AWS Storage Blog

Your AWS Storage guide to re:Invent 2019: How to maximize your time in Vegas!

UPDATE: The AWS re:Invent links in this post are outdated.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.

On behalf of the entire AWS Storage team, we are excited to tell you all about our plans for re:Invent. This year’s conference is going to be our biggest yet, with 60,000+ attendees and more than 2,500 technical sessions, across six venues on the Las Vegas Strip. First off, if you have not registered, don’t wait and register now.

Once you have registered, be sure to reserve your seat to your favorite sessions, we know those will be storage, but do check out some of the analytics, machine learning, and robotics sessions.

There are some incredible sessions across our storage services and there is no shortage of opportunities to learn tips-and-tricks, best practices, and to watch the latest storage innovations be announced live.

If you have never been to re:Invent, these peculiar videos will help get you started, how to re:Invent.

With so much going on at re:Invent, it’s sometimes difficult to determine how to spend your time.

Keep in mind that reserved seating went live on October 15. You can start planning your schedule at any time by logging into your account, visiting the session catalog, and marking sessions of interest (we suggest using the storage filter to help narrow down the list). The full schedule including dates, times, and locations is also available. Visit here to see all of the storage sessions at re:Invent

PRO TIP: Search topics you are interested in and start favoriting/reserving sessions you think you might be interested in attending. Step Two: Make sure roughly 80% of your favorites are breakout sessions. Step Three: Get crazy! Once you have your core topics explored and your sessions favorited, explore by other topics! You never know what you might discover.

Storage leadership session

  • STG201-L – Leadership session: Storage state of the union: In this leadership session, we highlight the latest innovations across all AWS storage services. Join us to learn what’s new in AWS object, file, and block storage, as well as in hybrid, edge, and data transfer services. You will also hear from major AWS storage customers about how they’re using AWS storage to create a competitive advantage in their businesses.

PRO TIP: Leadership Sessions are a topic area’s State of the Union, where AWS leadership will share the vision and direction for this topic at AWS.

Breakout sessions

Lecture style and 60 minutes long. These sessions will take place throughout the re:Invent campus and cover all topics at all levels (200–400). Sessions are delivered by AWS experts, customers, and partners, and they typically include 10–15 minutes of Q&A at the end.

PRO TIP: The maximum number of 60-minute sessions you can attend across the week is 24! They should make up the bulk of your plan and have the most seats too!

  • STG202 – What’s new in AWS file storage: In this session, we focus on innovations in the fast-growing AWS file-storage portfolio, including Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS), Amazon FSx for Windows File Server, and Amazon FSx for Lustre.
  • STG203-R – [REPEAT] What’s new with Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 Glacier: Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is the largest and most performant, secure, and feature-rich object-storage service. In this session, we review recently launched Amazon S3 features such as Amazon S3 batch operations, Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive, Amazon S3 Block Public Access, and more to come.
  • STG204-R – [REPEAT] Get your data to AWS: How to choose and use data migration services: You have data you need to move to the cloud—either once for a migration, or repeatedly for ongoing workflows. AWS data migration and transfer services move data securely and efficiently into and out of AWS. In this session, learn how to choose and combine services—including AWS DataSync, the AWS Snow family, CloudEndure, and AWS Transfer for SFTP—for your different use cases. 
  • CMP305-R – [REPEAT] Amazon EBS snapshots: What’s new, best practices, and securityAmazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) snapshots allow companies to easily back up their EBS volumes. In this session, learn about new snapshot capabilities, how the service has evolved, and ways to further integrate snapshots into your backup and disaster recovery mechanisms on AWS. We cover how snapshots work and best practices for using snapshots to achieve your recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO) goals while managing spend. 
  • STG213 – Storage for hybrid cloud and edge computing: Bring AWS to you: If you want to use cloud storage, but still have applications in a data center, or remote field operations that require computing and storage capabilities, this session is for you. Get educated on the continuum of capabilities that you can choose to bring to your site, including AWS Outposts storage options, AWS Storage Gateway, AWS Snowball Edge, Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration, and more.
  • STG234 – Data archiving and digital preservation solutions with AWS: Learn how to manage long-term data archiving and digital asset preservation needs with AWS, including information on compliance use cases requiring write-once-read-many (WORM) protection. We also discuss AWS methods for data validation and fixity checking that helps ensure that your data is available when you need it by using Amazon S3 Glacier and Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive.
  • STG303-R – [REPEAT] Deep dive on Amazon EBS:  In this popular session, discover how Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) can optimize performance and costs for workloads on Amazon EC2, such as relational and nonrelational databases, enterprise applications, big data analytics engines, file systems, and media workflows. Learn about new capabilities with Amazon EBS, features and benefits, security techniques, and details about performance and volume types. 

Chalk talks

Highly interactive content format with a smaller audience. They begin with a 10–15-minute lecture delivered by an AWS expert, followed by a 45–50-minute Q&A session with the audience. The goal is to foster a technical discussion around real-world architecture challenges.

PRO TIP: Chalk Talks and Workshops are smaller and can accommodate fewer people per session. Builders Sessions are the smallest. These are the your bonus sessions!

  • STG205-R – [REPEAT] Data migration: Understanding the technologies and optionsAWS offers a variety of data migration and transfer services and tools to help you move everything from gigabytes to petabytes of data using your networks, our networks, the mail, or even a tractor trailer. In this session, we briefly cover a few key data migration services and products, including the AWS Snow family, AWS DataSync, and CloudEndure. Then we invite you to join the discussion about specific customer use cases, including yours. 
  • STG218 – Maximizing Amazon EFS performance for Linux workloads: Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) delivers highly available and highly durable file systems that are distributed across an unconstrained number of storage servers and enables massively parallel access. In this chalk talk, we diagram different architectures that leverage this distributed data-storage design, and we share best practices around selecting the appropriate performance and throughput mode, configuring clients, ingesting data, and monitoring performance.
  • STG308-R – [REPEAT] Deep dive on security in Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 GlacierAmazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon S3 Glacier provide some of the most enhanced data security features available in the cloud today. In this chalk talk, learn directly from the AWS engineering team that builds and maintains Amazon S3 security functionality, such as encryption, public access visibility, and much more. Bring your feedback, questions, and expertise to discuss innovative ways to ensure that your data is available only to the users and applications that need it.
  • STG310-R – [REPEAT] Edge computing use cases: Deep dive on AWS Snowball EdgeMany organizations have remote operations that are disconnected from corporate networks and AWS. These operations—for example, mines, ships, farms, or industrial sites—often need to do processing at the edge, potentially before sending data back to AWS. Join this discussion with AWS experts to understand how AWS Snowball Edge enables you to capture, process, and migrate data into and out of AWS in locations where you don’t have adequate (or any) network connectivity. 
  • STG311-R – [REPEAT] Protect and manage Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 Glacier objects at scale: As your data repository grows using the object storage services Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 Glacier, it becomes increasingly helpful to use features to protect and manage your objects. In this chalk talk, you can speak directly with the AWS engineering team that builds and maintains features like cross-region replication, S3 storage class analysis, Amazon S3 inventory, Amazon S3 lifecycle, Amazon S3 Glacier Vault Lock, and others. 
  • STG351 – Meeting performance needs for database workloads on Amazon EBSMany customers have performance, security, or other requirements that necessitate running their database workloads on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) versus a managed AWS service. Join us for a deep dive into understanding how to achieve storage performance requirements and avoid I/O pitfalls while running production database workloads on Amazon EC2.


Two-hour, hands-on sessions where you work in teams to solve problems using AWS. Workshops organize attendees into small groups and provide scenarios to encourage interaction, giving you the opportunity to learn from and teach each other. Each workshop starts with a 10–15-minute lecture by the main speaker, and the rest of the time is spent working as a group. Come prepared with your laptop and willingness to learn! AWS will provide credits.

  • STG313 – Hybrid architectures for database backups & file migrations: In this workshop, you gain hands-on experience using AWS Storage Gateway to protect on-premises data in AWS, recover it locally or in the cloud, and migrate it when the time is right. You also work with AWS Storage Gateway’s file interface, or file gateway, and Microsoft SQL Server’s native tools to back up to Amazon S3 and then rapidly recover or migrate that database to AWS. Additionally, you learn how to archive on-premises files to Amazon S3 using AWS DataSync and then access those files on-premises using AWS Storage Gateway. 
  • STG315-R – [REPEAT] Amazon S3 security settings and controlsAmazon S3 provides several different settings to help you secure your data, controls to ensure that those settings remain in place, and features to help you audit all of the above. In this workshop, we walk you through these capabilities, presenting scenarios to help you apply them for different security requirements.
  • STG326 – Deploy fully managed FSx for Windows File Server instances in minutesWindows file servers are a common occurrence in customer environments. Each Windows file server requires time and effort to provision/de-provision, continual maintenance, and operational overhead. Now, you have a new option. In this hands-on session, in a few clicks deploy fully managed, highly performant Amazon FSx for Windows File Server and file systems, and integrate them directly with your own Active Directory domain or AWS-managed Active Directory.
  • STG329-R – [REPEAT] Maximizing storage throughput and performanceDo your applications demand the highest performance from your storage systems? Come learn how to achieve peak performance from Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS), and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). You learn effective use of these services’ distributed designs and performance features, and the API best practices to meet any application’s high-performance storage requirements.
  • STG401 – Manage objects and optimize cost with Amazon S3 and Amazon S3 GlacierIn this workshop, get hands-on experience managing large amounts of data in Amazon S3. Learn best practices for configuring and managing object policies, including storage buckets, security, regulatory compliance, data replication, and more. We review optimizing storage costs, data lifecycle management, and retrieval times through the various restore tiers and SLAs, and we share strategies for moving and organizing data in formats that take advantage of Amazon S3 features.

Builder sessions

60-minute small group sessions with up to six customers and one AWS expert, who is there to help, answer questions, and provide guidance. You will use your laptop to experiment and build with the AWS expert after a short demonstration.

  • STG206-R – [REPEAT] Stop managing SFTP servers todayYou currently operate SFTP servers on-premises or in the cloud. Would you like to stop thinking about security, integrations, scaling, and application access? In this session, sit down with an AWS expert and get hands-on with AWS Transfer for SFTP. AWS SFTP is our fully managed SFTP service that integrates with your existing authentication systems, seamlessly scales up and down with your network traffic, and transparently utilizes Amazon S3 for storage, simplifying file processing and application access.
  • STG225-R – [REPEAT] Getting started with hybrid file storage using File GatewayLearn hands-on how to deploy the file gateway configuration of the AWS Storage Gateway service to get access to virtually unlimited cloud storage for your on-premises file-based applications. The file gateway configuration provides a file share backed by Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) that works with existing Windows or Linux applications using SMB or NFS, and gives you low-latency performance with a local cache. 

PRO TIP: This year, the session scheduler will not let you book sessions within 30 minutes of each other if they are located in different venues.

  • STG229-R – [REPEAT] Optimizing Amazon S3 data throughputs, requests, and transfersAmazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) supports many automated features to help save on storage time and costs. There are some things that customers can avoid to maximize their resources and optimize performance. In this builders session, Amazon S3 experts provide hands-on guidance on optimizing throughputs for large Amazon S3 objects, request rates for small Amazon S3 objects, and data transfers to Amazon S3 over long distances. All attendees should have an AWS account and be able to perform basic Linux commands.
  • STG319-R – [REPEAT] Getting started with AWS BackupAWS offers multiple options for backing up your cloud-based applications. AWS Backup is a fully managed, policy-based backup service that centralizes and automates the backing up of data across AWS services in the cloud. Attend this session and develop a deep understanding of AWS Backup and how to implement a backup strategy to protect against data loss in your cloud workloads.
  • STG325-R1 – [REPEAT 1] Get the most out of your Amazon EFS deploymentAmazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) brings an easy-to-use, highly available, highly durable, elastic file storage to a wide variety of applications. In this session, AWS experts share best practices to optimize performance when accessing data from your Amazon EFS file system. We go into detail on the performance modes within Amazon EFS and how to design your workload to get the most from your file system.

PRO TIP: If you’re walking to another session across campus, account for at least an hour to get there. This includes wait time.

STG362-R – [REPEAT] Migrating Windows file servers to Amazon FSx

Learn how to start moving your Windows file storage to AWS with Amazon FSx for Windows File Server efficiently and securely. Hear best practices on moving Windows file data into AWS and gain insights and resources on selecting the right Windows file data transfer solution for your needs.

Beyond sessions…..

re:Invent is an industry event with lots to do outside of Breakout Sessions, including Hacks & Jams, DeepRacer events, Hands on Labs, demos, certification exams, and builders fair.

Don’t forget to leave room on your calendar for:

  • Meetings with your account team and other AWS experts.
  • Daily debriefs with your team and divide and conquer, but don’t forget to find time to reconvene and share daily learnings. Breakfast is a great time for this.
  • Time to explore our partner expo, including the AWS Village and hundreds of AWS partners there to help you learn more about how their solution can benefit your business.
  • Meetings with your professional network. Let people know you’ll be at re:Invent through LinkedIn and ensure you’re taking advantage of the entire cloud computing industry being in the same city!

Fun! There are lots of extra activities at re:Invent. Expect your evenings to fill up onsite! Check out the peculiar programs including: Bingo Night, Choir!Choir!Choir!, Sip and Paint, Tatonka Challenge (ask me about this wing eating challenge, as I have experience), 4k/8k Run, Ping Pong, etc.

More to come

This was your all-in storage guide for re:Invent, over the next few weeks, you can expect to see more storage posts for re:Invent that dive deeper into the object, file, block, hybrid, data transfer, and migration services at re:Invent.

Do you think we are missing anything? What topics would you want us to cover? What sessions are you most excited about?