AWS Storage Blog

A storage enthusiast’s guide to re:Invent storage sessions

UPDATE: The AWS re:Invent links in this post are outdated. Please visit the AWS Events channel on YouTube for a complete on-demand playlist of AWS Storage sessions at AWS re:Invent 2019.

As an AWS Hero and having attended re:Invent multiple years, I’ve picked up some tips on how to get the most out of this conference. I hope this will help you get more out of your time at re:Invent and grow your cloud storage knowledge, whether you are a first time attendee or an alumnus. My career has focused on data storage, and re:Invent has a variety of storage content to keep data enthusiasts like me happy.

Building out your agenda with storage sessions

Session sign-ups started on October 15th, so don’t forget to register before sessions fill up! Now is a good time to go through the session catalog and highlight the sessions and events that you’ll want to attend. AWS makes sure there is always something you can be doing, so filling your schedule should be easy. When browsing the session catalog, you can filter for sessions that focus on storage, by selecting ‘Storage’ in the ‘Topics’ section. There are many sessions and the most popular are offered at multiple times (and in multiple locations). If one session doesn’t fit with your agenda, there’s a good chance a repeat session will be available.

If you are new to re:Invent, the session catalog can be intimidating. There are 150 storage presentations available in the catalog, and more sessions may be added after new products and keynotes are announced during the conference keynotes. If you’re just learning about AWS storage services, start with the Intermediate level (Level 200) sessions. I seek out the Chalk Talks (Level 300) whenever possible, because they offer both a service overview and an opportunity for audience discussion. These are a great way to learn about a service while also being able to ask your questions and network with others sharing a similar interest. The Advanced and Expert level (Level 400) sessions are more service-specific than the Intermediate sessions. Advanced sessions will expect that you have a basic understanding of what a service is or does. These are great to dive deep on a specific service you are using or considering. Again, I look for Chalk Talks and Builders sessions for the networking and Q&A opportunities.

Here are the sessions I’m most excited to attend:

STG201-L – Leadership session: Storage state of the union
This session is a must for all storage enthusiasts as new services and updates will be unveiled in this session. I often think about this session as setting the tone to all storage sessions and you get a better idea of what to expect in Storage sessions throughout the week. Pro-tip: Sign up early as this session tends to get full really quickly.

STG202 – What’s new in AWS file storage
There are some product announcements I’m hoping to see in the file storage space, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll get the update I’m looking for in this session.

STG205 – Data migration: Understanding the technologies and options
Since I started my journey with AWS in the past three years, a lot has changed in the data migration space. I’m looking forward to syncing up on the new migration capabilities. There are 3 repeat sessions so I am sure I can make to one of them!

STG204-R – Get data to AWS: How to choose and use data migration services
This is a must session for attendees who want to get started on their data migration but don’t know where to start or which AWS storage services to use. The services used may differ depending on the data migration use case.

STG206-R – Stop managing SFTP servers today
I spent a lot of time managing SFTP servers prior to using AWS services. I will like to learn about AWS Transfer for SFTP enhancements, and get some hands-on experience with one of the experts.

STG230 Creating and running your first job in Amazon S3 Batch Operations
While I have a fair amount of data in Amazon S3, I haven’t done anything with S3 Batch Operations. I’m looking to see if there are opportunities to streamline some of my S3 based workflows.

STG203-R – What’s new with Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 Glacier
Amazon has many storage classes and features to manage data. It will be interesting to see what’s new with Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 Glacier, and learn on how I can store colder data in S3 Glacier and S3 Glacier Deep Archive.

STG331-R – Beyond eleven nines: Lessons from the Amazon S3 culture of durability
Storing data is all about security and durability, and AWS prides themselves on their 11 9s. I’d like to learn what they have learned about durability along the way.

STG306 Deep dive on Amazon FSx for Windows File Server
I love being able to take advantage of managed services whenever possible, and I have some workloads that would run well in Amazon FSx for Windows File Server. I’m looking forward to this deep dive to help me sort out if my workload is a good fit.

STG319 Getting started with AWS Backup
AWS Backup is a fairly new solution that centralizes and automates backups. I’ve been experimenting with AWS Backup, and I want to see how it has evolved since it launched.

STG338 Ask me anything about Amazon S3
This session will be a great opportunity to learn about how other builders and users are working with Amazon S3. This is such a robust service that a session titled “Ask me Anything” is bound to be a good conversation.

STG346 Deep dive on CloudEndure Disaster Recovery
CloudEndure joined the AWS portfolio recently and I want to learn more about the service.

STG360 Using Amazon EFS for container storage
Staying up to date on storage for containerized workflows is important in my environment. While I’m already using Amazon EFS for container storage, I want to see what others are doing.

STG402 Querying data in place with Amazon S3 and analytics tools
I’d love to find ways of improving the value my organization can extract from data stored in S3. I’m hoping the conversation in this Chalk Talk will spark some new ideas to bring back to my organization.

If you are in town on Sunday night, stop by the AWS Heroes meet-and-greet session to meet me and other AWS Community Heroes. Be sure to also attend the welcome reception on the Expo floor Monday evening. You’ll have the opportunity to circle the show floor and figure out which vendors and products I want to explore further. And as a Storage Enthusiast, you’ll find me talking to experts at the Storage booth. They will be showing demos and answering questions I have.  I’ve listed a few other non-session events that you should check out – especially if this is your first time attending – in my full Hero Guide to Re:Invent.

There are a few Twitter users I recommend following to get the latest Re:Invent announcements and updates: @AWSonAir, @awscloud, @AWSreInvent, @jeffbarr, @AWS_edu, @AWSCLOUDCERT, @AWSUserGroups, and while not an official AWS twitter account, also follow @reinventParties. You can also follow me (@davebuildscloud) as I’ll be tweeting storage news and announcements throughout the event.

Remember, the most important thing you need to do is reserve your session seats. This will help you avoid potential wait-list lines for the more popular sessions. Good luck picking your storage sessions and have safe travels to the conference. If any of the events on your schedule cross paths with the events I’m attending, let me know. It’s always nice to meet new people at these events. All my contact info is available here.

The content and opinions in this post are those of the third-party author and AWS is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this post.