AWS re:Invent 2017 Day 1 Recap: Serverless is King

Las Vegas Skyline Night

The first day of AWS re:Invent 2017, as expected, was crazy. There were crowds aplenty, and the word that seemed to be on everyone’s lips was serverless.

Yep, this year there is a huge push for serverless computing. Some of the sessions on Monday ranged from “Building Serverless ETL Pipelines” to “Modernizing Amtrak: Serverless Solution for Real-Time Data Capabilities” and absolutely everything in between. It’s great to see companies that have successfully implemented serverless architectures teaching others the success and pitfalls of their journeys.

But serverless wasn’t the only hot item being discussed in Las Vegas on Monday. Other topics of interest included IoT, big data, machine learning/Artificial Intelligence and, of course, security.

The fun part of Mondays at re:Invent is that the conference is not even in full swing yet. Many people don’t even arrive until Monday afternoon or later, yet the halls are already crammed with people scrambling to learn.


Even though Monday is a bit of a pre-day, AWS did reward attendees with some new announcements. Announcements at re:Invent, for tech-nerds like myself, are like opening presents on Christmas day.

New service announcements mean more late nights, very little sleep, poor eating habits, frustrated hours spent figuring something out, and an obvious required refactor… and we love it!! Monday’s announcements were mainly centered around media and production.

Amazon Sumerian

The first announcement on Monday revolved around the preview release of Amazon Sumerian, a content creation and delivery platform for virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D applications. Gaming or graphics expertise is not required to create scenes and actors that will run on popular hardware such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and iOS mobile devices (support for Android ARCore coming soon). It should be noted that, at this time, Sumerian is in preview and you have to request access. See the Sumerian product page to learn more.


The next announcement n Monday was a suite of tools to help with media encoding, delivery, security and monetization. The suite includes the following tools.

Coming from my previous company, which dealt with secure media streaming and advertising, I can see why this is exciting news. To be able to encode, stream and employ targeted advertisement at broadcast-level quality, all as a service with no infrastructure to maintain, opens some pretty cool opportunities to explore.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned for more as I recap all of today’s (the first full day of the conference) announcements and developments in tomorrow’s recap post!

Want to find out more about Rackspace at AWS re:Invent? Come find us at Booth #640 or visit us online to find out about the ways we’re helping businesses succeed with managed services for AWS.

Eric Johnson is the AWS Evangelist at Rackspace. He has been working with AWS technologies as a developer and an architect for the last six years. His passion for all things new in cloud technologies drive him to be a lifetime student and fanatical speaker on all things cloud.


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