Highlights From Adam Selipsky’s AWS re:Invent 2021 Keynote

by Gerard Vertucci, Solution Architect, Rackspace Technology

AWS re:Invent 2021 with Adam Selipsky

On Tuesday, November 30th, Adam Selipsky took to the stage for his first Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent keynote as the new CEO. And he brought more than just his enthusiasm for the endless opportunities to build “even more powerful capabilities.”

Selipsky made several big announcements around new services, product improvements, and additional features to many existing services they have today. From the new Amazon EC2 instance types and hardware processors to serverless data analytics to IoT and ML features, there was a slew of exciting changes in the AWS ecosystem.

This year AWS sees itself as a pathfinder. Much like the famous pathfinder’s Hank Luisette, Florence Nightingale, and Roscoe Brown, AWS endeavors to revolutionize, evolve, and pioneer a much easier path to the cloud regardless of where the customer is in their journey through the development of their products and services.

Highlights of these new services and features go from cloud computing, data to mainframes and IoT. Below are highlights from the announcements:



AWS announced a new arm-based Graviton processor known as Graviton3, as well as the new C7g instance type. This new processor promises to deliver 25% faster speeds on average over the C6g instances running on Graviton2. In addition, the processors themselves promise 2x faster processing for scientific and crypto workloads and 3x quicker for Machine Learning processing, with up to 60% less energy use than before.



A new service called AWS Mainframe Modernization will offer a quicker and less painless move of older mainframes and applications to AWS. The new service will help assess and analyze your existing mainframe and applications. It will provide one of two main migration paths, automated refactoring or re-platforming—allowing customers to best fit their migration strategy and toolchains into the cloud based on the results of the migration assessment.


5G Cellular Network

Another new service announced was AWS Private 5G. For customers looking to create a 5G cellular network for connected devices without the need for long-range planning and procurement of SIMs and cellular services. This service allows you to deploy, scale quickly, and operate your own private 5G network. With AWS Private 5G, you can run your smart manufacturing plant with connected devices such as sensors and machines to track your equipment in real-time across your facility!


Lake Formation and Data Analytics

Four new services were revealed to make managing your data analytics much easier with serverless and on-demand options for Amazon Redshift, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon EMR, and Amazon MSK. With these new services, you no longer need to capacity plan or provision capacity as needed. Instead, now scaling in and scaling out is handled for you by AWS, and you only pay for what you use.

  • For Redshift, there is no need to set up and manage a cluster; you pay for the duration in seconds while querying or loading data and no charge when it is idle.
  • For Kinesis On-Demand, provisioning capacity via shards will now be handled by AWS. With data streams growing at a much quicker pace, it was hard to keep up with provisioning more power, and the on-demand feature eliminates the need for provisioning and managing the capacity for streaming data. Instead, charges will be per gigabyte of data written, read, and stored in the stream, in a pay-per-throughput approach.
  • For those Amazon MSK users, serverless MSK also provides a serverless option that takes the guesswork out of provisioning resources and allows you to create Apache Kafka clusters that automatically scale quickly. 
  • Finally, with Serverless EMR, running Hive, Spark, Presto, and others has gotten more manageable and more cost-effective. As with the others, there is no longer a need to manage and scale clusters and nodes on your own; worker node capacity is managed for you and scales as your jobs require.

With AWS Lake Formation, both Row and Cell-Level Security and Transactions for Governed Tables were introduced as feature additions.  With the former, access controls for rows and columns allow you to more easily restrict access to sensitive data by granting users access to only the data they need to see and limiting what they don’t. With Governed Tables, a new table type in Amazon S3 was introduced that helps simplify building pipelines that require multi-table transaction support. In addition, AWS Lake Formation automatically manages any conflicts and errors to ensure that a consistent view of the data is available to everyone.

Along with new services and features such as Amazon SageMaker Canvas, AWS IoT TwinMaker, and AWS IoT FleetWise, and Goldman Sachs Financial Cloud for Data, this year’s event was loaded with great new features to make your journey into and throughout the cloud a much better, more accessible and a truly seamless experience.

Rackspace Technology is proud to be an “all-in” AWS Partner Network (APN) Premier Consulting Partner that has deep AWS expertise and scalability to take on the most complex AWS projects.

Get on-demand access to a team of highly skilled AWS experts