AWS re:Invent 2020 – 3 Predictions for the 3 Week Event

This year’s AWS re:Invent has moved to an all virtual platform. Not only all virtual, but also completely free!! This is a huge change from what has been the industry-leading event for cloud builders. Coming off of a 67,000 attendee presence in Las Vegas in 2019 with a virtual version opens up a huge opportunity for people to jump in.

The Big Predictions

These may not be crazy predictions but I decided to write them down since I did share them on a public webinar I did today with the one and only Jon Myer of Amazon. Jon is a fantastic person and it was a true honor and pleasure to share a microphone with him for what turned out to be a fun-packed and super interactive webinar

1. AWS Autonomous Database

Data gravity is one of the most power forces in nature (and cloud). Your applications can’t be too far from real-time data. The larger the data, the larger the gravitational force. There are also many options for relational database support already on AWS.

Last year featured heavy focus on Amazon making the move away from Oracle toward their own AWS Aurora databases for the underlying data platform to support and the entire internal database ecosystem.

My prediction is that AWS will further move into the territory being sought out by Oracle which is in the area of autonomous databases. AWS RDS Aurora will feature more Fargate/serverless options and also add auto-tuning and tier changes for the RDS platform. This will mean less up front configuration needs because the databases will be self-tuning as your data consumption patterns morph.

2. Fully Integrated Terraform for AWS

We know that Terraform is responsible for provisioning a significant amount of AWS infrastructure on a daily basis. I know I’m sure responsible for a bunch myself 🙂

My prediction is that we will see Terraform and HCL as a configuration language for provisioning and configuration management of AWS infrastructure natively supported within the AWS console. This may come as part of CloudFormation or possible a standalone service similar to how Chef and Puppet is usable in AWS OpsWorks.

Terraform has the potential to become the de-facto standard for infrastructure-as-code for provisioning both in cloud and on-premises. It makes sense that we will see a tighter integration so that AWS can get you to stay within the AWS console and APIs but still use HCL as the declarative language to define your stacks.

3. AWS Outposts Mini

AWS Outposts would once have been laughed at as a concept. I know, because I predicted 4 years ago that AWS would enter the data center game because the industry could not make the transition fast enough. Putting a controlled and pre-fabricated presence in the data center reduces the friction to adoption the AWS infrastructure deployment and operational patterns. That leads you to say “this is cool, but what about using these other services only in AWS cloud?”. Boom! You just became a deeply integrated, lifetime customer.

My prediction is that we are going to see a more compact and lower capacity edition of AWS Outposts. Think of it as AWS Outposts Mini which will feature the same core services of Outposts but in a smaller form factor.

Why would this need to exist? Many customers are not at the scale of needing a full rack scale configuration. We have a massive mid-sized customer base who would enjoy the advantage of AWS Outposts but don’t have the appetite (or budget) for a full rack.

In order to do this, we may also see ARM editions which allows for the some variety, and I would bet that EKS is the primary compute platform. It will be exciting to see how many other new services are added to the existing AWS Outposts configuration as well. Look for more GPU options to be added as well to up the level of local processing power to the “traditional” Outposts rack.

See You (Virtually) at AWS re:Invent

I’ll be jumping in to a lot of sessions and tracking all the announcements and community events happening at this year’s event. I hope to see more of my community peers among the virtual crowd. If you have any of your own predictions, drop them in the comments below and we can officially store our ideas for posterity to see how they hold up as the live event unfolds.

Make sure to register for the free event at

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

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