The Best AWS re:Invent Ever? Looking Back at Eleven Editions

There is no year that I do not read many “This was the best re:Invent ever!” comments, posts, or articles in the weeks after the AWS conference in Las Vegas. While it is likely true in terms of fun, the number of announcements, or personal networking, I tend to think we are biased by the latest edition. 

What was the biggest re:Invent announcement ever? Keep in mind that crucial services like EC2, EBS, RDS, S3, SQS, or IAA were available well before the first edition. Even DynamoDB was announced at the beginning of 2012 before any AWS global conference. 

Let’s look back and see which services have stood the test of time, starting from the first edition in 2012, highlighting one announcement per year.


At the very first re:Invent there was the preview of the data warehouse service Amazon Redshift.  Here was the original post.


AWS CloudTrail was announced to address audit requirements. Maybe not an exciting service but I cannot think of any other one that is so widespread and used almost ten years later. Few lines were enough for the announcement.

Photo by David Vives on Unsplash


Yes, there were Amazon Aurora, ECS, AWS Config, and AWS Key Management Service. Who cares, nothing matters, this was the year of AWS Lambda. You can go back in time here.


Kinesis Firehose? QuickSight? AWS Mobile Hub? Maybe Amazon Inspector? I find it hard to highlight a single one that stands out. I vote for AWS Snowball, the rugged appliance for efficient data storage and transfer.


This was the year of the first so-called Amazon AI services, including the Rekognition image recognition service and almost all Amazon Lex. But if I have to choose one announcement, I would say, Amazon Athena, today still more popular than the Snowmobile truck that appeared on stage. Really.


There were Alexa for Business, the Serverless App repository, and AWS Cloud9. Aurora Serverless (the now v1) and Amazon Neptune were interesting but it does not matter. This was the year of Kubernetes, EKS, and Fargate.


Quantum Ledger Database? Amazon Managed Blockchain? Global Accelerator? I have to highlight S3 Intelligent Tiering. Yes, not a new service but a paradigm shift for the object storage service.

Photo by Grant Cai on Unsplash


It starts to get harder to pick up one announcement. There are too many and it is too early to say the long-term impact. Tempted by Amazon SageMaker Studio or Amazon EventBridge, I vote for the new type of infrastructure deployment, Local Zone.


My very first recap of the conference for InfoQ, a subdue virtual-only but free edition. As an AWS Data Hero and a MySQL enthusiast, I am biased to highlight the preview of Aurora Serverless v2.  I had higher hopes for AWS Fault Injection Simulator but I will single out (yes, no kidding) Cloudshell


Back in person in Las Vegas, this was the year of the Graviton3 chip, with more instances still to come


We are finally at 2022. What will be the key announcement that will last long term? Who knows, SimSpace Weaver, Clean Rooms, CodeCatalyst, Amazon Omics? My first feeling is that nothing will match the early editions, but I vote for Security Lake.

Was 2022 the best re:Invent ever? What is your favorite edition or announcement? Let me know your thoughts and follow me for more posts.