Learn how customers like Intuit, Trustpilot, Hulu, Fidelity and Reltio are building serverless, event-driven, and scalable applications on DynamoDB.
For the Amazon DynamoDB team, the 2022 AWS re:Invent was once again an incredible experience to connect and reconnect with our customers. Throughout the week, we interacted with dozens of customers to learn what is top-of-mind for their builders and businesses as they head into the new year. We work backwards from these conversations and feedback to prioritize our roadmaps.
re:Invent is also a great opportunity for some of the customers and builders who use AWS to share what they have built and why, architectural patterns, and best practices in the form of breakout sessions and workshops. The key themes this year were serverless architectures, event-driven patterns, global applications, and, of course, building scalable applications on DynamoDB. In case you missed some of these sessions or you wanted to get caught up on why customers like Siemens, Intuit, Trustpilot, Hulu, Fidelity, Reltio, Capital One, Riot Games, Moody’s, Amazon Buy with Prime, Druva, ADP, Twilio, and Creative Assembly are building on DynamoDB, below is a summary of some of the DynamoDB highlights from re:Invent 2022.
Keynotes and leadership sessions
Keynote with Dr. Werner Vogels, Amazon.com Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
As one of the original founders of DynamoDB and author of the Dynamo paper, Werner has been a part of the DynamoDB journey from the start. As Werner states:
“DynamoDB is, in my eyes, one of the powerhouses of databases. It routinely does trillions and trillions of requests today, while maintaining single digit [millisecond] latency and is able to operate at global scale.”
Werner’s theme this year was asynchronous, event-driven architectures. As Werner highlights, DynamoDB global tables are a great example of how AWS builds event-driven architectures at global scale. Global tables provide the ability to write locally in each AWS Region and automatically replicate items to other Regions, giving you a multi-Region, multi-active database. Underneath, DynamoDB leverages DynamoDB streams, SQS queues, and a replication fleet to provide an asynchronous, event-driven architecture. To learn more about the DynamoDB global tables architecture, see Werner’s full keynote.
One of the customers highlighted in Werner’s keynote was Trustpilot. Since 2007, Trustpilot has served more than 190 million reviews with more than 47 million reviews in 2021 alone. With the non-linear increase in traffic and the need for a trustworthy, reliable website, Trustpilot shared how they started with an on-premises, monolithic application and then modernized with DynamoDB.
Angela Timofte, Director of Engineering at Trustpilot went into detail on why they decided to choose DynamoDB:
“… choosing the right datastore has been a challenge in itself as the number of reviews being read daily increased from thousands to millions. We had to find a scalable, flexible, and cost-effective database. And, Amazon DynamoDB stood out as the right candidate.” Timofte goes on to say, “… the use of Amazon DynamoDB provides us with increased flexibility meaning both expected and unexpected traffic increases can be easily dealt with.”
To learn more, see how Trustpilot uses DynamoDB to build an architecture to help their customers have more confidence in the products that they buy.
Keynote with Swami Sivasubramanian, Vice President of AWS Data and Machine Learning
Like Werner, Swami was also an author of the Dynamo paper and was the general manager for DynamoDB at launch. Now, Swami is the VP for database, analytics, and ML/AI at AWS. Swami’s keynote is a great resource to learn broadly about all the innovations that are happening in data. As it relates to DynamoDB, Swami talks about how DynamoDB was the first purpose-built database in the cloud, how DynamoDB processed 100 million requests per second and over 1 trillion requests during Amazon Prime Day in 2022, and how DynamoDB has been architected as a multi-Availability Zone service from the start.
To learn broadly about what is happening in AWS databases, analytics, and ML/AI, see Swami’s 2022 keynote.
DAT224-L: Your data: How you need it, where you need it, when you need it
Organizations at the forefront of digital transformation are using modern application architectures like microservices as adaptive mechanisms for delivering value to customers at high velocity. Data is subject to the tremendous force of data gravity, often in the form of one-size-fits-all databases that represent an obstacle rather than a conduit for agility and velocity. In this session Jeff Carter, VP of Databases and Migrations at AWS, describes how AWS purpose-built data services can overcome these challenges and shares a vision for achieving data anti-gravity. Hear how Disney and Intuit migrated to multiple AWS fully managed databases to build faster and scale further than previously possible.
Jeff also talks about the newly launched DynamoDB import from S3 feature and how it can quickly and easily get data into DynamoDB without writing any code or impacting a table’s throughput. Jeff also goes on to talk about DynamoDB global tables and how you can create a serverless, multi-Region, multi-active database to achieve global scale with single digit millisecond latency and a 99.999% SLA. As Jeff states, “if you’re looking for some of the secret sauce that runs amazon.com, you have access to it with DynamoDB.”
As part of the talk, Nandu Ramani, Vice President of Product Development at Intuit, talks about their database journey and how a one size fits all database doesn’t work as it hinders Intuit’s ability to scale efficiency, speed to market, and innovate. Nandu shares Intuit’s journey of breaking up their monolithic architectures to use microservices and purpose-built databases like DynamoDB for accounting automation and feature stores to scale to 100 thousand writes per second, Keyspaces to scale to 100 billion transactional feeds, and Amazon RDS for an accounting ledger.
To learn more about Intuit’s purpose-built database journey, see Nandu’s complete talk.
Mark Senerth, Head of Engineering, Core Data for Disney Streaming, describes how Disney uses many different AWS managed services to help with a variety of use cases. Mark describes the Year with Hulu use case, which is a site that brings customers on a journey through the content they consumed on Hulu during the previous year. The site classifies a customer’s viewing preferences and recommends new content they might enjoy. Disney’s data science teams trained their models on top of our foundational data sets. The final resting spot for the data was DynamoDB, which served as the backend database to power the site. Disney’s team was able to leverage the DynamoDB export to S3 feature to make the DynamoDB data available to their big data MPP engines.
To learn more about how Hulu uses DynamoDB and AWS fully managed services, see the full presentation.
DAT212: How ADP and Twilio realize business vision with purpose-built databases
Learn how Twilio performed a live migration of 100 self-managed MySQL instances to DynamoDB with zero downtime, reducing annualized costs by $2.5 million while driving customer-facing operational incidents to zero. Twilio chose DynamoDB to solve their noisy neighbor problem for their shared MySQL cluster and to scale during their Black Friday and Cyber Monday without delays for their customers. As a serverless database, DynamoDB was a simpler choice for Twilio as they did not have to worry about sizing, provisioning, or machines types while also being able automatically scale by 9 times for peak load, which is not something they were able to do on MySQL.
To learn more Twilio’s migration to DynamoDB, see the entire Twilio presentation.
DAT213: AWS re:Invent 2022 – How Fidelity Investments and Reltio modernized with Amazon DynamoDB
Fidelity modernized their live trade execution and order routing workload by migrating from Oracle to DynamoDB, which resulted in increased resiliency through a multi-Region architecture with global tables. In March 2020, Fidelity’s max peak trading quintupled, prompting their move to the cloud and ultimately to DynamoDB. Fidelity had a proof-of-concept running on DynamoDB in three days and were able to run performance tests at 10 times the max that Fidelity had ever previously tested. Dennis Healy, Director of Software Engineering at Fidelity, shared that after moving to DynamoDB, operational issues on the trading platform reduced by more than half. Dennis went on to state, “we don’t have phone calls because DynamoDB has failed us… other things can fail… it’s not ‘cause of DynamoDB…”
To learn more about Fidelity’s journey, see Dennis’s entire presentation.
Manish Sood, CEO, Founder and Chairman of Reltio, shares how Reltio performed a zero-downtime migration from a massive footprint of Cassandra clusters to DynamoDB to increase availability, simplify provisioning and maintenance, and optimize for cost by being able to easily scale up and down to handle peak capacity events like cyber Monday or black Friday without having to provision for peak capacity at all times. Consistent with many other customers, Reltio found the ability to have a check-box solution to achieve multi-Region resilience with global tables without heaving lifting was extremely compelling. Reltio now stores 67 TiB of data on DynamoDB and during Black Friday peaked close to 6.5 million reads per hour and 2 million writes per hour without having to provision any additional capacity or impacting latency.
To learn more about Reltio’s journey, see Manish’s presentation.
GAM202: How Creative Assembly delivers live games at scale with AWS
Creative Assembly (CA), a SEGA studio, has been at the forefront of the strategy gaming genre for 22 years with its award-winning Total War franchise. Learn how Creative Assembly uses DynamoDB “for basically everything” including a profile store and how DynamoDB has evolved with capabilities like on-demand pricing and backups to become a database that enables Creative Assembly scale with consistency. To learn more about how Creative Assembly delivers live games at scale with AWS, see the session video.
DAT211: How Capital One accelerates innovation with AWS databases
Capital One shares how they standardized on a tech stack that includes DynamoDB for fraud and banking application use cases. Capital One chose DynamoDB as they needed a near real-time performance to assist agents in their investigations.
To learn more about how Capital One accelerates innovation with DynamoDB, see the session video.
SVS209: Get started building your first serverless, event-driven application
Learn why Emily Shea, Head of Application Integration Go-To-Market at AWS, chose DynamoDB for building a serverless application. Emily will show you how to get started building serverless web applications using DynamoDB, AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon EventBridge, AWS Step Functions, Amazon QuickSight, the AWS Amplify console, and more. Emily does a great job explaining why serverless is a great tool set for experimenting with new ideas.
To learn more about how the extensibility and modularity of serverless applications allow you to start small and quickly add features, see the entire session.
FSI205: How Moody’s uses serverless and microservices for ESG scores
Moody’s uses DynamoDB to index, version, and store meta data for PDFs stored in Amazon S3 (indexing S3 is a common use case for DynamoDB). Moody’s also briefly talks about their use of DynamoDB streams to standardize their data, and how they use the Athena connector for DynamoDB to enable people that are proficient in SQL to query the data in DynamoDB directly. The highlight is how DynamoDB, as a global and serverless database, helped Moody’s reduce complexity when building a resilient architecture.
To learn more, see how Moody’s builds on DynamoDB.
BWP201: Build with prototypes: Be a customer-obsessed developer
To succeed in the software as a service market, it is crucial to quickly go to the market and learn what customers love about your product. Prototypes can help you achieve rapid illustration of the final product and validation of your design ideas. To learn more about the Amazon Buy with Prime (BwP) team’s journey of building serverless prototypes with Amazon API Gateway, Amazon DynamoDB, AWS Lambda, and AWS AppSync and shaping product development with a focus on customers, see the entire video.
DAT320: Deploy modern and effective data models with Amazon DynamoDB
Alex DeBrie, AWS data hero and author of the DynamoDB Book, and Amrith Kumar, Senior Principal engineer on DynamoDB, go into the architectural details of what makes DynamoDB unique and how DynamoDB’s architecture and NoSQL data modeling enable customers to scale from 30 to 300 million customers while maintaining consistent, single-digit millisecond performance. If you are looking to modernize your relational database or are already building on DynamoDB, the breadth and depth of the talk provides valuable insights on how to better develop your application on DynamoDB.
To learn more about DynamoDB data modeling and the DynamoDB architecture, see the session video. If you missed Alex’s data modeling videos from previous re:Invent presentations, also see the 2019 video and the 2020 video.
ARC306: Multi-Region design patterns and best practices
Building multi-Region architectures is top-of-mind for customers. See the session video to learn how to build multi-Region architectures using different patterns using DynamoDB and Amazon Aurora while considering cost, operations, and engineering effort.
DAT401: Build a web-scale application with purpose-built databases & analytics
In this workshop, learn to build modern web applications at scale using purpose-built databases. Discover how to apply development patterns using Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon Neptune, and Amazon OpenSearch Service to build a fully functional and scalable bookstore ecommerce application and dive deep into best practices along the way.
The 2022 re:Invent was great opportunity to learn from our customers. In addition to the many customer stories shared in this blog, there were more talks on how DynamoDB enables customers like Riot Games using DynamoDB to build cost optimization solution, Druva for data protection and resilience, and Siemens/Northvolt AB on how they are using AWS and DynamoDB to build the next generation of battery cells. We are looking forward to a great 2023 and seeing you all at re:Invent next year.
To find all the re:Invent 2022 sessions featuring DynamoDB from tracks like Serverless, AI/ML, DevOps,
and others, visit the Session Catalog and set the Services to Amazon DynamoDB.
If you are new to DynamoDB, you can start with the DynamoDB documentation and the DynamoDB getting started guide.
About the author
Joseph Idziorek is currently a Director of Product Management at Amazon Web Services. Joseph has over a decade of experience working in both relational and non-relational database services and holds a PhD in Computer Engineering from Iowa State University. At AWS, Joseph leads product management for DynamoDB and Keyspaces and previously led Amazon DocumentDB as well as many other purpose-built database initiatives.
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