AWS Summit Tel Aviv 2014

Last week I attended the AWS Tech Summit in Tel Aviv.


The Conference is growing. 500 attendees 2 years ago, 1000 last year, 1500 attendees this year. There was an impressive Solutions Expo, with a quite a number of companies.

I enjoyed the Keynote given by Dr. Werner Vogels (VP & CTO). He is great and passionate speaker.

There was one thing that I found quite enlightening and one of the key takeaways for me from the conference. During the keynote Avi Kochva the CIO of Bank Hapoalim (one of the 3 major banks in Israel) who got up on stage and described how they are using AWS today.

He described the 3 points that the bank uses to determine when they can use a public cloud provider:

  1. Using the Cloud has better value, and it provides a better solution than what they are using in house
  2. Using the cloud is a a cheaper solution
  3. Since the CIO is criminally liable if information from the bank is compromised, therefore the security provided for the data in the cloud cannot be less that what they currently have.
He then mentioned publicly that the bank has no core banking data or information in the cloud. Yes they are dabbling in other stuff like providing a site – I assume on AWS – that will allow access to completely anonymized data for developing mobile apps, but I am not sure that much else is there.
This was one of my key takeaways from the conference

Evidently they do not feel that AWS is as secure as their datacenters today. Food for thought.

There a number of sessions on optimizing your workloads in AWS that I attended, and besides the pointers that were given in the sessions I came to the realization that there are so many different features you can use in AWS that it actually can make your head spin. And almost always there is a way to save money – but it not the most trivial solution, and you will not always have the correct person to point in that direction.

A company by the name of Hopon won the startup competition. A nice startup in Israel – that provides a solution for ticketing for public transport.

All in all it was a very interesting day, good always to see the other side of the Cloud, understand where things are currently moving and where other solutions still have to go.

All the slide decks from the summit can be found here.