Learning, the Amazon Way! Brillio at re:Invent 2019, Las Vegas

Sarita Janjani • December 28, 2019
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The learning sessions at AWS re:Invent are always an eye-opener. This year was no different. With training and certification opportunities, new product announcements, access to 2500 technical sessions, furious Jams and Hackathons, collaborative partner boot camps, Builder’s camps – you name it and there were takers for all!

The ideal annual hub for developers and engineers, system administrators, systems architects, and technical decision-makers, re:Invent ensured there was something new for everyone who attended the event. Brillio, as an Advanced AWS partner and one of the chosen sponsors for the event, we enjoyed the jam-packed sessions and took home some of the key points that are all set to make a difference!

Amazon’s Approach to Handling the Unexpected

The future is unpredictable. Making this focal point, some of the sessions at re:invent were focused on Amazon’s approach to building services and systems in a rapidly changing world. It was good to learn how AWS builds, monitors and plans to handle the change in unexpected ways. Supporting the multi-tenant model is about rethinking the approach of architecting at every layer of solution. The cloud value framework has four components that follow the guidelines for– Cost-Saving (TCO), Staff Productivity, Operational Resilience, and Business Agility.

Amazon’s Approach to Building Resilient Services

How do we build robust services that can handle a wide range of changes? Whether it is basic design principles to patterns, this session focused on strategies behind DevOps. DevOps is a loop which helps analyze the causes of failure and the risks that lead to failure

Marc Brooker, Senior Principal Engineer talked about the Kind and Wicked learning environment. The Kind learning environment provides a setting where our experience matches the environment. More experience means better predictions and better judgement. At AWS, correction of the error process doesn’t settle for operator error. Reviewing tooling is the most critical work for senior engineers. This helps in enhancing tools while trying to find failures.

What’s a Jitter? Amazon uses ‘Jitter’- Randomness that adds resilience. Jitter helps with traffic. At AWS, always add Jitter to management and periodic work. Adding random delays within reasons make the systems scale better.

How to bring resilience?

    • Ownership – closing loop between dev and ops.
    • Operational safety: Help operators for success
    • Service Stability: What it means to be at scale
    • Success requires Culture and Technology.

Amazon’s Approach to High-Availability Deployment

AWS is well known for its high availability and therefore trusted by its clients. Continuous-delivery failures can lead to reduced service availability and bad customer experiences. To maximize the rate of successful deployments, Amazon’s development teams implement guardrails in the end-to-end release process to minimize deployment errors, with a goal of achieving zero deployment failures.

Amazon’s Approach to Running Service-oriented Organizations

How does the massive complex team of Amazon get things right? What’s the secret of their seamless collaboration that makes high impactful products for their customer’s environment? The learnings from this session were insightful. We learned that their technology development at scale focused on strategies that help them coordinate effectively while maintaining autonomy. It culminated in driving innovation for their customers.

Amazon’s Approach to Automated Testing

Amazon uses testing strategies to build a culture of quality. The AWS practitioners talked about best practices around load testing, unit testing, integration testing, and UI testing. AWS teams build the tools and enhance their features with daily learning. They believe in failing early and rediscovering to ensure minimum impact to end-users.

Architecting and Operating Resilient Serverless Systems at Scale

AWS teams build reliable and resilient services. Serverless computing allows you to build and run applications and services without thinking about servers. The applications don’t require provision to scale and manage any servers. However, under the hood, there is a sophisticated architecture that takes care of all the undifferentiated heavy lifting for the developer. Brillio has cleared the service delivery track for serverless computing skills and competency. Therefore, we focused on learning more about serverless systems at scale and grow Lambda business together.

Beyond Five 9s: Lessons from our Highest Available Data Planes

One of the most interesting sessions I attended was just as insightful. It is a well-known fact that every AWS service is designed to be highly available, but a small number of what AWS teams call Tier 0 services get extra-special attention. AWS teams built and architected Amazon Route 53 and the AWS authentication system. It is tactfully designed to survive cataclysmic failures, enormous load increases, and solid performance.

Failing Successfully: The AWS Approach to Resilient Design

AWS global infrastructure provides customers the tools needed to design resilient and reliable services. The team explained how one can achieve continued stability and availability in the time of impaired dependencies. They also covered some of the significant AWS tools and best practices that support designing applications and services which avoid overload.

Let’s create something amazing together!

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