Adam Divall

Walkthrough Guides and Other Useful Information on AWS

Preparing for AWS re:Invent 2023

2023-10-14 12 min read Events Adam Divall

AWS re:Invent 2023, the biggest event in the annual Amazon Web Services (AWS) calendar, is just around the corner.

If you’ll be attending in person, it can be difficult to know which sessions will be valuable. In this blog post I’ve listed the sessions that I’m planning on attending as well as a few tips to get the best from the event.

Reserved seating for the event opens on 17th October that I like to call whack-a-mole night as no sooner have you tried to reserve a seat it’s quite likely that session will already be fully booked and then you’ll end up queuing up on the day and potentially mission out on other opportunities available to you at the event.

Therefore it’s key to plan your week out to maximise your time at the conference to avoid being disappointed on missing out especially if there is something that you really want to see/attend.

When looking at the sessions that are available to you in the Session Catalog it’s worth considering the numbers at the beginning of the session name as this implies how technically deep that session is:

  • 100 = Foundational
  • 200 = Intermediate
  • 300 = Advanced
  • 400 = Expert

Most breakout sessions are usually recorded and available on the AWS YouTube Channel or AWS Stash after the conference ends, so its always worth prioritising the other types of content, which won’t be available any other way than whilst you’re in Las Vegas.

When making my selections for what to attend this re:Invent, I’ve taken into consideration a few things such as Services I either want to understand more about as I’ve not had the chance to get hands-on with as of yet and dive deeper in to or I think there are improvements or enhancements that I think can be made to solutions that the team I work with deliver to our end clients as well as further solutions that we look to develop. In addition, I also want re:Invent to test me rather than just plodding away through it for the duration of the week.

That being said, this is my current agenda for the week:

Monday 27th November

  • SEC215 | Hybrid & multicloud environment monitoring with Amazon Security Lake: Learn how Amazon Security Lake can help organisations operating in a hybrid or multicloud environment monitor and centralise security events across these environments. Build and deploy Amazon Security Lake with data sources from within AWS and also from other third-party providers. Utilise dashboarding in OpenSearch for visualising events across all environments, and have detection capabilities for events of interest in all environments.

  • SEC301 | Threat detection and response on AWS: Hands-on threat detection and response workshop using Amazon GuardDuty, AWS Security Hub, Amazon Inspector, and Amazon Detective. This workshop simulates security events for different types of resources and behaviors and illustrates both manual and automated responses with AWS Lambda. Learn how to improve your security posture by operationalising threat detection and response on AWS.

  • NET315-R | Building Zero Trust architectures using AWS Verified Access: An open forum to discuss AWS Verified Access and Zero Trust remote connectivity architectures on AWS. Briefly review the AWS Zero Trust perspective before exploring how you can provide secure identity and device verified access to your AWS resources. Leave the talk with tips to help you fortify your security posture and enhance compliance, all while simplifying your IT operations.

  • STG333 | Automate your AWS Backup strategy: A robust backup strategy is critical to help ensure business continuity and data availability. A centralised and automated backup solution is even more crucial when working with multiple AWS accounts or Regions. An automated AWS Backup strategy using infrastructure as code provides the solution to address this challenge. Get hands-on experience managing and updating your AWS Backup policies and resources across multiple accounts and Regions using infrastructure as code.

  • ANT350 | Security analytics with Amazon OpenSearch Service: Amazon OpenSearch Service and Amazon Security Lake together provide a comprehensive and cost-effective security strategy for organisations. This helps your Security Operations (SecOps) teams detect potential threats quickly, with tools to facilitate security investigations on historical data. This also provides an integrated experience for DevOps and Site Reliability Engineers to isolate critical events and use all the observability signals to detect issues for containerised applications and microservices. Join this session to hear about best practices, monitoring patterns, and how you can meet your organisation’s security and observability requirements at scale and at low cost.

  • KEY001 | Monday Night Live with Peter DeSantis: Peter DeSantis, Senior Vice President of AWS Utility Computing, continues the Monday Night Live tradition of diving deep into the engineering that powers AWS services. Get a closer look at how our unique approach and culture of innovation help create leading-edge solutions across the entire spectrum, from silicon to services—without compromising on performance or cost.

Tuesday 28th November

  • KEY002 | Adam Selipsky Keynote: Adam Selipsky, CEO of Amazon Web Services, as he shares his perspective on cloud transformation. He highlights innovations in data, infrastructure, and artificial intelligence and machine learning that are helping AWS customers achieve their goals faster, mine untapped potential, and create a better future.

  • SEC306 | Build a security posture leaderboard using AWS Security Hub: Introduction to the possibilities of creating a robust and comprehensive leaderboard using AWS Security Hub findings to improve security and compliance visibility in your organisation. Learn how to design and support various use cases, such as combining security and compliance data into a single, centralised dashboard that allows you to make more informed decisions; correlate Security Hub findings with operational data for deeper insights; build a security and compliance scorecard across various dimensions to share with different stakeholders; and support a decentralised organisation structure with a centralised or shared security function.

  • CON407 | Deployment best practices for Amazon ECS services: Organisations increasingly run their applications as containerised microservices using Amazon ECS services. This chalk talk focuses on sharing best practices for how you can safely and quickly roll out new application versions with Amazon ECS. The discussion includes the various tools you can use for Amazon ECS deployments (for example, AWS CloudFormation, AWS CDK, Terraform, AWS CLI, AWS Management Console) and best practices for safeguards you can use depending on the application type (load balanced or event driven) and infrastructure provider (Amazon EC2 or AWS Fargate).

  • SEC203 | Refining IAM permissions like an expert: Learn how to use AWS services to automatically detect unused and business-critical IAM permissions and ways you can update them safely to move toward a least-privilege environment. Discover how to embed the automation into the software development lifecycle to improve the builder experience while also accelerating security objectives.

  • COP342 | Advanced analytics with AWS Cost and Usage Reports: Are you curious about the breakdown of your AWS Savings Plans discounts per account? Do you want a complete picture of your application’s service usage by including all the resources it’s built upon? Learn how to write queries for your AWS Cost and Usage Reports (AWS CUR) and analyse your billing and usage for deeper insights and optimisation opportunities.

Wednesady 29th November

  • DOP307-R | Hands-on with Amazon CodeWhisperer: Learn how to build applications faster and more securely with Amazon CodeWhisperer, an AI-powered coding companion. The workshop begins with several examples highlighting how CodeWhisperer incorporates your comments and existing code to produce results. Then dive into a series of challenges designed to improve your productivity using multiple languages and frameworks.

  • ANT304-R | A pragmatic approach to data governance on AWS: Learn how to implement a modern data governance strategy using AWS services like Amazon DataZone, AWS Lake Formation, AWS Glue, and more. Get hands-on experience with data governance activities that can be performed as a data platform owner, data owner, or data consumer with these services.

  • NET304 | Simplifying application networking with Amazon VPC Lattice: Learn how to simplify service-to-service connectivity at scale, enhance application-layer security, implement advanced traffic management, and gain visibility into service-to-service interactions using Amazon VPC Lattice. Amazon VPC Lattice is an application-layer service that connects, monitors, and secures communications between your services, helping to improve productivity so that your developers can focus on building features that matter to your business. This workshop offers insights into and provides instruction on how to improve productivity and deployment flexibility on AWS across your compute workloads by using Amazon VPC Lattice.

  • ARC325 | Operational excellence: Best practices for resilient systems: Learn how operational practices such as logging, health checks, and safe deployment affect the resilience of well-architected applications. Explore use cases demonstrating potential implications of poor operational practices on system availability and analyze these use cases in line with well-architected principles. Learn about improvement strategies and best practices to enhance the resilience of your AWS architecture.

Thursday 30th November

  • KEY005 | Dr. Werner Vogels Keynote: Werner Vogels, VP and CTO of continues to explore the transformative impact of technology on businesses and examines the newest trends and breakthroughs in cloud computing. He also discusses the latest AWS innovations and gives his unique perspective on up-and-coming technologies and their capacity to revolutionise our world.

  • ENT303 | Move and improve at scale using AWS Application Migration Service: Are you looking to migrate and optimise your workloads? AWS announced new features for AWS Application Migration Service to help organisations migrate and modernise at scale. Learn how to address common challenges like upgrading operating systems, optimising infrastructure, and moving to managed databases after completing your migration. Don’t just move your applications, discover how Application Migration Service can help you improve them in the cloud with key post-migration actions to accelerate your modernisation.

  • ARC309 | Build applications that recover from an Availability Zone impairment: Building highly resilient applications in the cloud requires building across multiple Availability Zones, capacity planning for redundancy, and having mechanisms in place to ensure that requests are routed away from occasional, temporary failures—both hard and gray—in an Availability Zone. Learn how you can design and monitor applications to detect and automatically recover from failures within Availability Zones using capabilities such as the Amazon Route 53 Application Recovery Controller zonal shift.

  • NET326 | Amazon VPC Lattice architecture patterns and best practices: Amazon VPC Lattice is an application networking service that simplifies connecting, securing, and monitoring service-to-service communication. You can use VPC Lattice to facilitate cross-account and cross-VPC connectivity, as well as application layer load balancing for your workloads in a consistent way regardless of the underlying compute type—instances, containers, and serverless. In this session, get a general overview of VPC Lattice, learn about the latest features and functionality, discover pro tips and tricks to adopt best practices, and explore top architecture patterns organisations use to simplify application connectivity, security, and load balancing.

Friday 1st December

  • NET306 | Advanced VPC designs and new capabilities: Amazon VPC is a foundational service on AWS that gives you control over your virtual networking environment. Every year, AWS makes updates to Amazon VPC to help improve functionality, security, and usability. Have you ever wondered how new Amazon VPC features might affect how you should design your networking infrastructure on AWS? In this session, learn about the latest updates to Amazon VPC and how you can use them to enhance your current architectures.

Key Tips for re:Invent

I’ve been fortunate to attend several AWS re:Invent’s now and here are my personal tips for a good re:Invent:

  • Plan your schedule, especially the sessions you really want to attend. When planning, ensure you factor in breaks as well as time in between sessions for travelling between venues as Las Vegas is huge. If you’ve got a session at the Venetian and then 30 minutes later you’ve got another either at the MGM Grand or Mandalay Bay you’re going to struggle to make it there in time; in which case Uber or Lyft will be your friend as the Campus Shuttle won’t get you there in time!
  • Get a pre-paid sim card for your mobile phone prior to going to avoid costly roaming charges. Whilst there is Wi-Fi everywhere, roaming charges are costly and therefore in recent trips to the USA I’ve purchased these for the duration I was there and it includes unlimited data.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket or hoodie as venues can get chilly. With so much happening at the conference, you’ll be doing a lot of walking, standing, and sitting. It’s essential to wear comfortable shoes that you can walk in for long hours without getting tired.
  • Networking at the conference is absolutely crucial! Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to expand your professional community by connecting with other like-minded individuals who share your interests. Make sure to take full advantage of every networking opportunity available to you such as some of the after parties at Conference Parties that are available - some of which will need to be registered for prior to going to Las Vegas.
  • Pick up your Conference Badge as soon as you possibly can. Depending on when you’ll be arriving in Las Vegas, you can either collect it at the Airport (on Sunday or Monday) or alternatively from the Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand or The Venetian. You’ll need your conference pass to get into any of the Sessions as it’ll be scanned on entrance, but also for attending the re:Play Party, using the Campus Shuttles etc.
  • Breakfast and Lunch is included as part of the re:Invent Conference Pass. Breakfast is available between 07:00 and 09:00 and Lunch between 11:00 and 13:30 at either Caesars Forum, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Venetian or Wynn.
  • Recently on travels to the USA, I’ve noticed that it’s got more expensive than in previous years therefore I personally recommend stocking up with Water, Soft Drinks from places such as CVS or Walgreens for your Hotel Room else you will be paying high hotel prices! Plus you’ll want to stay well hydrated given the air conditioning everywhere, personally I find my throat gets very dry from it and so having a drink with you is well worth it.
  • Get Extra SWAG by Filling out Surveys after each of the Session as AWS want your feedback so they know how to improve them.
  • Visit the Expo Hall at The Venetian to explore the varying booths to collect SWAG, speak with AWS experts, and network with other attendees. Make sure you pack a spare bag or take a big enough bag with you to fit in all the random things you’ll collect during the week.
  • Don’t miss the re:Play party on Thursday 30th November, from 8:00 PM to Midnight. You will be entertained by interactive activities, games, a surprise musical guest, food, and drinks (Tip: don’t forget to pick up a party t-shirt).

Myself I’m getting into Las Vegas on Saturday 25th but will also be taking in the NFL Game on Sunday between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs with one of my colleagues. Look out for me at re:Invent and don’t be shy, come up and say Hi; you may even see me in my sparkly Gold Jacket that I got recently at the AWS Global Ambassador Summit in Seattle.

See you there!