Learning more about AWS May 2012

Went to a ‘Introduction to AWS | Cambridge’ on Thursday. It was interesting to see what they had to say and what people are using their systems for. They gave an idea of the size of things like S3. The numbers are off my scale of comprehension, too many zeros.

Guy called Ianni demoed provisioning multiple servers, set a system with a load balancer and two servers running a demo site with a single config script. Which was impressive in itself but then he setup another server to use jmeter which then put a load on the demo site. Then he went on with his talk, by the time he came back to the monitoring panel at the end of his talk his servers had autoscaled to 18, very neat.

Gave an idea of the different approaches you can take when the infrastructure is on demand. Server stopped in middle of the night, automatically bring up a new instance to replace it and then sort of why the original server broke, when your more awake.

He also used windows which I was surprised by, not that I’d tried but I assume the vast majority of users would be using various linux flavours.

A couple of users gave quick sessions about what they were using AWS for, genomics, on demand desktops and business applications.

One thing I learnt about was the spot pricing amazon offer if you have task you want done but isn’t so time sensitive you can put down a price your willing to pay. When the spot price comes down to the level your willing to pay, you get your provisioning.

The other attendees at events like this are usually quite interesting spoke to a guy using AWS for his asterix servers, big savings over his old physical servers apparently. Another guy who was using S3 for mobile phone application storage and someone else who was wondering if he could use multiple GPU’s for imaging.