Datadog's AWS Re:Invent 2020 Guide | Datadog

Datadog's AWS re:Invent 2020 guide

Author Waldo Grunenwald

Published: November 24, 2020

In Q4 of every year since 2012, AWS has flooded the Las Vegas strip with thousands of AWS staff, partners, and customers for a week of keynote sessions, announcements, workshops, and more. In a year like no other, we’re gearing up for a re:Invent like no other!

As a long-time AWS partner, we look forward to re:Invent every year. We enjoy meeting you face to face, sharing the latest in monitoring and security, and learning a thing or two in the process. Although we won’t be meeting you in person, we’re bringing lots of interactive content your way.

With the move to a virtual format, re:Invent will be spread across three weeks instead of just one, and sessions will be rebroadcast to serve multiple time zones.

As with any other re:Invent, we have engaging activities for you:

  • Three completely different Datadog demos, in four languages (English, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish)
  • 1:1 sessions with Datadog Technical Solutions team members
  • Daily raffle for an Xbox Series X
  • Swag Passport Program to earn Datadog shirts, stickers, and socks
  • Free trial sign up sweepstakes for a 1-in-10 chance to win an iPhone 12 or a Google Pixel 5

Devops Scavenger Hunt

Throughout the day on Tuesday, December 8, we’ll be hosting a virtual scavenger hunt through the Datadog platform. Attendees will troubleshoot an outage scenario using Datadog in a sandbox environment. The three highest scores win a Nintendo Switch, and the top score also wins a TV! Register for this event through December 4.

AWS Hack Jams

New for 2020 are AWS Hack Jams. Attendees will have the opportunity to compete to solve hands-on real-world challenges in live AWS environments. Four events will be taking place:

  • Security Jam, session 1: December 2 | 8:00 a.m.–noon EST
  • Security Jam, session 2: December 2 | 3:00–7:00 p.m. PST
  • Devops Jam, session 1: December 9 | 8:00 a.m.–noon EST
  • Devops Jam, session 2: December 9 | 3:00–7:00 p.m. PST

The Magic of Incident Response with PagerDuty, Datadog, and Slack

Join PagerDuty, Datadog, and Slack on Monday, December 14 for an interactive virtual magic experience featuring America’s Got Talent winner and featured performer at the LINQ in Las Vegas, Mat Franco.

This family-friendly experience will give you the opportunity to ask Mat some of your burning questions, and possibly be included in one of the “on stage” demonstrations.

Details and RSVP available at

Sessions we’re looking forward to

re:Invent is usually so stuffed with keynotes, announcements, and sessions that it can be a challenge to get to the sessions that you’re most interested in. The format changes will make it easier for you to manage your re:Invent calendar! Here are some of the sessions we’re looking forward to:

Building the next generation of residential robots

Tuesday, December 1
12:00–12:20 a.m. EST

Robots are being used more widely in homes, and they are becoming increasingly advanced and include capabilities like artificial intelligence, data streaming, image recognition, voice activation, and remote monitoring. In this session, see how AWS RoboMaker and AWS IoT enable the development and testing of sophisticated robots that can autonomously navigate, communicate, comprehend, and learn. iRobot also discusses how it is using AWS to build intelligent robots that fit seamlessly into your life at home.

Datadog’s take: The promise of automata helping in our daily lives has always been ambitious, but the delivery of real-use capabilities has been somewhat limited and slow to arrive. We’ve seen improvements in the smart-home space that have allowed for viable products that everyday consumers can use, but we’re still excited to see what mundanities can be removed in the coming years. I want “sudo make me a sandwich” to be a statement that results in a sandwich being made from ingredients in my kitchen without human intervention between my statement and having said sandwich within reach!

Paving the way toward automated driving with BMW Group

Tuesday, December 8
4:00–4:30 p.m. EST

In this session, explore the AWS autonomous driving data lake reference architecture to learn how organizations manage the challenge of ingesting, transforming, labeling, and cataloging massive amounts of data to develop automated driving systems using Amazon EMR, Amazon S3, Amazon SageMaker Ground Truth, and more. See how BMW Group collects 1 billion+ km of anonymized perception data from its worldwide connected fleet of customer vehicles to develop safe and performant automated driving systems. This session explains the purpose of and approach to the data collection and discusses examples from analyzing this valuable dataset.

Datadog’s take: The act of entering an automobile and traveling among other vehicles is one of the most dangerous activities that most people engage in, and it’s the people themselves that are the most faulty component. There are a lot of philosophical arguments about behavior in extreme cases (like variants of the Trolley Problem), but humans are bad at the mundane parts. I look forward to the day when I can actively drive my car as an indulgence, rather than the norm.

Deep dive into AWS Lambda security: Function isolation

Thursday, December 17
3:45–4:15 p.m. EST

This session dives into the security model behind AWS Lambda functions, looking at how you can isolate workloads, build multiple layers of protection, and leverage fine-grained authorization. You learn about the implementation, the open-source Firecracker technology that provides one of the most important layers, and what this means for how you build on Lambda. You also learn about SaaS, customization, and safe patterns for running your own customer’s code in your Lambda functions.

Datadog’s take: While we use a lot of Lambda, security is an aspect that is too easy to overlook, and it’s vitally important to keep up on the latest security recommendations.

Testing resiliency using chaos engineering

Thursday, December 17
1:30–2:00 p.m. EST

In this session, you learn how to use chaos engineering to set up failure injection testing to validate the resiliency of your service. Referencing the AWS Well-Architected Framework, you learn about the design principles and AWS resources that help ensure a resilient architecture. Then, with a three-tier architecture, this session demonstrates how to implement automation to simulate various failures, from the loss of a single Amazon EC2 server to the loss of an entire Availability Zone. The session focuses on the impacts of these failures and the resources that AWS provides to maintain high service availability and short time to recovery.

Datadog’s take: Chaos engineering improves your resiliency, which directly affects your SLOs and can therefore be a powerful tool in the SRE arsenal. This session also introduces the Well-Architected Framework from AWS, which will help you deliver secure, performant products for the cloud. The combination of architecture, performance, and experimentation should be a great intro to the practice of chaos engineering.

Wednesday, December 18
6:00–6:30 a.m. PST

Adrian Cockcroft has a long history of being at the leading edge of industry trends, such as cloud computing, Devops, microservices, and chaos engineering. In this session, he highlights patterns that are emerging with some of the most advanced AWS customers, including serverless first, continuously tested resilience, and Wardley mapping for technology transitions. He covers an old topic that’s been emerging for a long time— architectures that take advantage of extremely large memory systems—and a new topic about optimizing architectures around sustainability concerns.

Datadog’s take: If there’s one session you should absolutely not miss, my money is on this one with Adrian Cockcroft. Adrian’s long been a voice in the cloud-native space and this talk is sure to open some eyes and some minds, and offer a great outlook of what’s to come next year.

Datadog is also delivering a session with one of our customers! Live at 3:15 p.m. EST on December 3, Dunelm’s Tom Hayman and our own Kirk Kaiser will present “Serverless Everything: Replatforming for Speed and Ownership at Dunelm.” Tom and Kirk will tell the story of how Dunelm drastically improved their deployment velocity and saw an average speed improvement of 472 percent across their entire platform! You’ll hear how they’ve decided to organize teams around core business domains, and see how observability is a core component of moving fast with Serverless.

These are just a handful of the sessions that we’re looking forward to. Take a look at the full schedule; I’m sure that there’s plenty for you to sink your teeth into!