We’ve probably all thought that at one point or another… and been wrong. When you see the scale at which they operate – half a billion API calls per second – you can’t help but marvel at the technological feat.
While AWS is responsible for the scale and security of the IAM service, there’s much to be desired still in terms of simplicity and abstractions for the daily user. The identity team has done a great job continuing to push improvements to the core service and surrounding tools like Access Analyzer and the Policy Simulator, and I expect that to continue at a rapid pace. I am biased as a startup founder, but there is certainly room for a 3rd party ecosystem surrounding IAM much like there is other top-level development themes. Because it’s the single service that touches everything, not just within the AWS service catalog, but also everything connected to it. And it’s a 3rd party ecosystem that would flourish by being complementary, not competitive to the core AWS services.
As always, re:Invent was a week of equal parts enlightenment and bewilderment, and a whole extra part of excitement. After my regeneration period, I’m super energized for the community and product we’re building. It’s early on both fronts, but the need is front and center – half a billion times per second! As we head deeper into holiday season, our team is getting ready for a big year, bringing more helpful content and valuable programs to the community.