Dec 17, 2020|5 min|Technology

Top Moments from AWS re:Invent 2020

2020 has been an unprecedented year for all of us, and AWS re:Invent 2020 has been no exception. It is unprecedented in scale with nearly 500,000 expected attendees and in length as a three-week-long virtual event. Here are some of the key moments that caught my attention.

Cohesity Founder and CEO Mohit Aron Joins AWS Partner Keynote

For Cohesity, re:Invent has also been unprecedented with our first appearance in a keynote when CEO Mohit Aron joined AWS’s Doug Yeum in his partner keynote address. Why did AWS invite Mohit to speak in their keynote? Data Management as a Service (DMaaS). Our joint collaboration with AWS started with reinventing how customers can consume modern data management with unprecedented choice. With DMaaS, customers have the choice to manage their own data infrastructure with Cohesity software or have Cohesity manage it for them with DMaaS. Our first DMaaS offering, DataProtect delivered as a Service, provides a simple, yet powerful backup service for on-premises and cloud workloads, available now and with a 30-day free trial. It just takes a few minutes to sign up, connect, and protect. 

But that’s not all. We also announced our next DMaaS offering, SiteContinuity delivered as a Service, which provides Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) to simplify and automate the recovery process and leverage on-demand pay-per-use cloud resources to eliminate secondary data centers and standby infrastructure that seldom gets used, but must be maintained and paid for.

Learnings from Andy Jassy’s Keynote

We couldn’t have pulled off such a huge endeavour with DMaaS without the collaboration with AWS. And when I watched AWS CEO Andy Jassy during his keynote address — many of his key points on reinvention resonated with me and how we operate here at Cohesity:

  1. Leadership willing to invent and reinvent — Absolutely. Our leadership team understood the need for innovation and the need to reinvent our already modern data management solutions into a SaaS model.
  2. Acknowledge that you can’t fight gravity — Cloud growth continues to outpace other areas of IT. And even though Cohesity has been supporting cloud for many years it still required customers to self-manage their infrastructure. Many more customers are adopting cloud through SaaS and it was natural for us to bring out a DMaaS solution.
  3. Talent that’s hungry to invent — It amazes me every day working with my colleagues from engineering to marketing on how keen they are to create and execute on new things. Here at Cohesity, the status quo is not enough.
  4. Solving real customer problems with builders — Like AWS, we are customer obsessed. DMaaS started as a vision and was made possible by the feedback and guidance of dozens of preview and design partner customers. They gave us feedback on everything from the UI to how to properly address their security concerns.
  5. Speed — We have a fast-paced culture here at Cohesity driven by agile product development. But we wouldn’t have been able to iterate and launch DMaaS so quickly without the help of AWS SaaS Factory. Mohit spoke about this during the keynote, but in summary SaaS Factory helped us design and build with SaaS best practices from the get-go and launch our new service with a SaaS go-to-market engine.
  6. Don’t “complexify” — This one resonates strongly with me. Here at Cohesity, we solve the problem of mass data fragmentation — where the proliferation of data silos leads to unnecessary complexity, inefficiency, and dark data that you are unable to extract insights from. Redefining data management through simplicity and flexibility are key with Cohesity and DMaaS.
  7. Use the platform with the broadest and deepest set of tools — A single platform is also an ethos here at Cohesity. With Cohesity Helios, we provide a single multi-cloud platform for on-prem, edge, and cloud, and for customer self-managed infrastructure or Cohesity-managed DMaaS all managed through a single UI. More importantly our platform delivers the broadest and deepest support for a wide range of data management uses cases from backup, disaster recovery, file/object, dev/test, security, and analytics.
  8. Pull everything together with top-down goals — DMaaS started out as a bit of a skunkworks project, but it quickly got buy-in and priority from all parts of our organization. In the end this was a company-wide effort with support from leadership in all departments.

Cohesity/AWS Customers Speak Out

Cohesity Principal Technologist, Theresa Miller hosted a panel discussion with customers from Cloudshape, Kyriba, and Novartis who shared their experience around using Cohesity with AWS cloud. What was interesting for me was the amount of complexity our panelists had to deal with in their data management environment prior to deploying Cohesity and how much we were able to simplify their environment and reduce costs afterwards. It was also illuminating to hear some real-life stories that ranged from recovering from ransomware attacks to streamlining the development pipelines with Kubernetes and data clones.

Geeking out on DMaaS with AWS on Air — Howdy Partner Show 

I had a great time chatting with AWS Solution Architects AM Grobelny and Marie Shimansky on their Howdy Partner Show that played on the AWS on Air channel. We talked about Mohit’s session during the keynote, and geeked out on DMaaS and our announcements around DataProtect and SiteContinuity. But what was most interesting to me was our discussion around using advanced AWS services such as Amazon Macie, Amazon Sagemaker, etc., to enable customers to use DMaaS to do more and get more out of their data. 

The Show Goes On

As a three-week-long event there was much from both Cohesity and AWS with many breakout and learning sessions. For Cohesity we had our session on “How to be a data management genius” with Theresa Miller where she discusses data management pitfalls and best practices and how to address these with Data Management as a Service. In the meantime, feel free to visit our re:Invent virtual booth where you can talk to one of our specialists or get a demo.

2020 has truly been an unprecedented year, and I surely look forward to all the unprecedented change and reinvention around Data Management as a Service to continue into next year.

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