AWS re:Invent 2021 | What to Expect

Cloud Technology

Despite concerns that the event would have to move online in the face of Covid-19 restrictions, AWS re:Invent 2021 will be hosted in Las Vegas and begin on.

Who doesn’t enjoy the opportunity to socialize with like-minded experts and technology partners? AWS re:Invent is the premier event where you can be the first to hear about product announcements, get in-depth training, take certification tests, grow your network and meet AWS experts from all across the globe. Given its absence from being an in-person event in 2020, the excitement for re:Invent 2021 is palpable. 

History of re:Invent 

The first re:Invent AWS organized was in 2012 with the involvement of various startups and technology partners and has been held successfully in one form or another each year since.

In 2012, there were only around 6,000 attendees at the first re:Invent. However, it has seen exponential growth from the previous years and 2019 registered an impressive 60,000 in attendance. 

When and Where is re:Invent 2021 

Despite concerns that the event would have to move online in the face of Covid-19 restrictions, AWS re:Invent 2021 will be hosted in Las Vegas and begin on Monday, November 29, and end on Friday, December 3, 2021. 

AWS is also facilitating their attendees to join virtually to ensure no one misses out. Given the infrastructure put in place to hold the event virtually in 2019, we anticipate this will be a smooth experience. 

re:Invent 2021 will include keynote announcements, training and certification opportunities, access to 1,200+ technical sessions, the Expo floor, after-hours events and more. 

Covid Precautions

AWS is putting health measures in place to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19. Those include: 

  • All badge holders must have had their final vaccine shot at least two weeks prior to re:Invent
  • Masks will be required for everyone

Because the status of Covid is fluid, it’s best to check the official site for any changes to the health protocols. 

What’s on the Agenda?

Anybody involved in cloud tech can set their expectations high ahead of the upcoming mega event. The agenda hosts speakers who are well-recognized in the cloud industry for their advancements, knowledge, and products. This event is THE platform for AWS revelations and announcements. The re:Invent management team is also pushing exciting updates on their official Twitter account. 

The biggest tip we can offer is to register for your sessions as soon as humanly possible (as in right now). Sessions are often duplicated, so if you can’t get into your first choice, look for it at another time. 

It’s also important to remember that getting from place to place in Vegas takes quite a bit of time, so be sure it’s reasonable to make it from one session to the next. Shuttle busses are available, but sometimes an Uber or walking is your best option. There is also a monorail that can be handy, despite its limited choice of stops. However, even with the help of the monorail, expect to do quite a bit of walking. 

On that point, a pro tip is to bring several pairs of shoes for the week and make sure they are all comfortable. It’s not abnormal to clock five to ten miles of walking a day. 

Expect the 2021 re:Invent to be full of productive talks, fun activities, and networking opportunities. Here’s an outline of all the typical pursuits and speeches to attend:


  • Keynotes from AWS on cutting edge-tech and industry trends
  • Leadership sessions on tons of hot topics
  • Breakout groups and Q&A sessions
  • Builders’ Fair with presentations and Q&A
  • AWS product announcements
  • Training and certification activities 
  • Expert learning lounges

Exam Readiness Sessions

  • Remote certification exams and hands-on labs
  • Hands-on learning and fun

AWS DeepRacer Competitions

  • Jams and game days
  • Virtual Play events

Performances and Entertainment

  • Cooking demos
  • re:Play – a live concert by a national act. This is always announced on the day of the concert. Attendees enjoy guessing who this might be and having spirited debates about it. 

Top Five Keynote Speakers

If you take deep interest in cloud computing, you will likely be familiar with some of these names who are pioneers of their industries. These keynote speakers are worth listening to:

  • Adam Selipsky — Chief Executive Officer, Amazon Web Services
  • Peter DeSantis — SVP, AWS Infra & Support, Infrastructure Leadership
  • Doug Yeum — Head of AWS Partner Organization, Sandy Carter, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector Partners and Programs, and Stephen Orban, General Manager of AWS Marketplace and Control Services
  • Dr. Werner Vogels — Chief Technology Officer,
  • Swami Sivasubramanian — Vice President, Amazon Machine Learning

The big question on everyone’s mind is if Andy Jassy will make an appearance given his new role. Andy has always been a great speaker that everyone looks forward to hearing from, but Caylent’s prediction is that he will hand over the reins and not present a keynote. 

Why Is re:Invent Important?

Although every AWS re:Invent is full of energy and enthusiasm, it’s also a great place to catch up on the latest cloud trends. This year’s event will be no different, with many interesting speakers joining to discuss cloud technology. Also, Amazon officials are likely to announce something new and groundbreaking at this conference. 

Particularly for engineers, who are typically working in a billable hour environment, re:Invent presents an opportunity to fully immerse in education, certification and networking. 

Historical Announcements & 2021 Anticipations

The virtually held re:Invent in 2020 included some important announcements from AWS and their partners. AWS officials also announced some changes to their products. Here’s an outlook of these historical announcements.

Hybrid cloud offerings were front and center as then CEO Andy Jassy unveiled smaller formats of AWS Outposts, additional AWS Local Zones, and the extension of Amazon’s container service to on-premise deployments with new capabilities.

A more efficient way for IT teams at organizations worldwide to move workloads into hybrid environments is now available through two powerful services: Amazon ECS (Elastic Container Service) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS).

AWS announced new products tailored specifically for its enterprise customers. The Graviton2-powered C6gn instances can process data at an unprecedented rate, while larger and faster io2 Block Express volumes in compute/storage will allow businesses more options when it comes to storage systems or cloud computing requirements. 

You can explore a complete list of historical announcements on the re:Invent Announcements Page.

Pro Tips from our Team for Navigating re:Invent
  • First and foremost, hydrate. When you think you’ve hydrated enough, drink some more water. Even if the temperatures feel cool, the reality is that Las Vegas is in the desert and the air is very dry. Bring a refillable water bottle with you. 
  • Bring lip salve for the same reason. 
  • Be sure you have your proof of vaccination and a mask with you at all times. 
  • If you’re reading this article and haven’t already, book your flight and hotel immediately. The longer you wait, the more expensive everything will be and you could risk getting shut out or having a long hike to campus. 
  • Participate in the parties! Follow @reinventparties to get the scoop on where the events are. 
  • Follow re:Invent hashtags on Twitter during the conference.
  • Take advantage of the amazing restaurants the city has to offer. You have to eat anyway, so you might as well go gourmet!
  • As mentioned earlier, bring multiple pairs of comfortable shoes. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the sessions and reserve your spot now. Don’t wait until you’re onsite or you’ll get locked out. 
  • Bring casual clothes. No one will expect you to wear formal wear. There may be some dress codes at certain restaurants, but even those are quite lax. They basically are looking for closed-toe shoes, no cut off shorts, etc. 
  • Have fun! re:Invent is full of energy. Enjoy being back around your tech tribe. Network, relax, and learn. 

Have any other suggestions or questions about re:Invent? Drop them in the comments and our team will give you their perspective! If you want to stop by and meet the Caylent team, visit us at booth #624. 

Caylent provides a critical DevOps-as-a-Service function to high growth companies looking for expert support with microservices, containers, cloud infrastructure, and CI/CD deployments. Our managed and consulting services are a more cost-effective option than hiring in-house, and we scale as your team and company grow. Check out some of the use cases, learn how we work with clients, and profit from our DevOps-as-a-Service offering too.

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