Vogels: Pandemic Binge Watching Shows the Value of Cloud

The keynote address at the AWS Summit Online was given by Werner Vogels, Amazon’s Chief Technology Officer. He did this via a prerecorded video recorded from his Amsterdam home. Instead of presenting his usual product and feature announcements the company’s rock-star engineering focused on how pandemic-driven use of the cloud — including binge watching content from streaming services – is proving the scale of the company’s cloud computing platform.
Vogels stated that AWS is a testament to the scale of streaming services.
He supported his claim with two graphs that showed the explosive rise in binge-watching during lockdowns. One graph showed that global streaming hours per day increased by 39% in March 2020 compared to March 2019. The other showed a comparison in billions viewing minutes during the same times: 69.8 Billion last year versus 161.4 this year.
Vogels was able to make his point without even mentioning Netflix. The market-leading streaming service is AWS, but Amazon Prime Video is now a direct competitor.
He also predicted that the 2020 lockdown would be the beginning of a new era where virtually all organizations will use cloud-based technology to allow workers to access any service or application from anywhere. He cited the rapid growth of telemedicine during lockdown as an example for an adaptation that’s likely be successful.
Vogels stated, “If nothing else these past months have truly heralded in an era of technology where we are witnessing fundamental shifts in how everybody is feeling.” Vogels spoke about technology not only as such, but also how to access it and how to build it.
He said, “I am still inspired by the way I’ve seen customers react to recent events and how they’ve used tech to solve human problems.”
Vogels spoke on “Foundational technology”, which he said the cloud has become.
He said, “Creating technology solutions is much like building a physical structure.” A solid foundation is essential. A foundation that isn’t solid will lead to structural problems that can undermine the integrity and functionality of the building over time… Given current events, it might be more important than ever for us to quickly find solutions and respond to the changes around us. These fundamental concepts are essential to building stable, secure, and efficient systems.
The AWS Summit Online is taking place in the midst of a fierce dispute between AWS (and Microsoft) over the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract (JEDI), which was awarded to Microsoft last autumn by the U.S. Department of Defense. AWS opposed the $10B deal in court. They claimed “political interference” by President Donald Trump and cited the president’s public attacks against Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for a clear influence on DoD.

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