CTO Talk with Aaron Friedman on Cost Optimization on AWS
by Matt Ferrari
Co-Founder & Former CTO
In this episode of my podcast series CTO Talk on HealthcareNOW Radio, you’ll have a chance to catch my conversation with Aaron Friedman, Healthcare & Life Sciences Technical Lead, AWS Partner Network, where we dive into the new opportunities machine learning in the public cloud provides, among other trending topics.
I’ve known Aaron for the last two years because we get to work together every day, and the thing that excites me about sharing this CTO Talk is Aaron’s passion for healthcare. Sure, there’s talk about technology, but what we’re really talking about is how technology drives healthcare outcomes. Aaron works for one of the most innovative technology companies I know, and to see how he is applying that to his passion about making a difference in healthcare is humbling and inspiring.
Aaron came to AWS by way of the healthcare industry. Growing up with two doctor-grandparents, he was inspired early about improving people’s quality of life through medicine. He decided at a young age to go a different route than the traditional MD path, and instead focused on biomedical engineering. While he was earning his doctorate at UC San Diego he began thinking about life on the molecular level. It was there that he realized, as he points to in this podcast, that the key enabler under all healthcare innovation is technology. Over time he gravitated toward using technology to solve the relevant business outcomes of the healthcare partners he works with in his drive to improve human health.
He shares a lot of very useful information in this CTO Talk as we cover topics related to genomics, IoT, machine learning, containerization, massive no-SQL databases, new HIPAA eligible services on AWS, and more. I think healthcare leaders will be especially interested in hearing how he’s helping his partners get to better cost optimization on the AWS cloud.
From a workload perspective, it’s no surprise he’s seeing a huge trend toward genomics advancements in the cloud. With a need to generate and secure over a terabyte of data every day, coupled with huge computational processing demand, the elastic compute services AWS offers are proving to be the perfect fit. He talks about how genomics researchers are using the elastic nature of the cloud for higher throughput in their analyses and driving down the cost. The result is overall increased performance and lower costs. Who doesn’t need that?
At one point you’ll hear Aaron say: “The future is now,” and that really rang true with me. Because of the advancements in machine learning and big data analytics in the cloud, we can do things we couldn’t do a year ago, and probably didn’t dream of a decade ago. He shares some customer examples for perspective that we can all learn from.
As in other tech talks, I’m seeing a tremendous number of use cases for Spot, including in our own software development at ClearDATA. Amazon’s EC2 Spot instances provide spare compute capacity in the AWS Cloud and come with significant discounts, allowing innovators to diversify their compute resources, test their solutions faster, and drive down costs.
We also visit AWS’s delivery of new security and compliance tools and capabilities, and the AWS shared responsibility model. Aaron is helping organizations struggling with the need to move away from legacy and on-premise systems to get data beyond their four walls and build better, more secure environments in the cloud. Everything you can do in a data center you can do in the cloud, but with additional power, and we talk through what some of that looks like.
The acceleration of HIPAA eligible services on AWS have been phenomenal and Aaron provides a review of recent additions including examples of customers using Amazon SageMaker, focusing on how to democratize machine learning, accelerating the ability of customer to build, train and deploy ML algorithms at scale. It’s powerful in that it allows people to move forward faster to deliver better care to patients.
The vast majority of services released for public cloud on AWS are being released to push innovation, and the eligibility to use them for HIPAA-related functions is vital.
I think you’ll enjoy this opportunity to get a view into Aaron’s universe and enjoy learning from his considerable expertise in both healthcare and technology. You can stream it on demand here: