Cloudten techblog: AWS Summit – Beijing 2014

Cloudten, braving a 37 degree Celsius drop in temperature from Sydney, went to represent at the recent AWS Summit in Beijing. This was the first official AWS conference in China and was attended by nearly 4000 people.

At the end of 2013 it was announced that a single AZ region would be opened in limited preview mode to select customers in Beijing. This trial was immensely successful and there has been a massive waiting list of enterprise customers eagerly anticipating the general release. Just prior to the summit, it was announced that the region would soon be tripling in capacity to three AZs and be opened up to the wider corporate sector.

Whilst the region is still classed as “protected” with a number of restrictions, and doesn’t have access to all of the AWS services available in other regions ( Route53 and Cloudfront being notable omissions due to government regulations ),  it does provide Chinese enterprise with a wealth of cloud capacity to compete on the international stage.

The keynote, given by AWS’ globetrotting CTO Dr Werner Vogels, was an overview of the new services presented at Re:invent in Las Vegas last month. There were also some interesting presentations from four local companies who had been a part of the initial trial:

  • Glu Mobile Inc. are one of the mobile industries leading games developers. Their recent release, Deer Hunter 2014, recorded over 5 million  downloads in its first 7 days after release on the iPhone App Store. Greg Chang , VP Asia,  demonstrated how having a local AWS region has allowed their platform to provide Chinese customers with a much greater user experience and enabled Glu to get to number one in the Android and iPhone mobile gaming rankings, finally matching similar results in 78 other countries.
  • Yia Gang, from emerging Chinese mobile manufacturer One Plus, showed how migrating the bulk of their infrastructure into AWS has enabled them to streamline the development and delivery process and focus more on improving customer experience and new product innovation.
  • Envision are one of the global leaders in wind farm technology and smart energy managment.  Their products help generate efficient and renewable green power across 4 continents. It Director Xun Gong, explained that as a home grown Chinese company, they have welcomed the new AWS region as it enables them to not only reduce their own infrastructure foot print but apply portable templates across their existing regions and gain greater efficiencies in their data modeling and testing.
  • BGI are at the cutting edge of medical research technology and need to be able to perform complex calculations in relation to gene mapping and modeling. Dr Gang Chen, VP of Internet and Cloud Computing, detailed how the massive computing power available through AWS has allowed them to de-invest in the development and maintenance of their own onsite super computers. The Tianhe 1 & 3 supercomputers, which have been ranked in the top 20 most powerful in the world, are extremely expensive to run and yet sit idle for a large proportion of time. Through the use of AWS’ EMR and a scalable array of compute optimized EC2 instances, Y Y has been able to not just drastically reduce their processing costs but also run complex tasks in parallel to speed up their research.

After the crowds had all gone home, there was a small technical forum attended by senior representatives of many of AWS’ customers in the region. The format of the session enabled people to ask questions and discuss their experiences in the cloud. Werner himself popped in and Cloudten were lucky enough to share a beer with him. Having racked up nearly half a million frequent flyer points this year, he is looking forward to a well earned Christmas vacation.


Cloudten Industries © is an Australian cloud practice and a recognised consulting partner of AWS. We specialise in the design, delivery and support of cloud based solutions. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any queries about this post or any cloud related topic.