The modern world is data driven – companies all around the world are producing and consuming more data than ever, with the help of the cloud. Qantas claims that the next generation of their aircraft will generate over a petabyte of information with every flight; AWS is here to help them analyse it. This is just one of the many use cases for cloud computing, Forbes estimates that over 80% of enterprise workloads will be cloud based by 2020.
AWS came to the University of Auckland to talk about what the cloud is and why it’s so important. They took us through how datacentres, robots, and machine learning helped Amazon grow and how these same methods could help companies around the world. AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure all have their own pros and cons but one thing they have in common is cheap services (some free!) for students and start-ups. AWS urged us to give cloud a go, through whichever provider we wish, and start playing.
We also got a peak behind the curtain at the Amazon product pipeline. Amazon splits employees into ‘2-pizza teams;’ teams small enough to be fed with two large pizzas. Each of these 2-pizza teams is responsible for a different piece of the puzzle: building it, fixing it if it breaks, and constantly improving it. The teams treat the rest of the company – and the public – as customers, making a product with clearly defined edges. Once all the pieces come together, this results in a highly modular and agile product.
Henry Ford once said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses,” and this embodies the world of cloud computing; a world of opportunities has been opened to us and we are just learning what we can do with it!