AWS re:Invent 2018

By Jeanna James

It’s hard to believe that just a couple of weeks ago, I was feeding 20 people Thanksgiving turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and pecan pie.  After so much to be thankful for with family and friends, I hopped on a plane to Las Vegas and found myself with 55,000 fellow techies running between the MGM and the Venetian at AWS re:Invent 2018.  This event includes so much it’s impossible to cover it all, so instead I thought I would share my thoughts and thanksgivings from the event.  That’s right, I have a lot to be thankful for when I think about my role as the Commvault worldwide cloud alliances lead, responsible for Commvault’s relationship with AWS.  

No. 1 Reason to be thankful – The people.  At Commvault, we have been fortunate to create new joint offerings, go -to-market strategies and ultimately happy customers with the help of our AWS Alliance and the AWS Marketplace teams  They have gone truly above and beyond to help us through well architected reviews, jointly validated reference architectures, product enhancements, and have brought together the different AWS service teams so we can put the best solutions out to market.  Don’t just take it from me,: watch this video from Bill Vass, AWS VP of Engineering, as he took time out of his busy day to share his thoughts on our partnership here.

No. 2 Reason to be thankful – The partnership.  Great partnerships include joint support, collaboration and constant communication.  I just can’t say enough about the AWS team promoting Commvault on the main stage of the partner keynote as shown below, the joint chalk talk that hit maximum capacity with Peter Kisich, AWS Partner Architect and Brian Brockway, Commvault CTO and the multiple sessions on backup and recovery that the AWS team presented including slides highlighting the Commvault solutions on AWS.  The collaboration and teamwork we experience with AWS is exceptional and we at Commvault are grateful for the strong and growing partnership.

No. 3 Reason to be thankful – The customers.  Now some of you are going to tell me that the customer always comes first and certainly our customers are amazing. They teach us about new and creative ways that they leverage our joint solutions every day.  This week, I had the pleasure of joining many executive briefings with many extremely large enterprises, government agencies and worldwide organizations.  Some were just beginning to move into AWS and transition off of traditional data centers while others were pushing the boundaries with all-in cloud strategies. They were asking for deeper and wider integration to support automated protection of new instances deployed in AWS, machine learning to better optimize protection, and training on Commvault’s restful APIs to integrate into their main management dashboards. 

Our customers bring new ideas and opportunities to the forefront and for this we must also pause and say thank you.  There’s talk in the IT world about how important backup is to the cloud – and our customers show just how important backup is in a cloud environment.  They tell us how they used Commvault to recover from a ransomware attack; how they had a critical database corruption and Commvault helped save the day; how a malicious virus deleted and destroyed mission-critical data and Commvault brought them back; and how their data in the cloud is just as important there as it is on-premises. 

They tell us their vision of how backup data exposed to AWS services, like Transcribe and Translate, could help catch criminals, diagnose disease, and even improve the future of medicine.  Protecting the data is important and being able to use that data in new ways is how Commvault combined with AWS services makes a difference to our customers.  We have much to learn as the industry changes because we are still at day one. The customer stories inspire us to do more and continue to innovate with our AWS team.    

And for all of this, I am thankful.  I hope everyone else enjoyed the show as much as I did.