AWS re:Invent 2023 Brings More Compute, Data, and AI to the Cloud

The cloud giant keeps on adding capabilities, though it's still critically important to be "frugal," according to CTO Werner Vogels.

Sean Michael Kerner, Contributor

December 1, 2023

4 Min Read
Amazon CTO Werner Vogels at re:Invent 2023
Amazon CTO Werner Vogels gave a 2.5-hour keynote at re:Invent 2023.AWS re:Invent 2023 livestream

Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosted its re:Invent 2023 user conference from Nov. 27-Dec. 1, announcing a staggering array of new and updated cloud services.

In past years, re:Invent has had a variety of themes: re:Invent 2022 had a focus on event-driven architecture, while the highlight of the re:Invent 2021 event was the debut of then-new AWS CEO Adam Selipsky. While artificial intelligence (AI) has had a role at re:Invent for the past decade, at the 2023 event, it had an even larger part, as re:Invent 2023 had a very strong focus on AI as it permeates nearly every facet of modern cloud operations and development.

While AI is a core focus for AWS, it's not the only focus, as the cloud giant continues to advance its compute, data analytics, storage, and database efforts. The event was also an opportunity for Amazon CTO Werner Vogels to outline his vision for cloud operations that he calls the "frugal architect."

Among the key announcements at re:Invent 2023:

  • AI: Among the dozens of AI updates at re:Invent 2023 were new text and image generation foundation models for Amazon Bedrock. 

  • Generative AI-powered assistant: Amazon announced Amazon Q, new assistant AI capabilities that AWS is embedding across its portfolio to help users in a variety of ways, including analysis, task completion, and code migration.

  • Compute: AWS announced its new Graviton 4 ARM-based CPU as well as Tranium2 AI accelerator.

  • Serverless: AWS announced new serverless database and analytics offerings — Amazon Aurora Limitless Database, Amazon ElastiCache Serverless, and Amazon Redshift Serverless — to help customers easily scale data infrastructure for demanding use cases.

  • Data and analytics: AWS announced four new zero-ETL integrations enabling faster data analysis across stores: Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon RDS for MySQL integrated with Amazon Redshift without custom pipelines.

  • Data warehouse: Updates to Amazon's Redshift data warehouse product include multidimensional data layouts that accelerate repetitive query performance by sorting based on query filters instead of columns.

  • Vector search: Amazon announced new capabilities for vector search across several services, including OpenSearch Serverless, DocumentDB, MemoryDB for Redis, and Neptune Analytics for fast graph data analysis.

  • Storage: Amazon S3 Express One Zone is a new high-performance, single-zone S3 storage class that delivers consistent, single-digit-millisecond data access for customers' most latency-sensitive applications.

Related:AWS, Azure, and GCP: 4 Major Areas in Which They Differ

Werner Vogels describing Frugal Architect at AWS re:Invent 2023


Related:AWS, Azure, and GCP: 4 Major Areas in Which They Differ

Vogels Provides Cloud Guide for the Frugal Architect

A highlight of every re:Invent event is Vogels' keynote, and 2023 was no exception.

In a whirlwind 2.5-hour keynote, Vogels outlined his views on how organizations should use the cloud in 2024 and beyond. It's a vision he calls the "frugal architect." The frugal architect is an approach that details strategies for building cost-effective and sustainable cloud architectures, including considerations like cost optimization, evolvability, and constraints.

Here are some key aspects of being a frugal architect, according Vogels:

  • Understanding the true costs, both monetary and environmental, of the resources and services used to run an application. Cost should be treated as a key non-functional requirement.

  • Designing systems that are tunable and allow controls to be adjusted to optimize costs based on business needs and priorities.

  • Regular profiling and optimization to reduce costs over time through techniques such as rightsizing, migrating to more efficient services, etc.

  • Building evolvable architectures so costs can be optimized without impacting customers as technologies/strategies improve.

  • Treating sustainability at par with cost, as reducing resource usage also reduces environmental impact.

AWS Improves Cost Management and Observability

During his keynote detailing his frugal architect vision, Vogels also announced a pair of new services designed to help cloud architects better manage cloud costs.

Vogels pulled quote


"If you build customer architectures, you need to implement cost controls. You can't just rely on good intentions — you need to put mechanisms in place," Vogels said.

One of the new services is the AWS Management Console My Applications. Vogels said the new service gives users visibility into health, security, and performance on a per application basis. The other new service is CloudWatch Application Signals, which Vogels said will enable organizations to automatically build visibility instrumentation for the Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).

Being frugal and managing costs also extend to AI and machine learning (ML).

"If you're using ML, you should still be a frugal architect," Vogels said. "AI predicts; professionals decide."

Vogels was also very optimistic about the future of Amazon Q and generative AI overall for cloud users.

"It has always been my passion to help builders be successful," he said. "And I hope that some of the tools that you've seen this week actually are going to change the way that you build your systems."

About the Author(s)

Sean Michael Kerner


Sean Michael Kerner is an IT consultant, technology enthusiast and tinkerer. He consults to industry and media organizations on technology issues.

Sign up for the ITPro Today newsletter
Stay on top of the IT universe with commentary, news analysis, how-to's, and tips delivered to your inbox daily.

You May Also Like