Technology

AWS re:Invent 2017: Here’s What To Expect

Amazon’s annual cloud conference began on Monday, and it kicks into gear on Wednesday with a keynote from AWS CEO Andy Jassy, which will be followed by a keynote from CTO Werner Vogels on Thursday. Ahead of those keynotes, AWS re:Invent 2017 has brought a few announcements, but analysts are looking for much more this week. One firm even raised its price target for Amazon stock based on what’s expected at AWS re:Invent 2017.

aws re:invent 2017
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Goldman boosts Amazon stock price target

In a note this week, Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry said he increased his price target for Amazon stock from $1,300 to $1,450 per share ahead of the AWS re:Invent 2017 conference. He said that historically, Amazon stock has performed well during the company’s annual cloud conference, and he expects a repeat this year based on expected product announcements. He feels that investors are also expecting Amazon stock to climb and shares of the company’s cloud competitors to fall during the conference.

Terry also pointed out that the number of products announced during the cloud conference has risen dramatically as Amazon announced more than 15 products last year, versus fewer than 10 in each of the first three years.

Alexa to play a starring role at AWS re:Invent 2017

Terry expects artificial intelligence and machine learning, Internet of Things services, and server-less products to be the biggest areas of focus this year. Oppenheimer analyst Timothy Horan expects consumer applications via Alexa to be a big focus this year, along with the Internet of Things, networking, communications, and security embedded throughout everything.

He noted that Amazon Web Services must balance channel conflict among its software-as-a-service customers and partners. Additionally, he described enterprises as “clamoring [for] better application porting,” adding that containers and management are key tools in this area. His channel checks also point to rising interest in artificial intelligence among enterprises, and he expects AWS to announce services developed for both retail and Alexa. Eventually, he expects AWS to embed AI into all of its services.

Horan also said that larger enterprises prefer a hybrid cloud model, so he expects AWS to move in this direction. A hybrid model allows enterprises to keep private infrastructure for sensitive or legacy assets and software while storing flexible resources in the public cloud. He also pointed out that Microsoft has excelled in the hybrid cloud, so any play in this direction would put the legacy software giant in AWS’ crosshairs.

What’s already been announced at AWS re:Invent 2017

As of this writing, the AWS re:Invent 2017 website has press releases for Amazon Sumerian and a few media services under AWS Elemental.

Amazon Sumerian allows users to run virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D apps fast without the need for “specialized programming or 3D graphics expertise,” the company explained in a press release. Developers can use Sumerian to build virtual environments and then fill them with 3D objects and animated characters and script the ways they interact, both with each other and with users of the app.

AWS also revealed a suite of products for AWS Elemental. MediaConvert formats and compresses offline video content for TV or connected device delivery, while MediaLive allows users to encode broadcast-grade live videos quickly and get them up. MediaPackage packages video content for distribution, and MediaTailor allows users to insert targeted ads into streaming videos. MediaStore is a storage service paired with Amazon S3 for security and durability.