Protestors Mar AWS Summit as Cloud WAN Service with SD-WAN Connectivity Debuts

AWS announced the availability of the new managed WAN service at AWS Summit, which was disrupted by protesters.

Jeffrey Schwartz

July 12, 2022

2 Min Read
Martin Beeby introducing Cloud WAN at AWS Summit NYC

AWS SUMMIT NEW YORK — Amazon’s new AWS Cloud WAN service is now generally available. The company’s wide-area network (WAN) offering is among several managed services rolled out Tuesday at the AWS Summit in New York.

AWS also announced the release of three new serverless analytics offerings during the one-day event, which company officials said drew more than 20,000 attendees. Martin Beeby, a principal advocate for AWS, announced the Cloud WAN and the serverless releases during the opening keynote session.

Beeby (pictured above) was a last-minute understudy for AWS CTO Werner Vogels, who traditionally delivers the keynote addresses at AWS events. Vogels woke up feeling ill and was unable to give the presentation, Beeby told attendees. Making light of his impromptu call to fill in for Vogels, Beeby said: “We have backups on the backups; you can think of me as an availability zone.”


Amazon had introduced AWS Cloud WAN in December at its AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. The service connects on-premises data centers, colocation facilities, branch offices and AWS cloud infrastructure.

“Cloud WAN uses the AWS global network to connect your on-premises data centers, your branch offices and cloud resources to AWS and makes it easy to increase your network security,” Beeby said. “It gives you one console to manage everything.”

The console lets service providers and customers configure their networks. It also provides global monitoring of the network and provides automated configurations. For example, AWS said an administrator can apply policies and security functions across the network with just a few clicks. AWS Cloud WAN integrates with various SD-WAN offerings. Among them: Aruba, Aviatrix, Checkpoint, Cisco Meraki, Cisco, Prosimo, and VMware.

Keynote Interrupted by Protesters

Roughly an hour into the 90-presentation, activist protesters began interrupting Beeby. On six occasions over the next 20 minutes, a protester stood up and shouted various claims about Amazon’s government contracts, surveillance techniques and immigration.

As reported by Vice, the activists were from various groups. Among them were the New York Communities for Change (NYCC), Make the Road NY, MediaJustice, MPower Change, Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE) and the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP). The groups were working together in support of the “#NoTechForApartheid” campaign, according to the report, along with Mijente’s #NoTechforICE movement. The activists were also protesting outside of the convention center.

With thousands of attendees in a makeshift theater in the exhibition center, audience members jeered at the protesters. Similarly, protesters disrupted Vogels’ keynote at the last New York AWS Summit in 2019, though that interruption was less conspicuous.

A security guard said they were aware of potential disruptions, as were the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeffrey Schwartz or connect with him on LinkedIn.


About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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