Today (18th June 2019) I had the fantastic opportunity to attend (virtually) the Amazon Web Services (AWS) AWSomeDay conference. Up to now most of my cloud experience (both personally and professionally) has been via Microsoft Azure, which has allowed me to have fun completing various projects (bots, cognitive vision, temperature sensors etc), so I thought it was about time I took a proper look at the competition.
Note: AWS called the event their AWSOME DAY online conference, intentionally missing out the “e” of awesome. I apologise now if I slip and spell it as AWESOME DAY.
Note 2: I nabbed some of the graphics from the AWS presentations; the picture content is mainly theirs so…erm…copyright AWS on the images.
AWS started life way back in 2006 (I was in my 2nd year as a First Line IT Officer at that point) and the day showed that it has grown to offer a lot of different services over the last 13 years.
The AWSOME Day was split across:
- Opening Keynote
- AWS Cloud Concepts
- AWS Core Services
- AWS Security
- AWS Architecting
- AWS Pricing & Support
- Closing Remarks
I don’t think I could summarise the whole day into a single blog post, so instead I will be aiming to include the basic points.
AWS has lots of data centres
As with other cloud solutions, latency can be a factor so make sure to choose a region appropriate to the customer base. AWS offers 20 regions worth of selection.
Want options? AWS offers options. Lots of ’em.
I will admit I am impressed by the amount of services/options that AWS has, even my (personal) favourite of machine learning (ML) and IoT (if I can hook my Raspberry Pi up to a service then I’m happy).
Security is a BIG deal
I think all the talks mentioned IAM (Identity and Access Management) and the security discussion talked using roles rather then hard coding credentials whilst also making sure that accounts/role permissions are reviewed regularly, and that account activity is monitored. Monitoring and machine learning! If it can be automated I’m totally for it, especially if it reduces risk. Security is “job zero” and should be first and foremost amongst any discussion of cloud.
AWS offers Intel, AMD and ARM processors. Lots of ’em. And sometimes it is better (more efficient and cheaper) to have multiple instances rather than one super powerful instance. It’s all about scaling and knowing (or learning, ahem, maybe machine learning) when to scale. Also, newer processors may be better at being energy efficient, which is a potential saving that AWS passes on to customers if they switch to them.
Personally this was my favourite discussion and it makes sense. A solid foundation is needed before any solution/plan is put into action. Security (IAM, control, protection, response), Reliability (change management, failure management), Cost Optimisation (supply/demand, expenditure awareness), Performance Efficiency (monitoring, reviewing) and Operational Excellence (manage/automate changes, respond, define standards) are all factors that should be defined and taken into consideration when designing a cloud solution (inside or outside of AWS).
I had a fun day, and (as with most things tech) I look forward to learning more about cloud solutions and AWS. Seeing how fast a website could be deployed and how much the AWS crew enjoy their product was great.
Note: AWS also discussed training (check out https://aws.amazon.com/training/) and support/pricing.
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