Cloud Adoption Starting Guide

We have a lot of discussions with campus units on how to get started developing a strategic plan for cloud adoption. Common questions are:

  • What should we migrate first?
  • How do we develop expertise?
  • What new roles will become available for our staff?
  • How can we put the right people in the right places?
  • How can we ensure that all this work benefits our customers?

Amazon has a blog post specifically addressing those questions for higher education. It’s a great resource to jump start your planning efforts. Additionally, our team is always available to meet and talk through any questions or challenges that may come up.

October 12

We’re changing the way we do labs, starting October 12. We’ll have all of our previous labs available for each lab session. So going forward, just sign up for a time slot and pick whichever lab you’d like when you arrive.

Update 10/11 2:14 p.m.: We’ve moved the labs to 1009 Mechanical Engineering Lab, which has twice the capacity. I’ve re-opened registration.

For the October 12 sessions, we’ll have the following labs available:

  • AWS 101: Introduction to EC2
  • Identity and Access Management
  • S3 and CloudFront for content distribution
  • Relational Database Service
  • Automating AWS with CloudFormation
  • Introduction to Lambda
  • Building clusters with Alces Flight
  • Elastic MapReduce

Want another topic? Let us know: aws-support@illinois.edu


Our October 12 labs will be held in room 1009 of the Mechanical Engineering Lab. Please register to reserve your spot. Computers in the lab will be available for use, or you may bring a laptop if you prefer.

September 28

Elastic MapReduce (Lab, 10:00 – 12:00)

Try out Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR), Amazon’s hosted and managed Hadoop service. EMR is a fast and easy way to jump into big data analysis.

AWS 101 (Lab, 3:00 – 4:30)

Walk through the basics of Amazon’s Elastic Computer Cluster (EC2). Launch and configure a basic web server, and if you have time, make another one and cluster them behind an Elastic Load Balancer (ELB) to create a high-availability website.


Our September 28 labs will be held in room 1009 of the Mechanical Engineering Lab (which is different from the Mechanical Engineering Building). Please register to reserve your spot. Computers in the lab will be available for use, or you may bring a laptop if you prefer.

September 14

Time for some HPC! We’ll be introducing Alces Flight and demonstrating how simple it can be to build a computation cluster on AWS.

AWS 101 (Lab, 9:00 – 10:30)

Learn the basics of the AWS web console. You will create a simple webserver on EC2. If there’s time, you can clone it, add an Elastic Load Balancer, and create a highly-available web server cluster.

Update: 9/12 The AWS 101 Lab is full, and has been removed from the signup form. We’ve added another section in the afternoon.

Building Clusters with Alces Flight (Lab, 10:30 – 12:00)

Alces Flight is billed as “Effortless HPC on Demand.” It’s a tool for cluster management which supports hundreds of scientific computing tools. Each lab participant will build their own personal HPC cluster, see how its used, and tear it back down.

AWS 101 (Lab, 3:00 – 4:30)

Since the morning session filled up, we’ve added a second session of AWS 101. It’s the same content: deploying an EC2 instance with a webserver and adding an Elastic Load Balancer if time permits.


Our September 14 labs will be held in room 1009 of the Mechanical Engineering Lab. Please register to reserve your spot. Computers in the lab will be available for use, or you may bring a laptop if you prefer.

 

New AWS Web Console

Amazon has begun rolling out a new web console. We’re expecting existing accounts to be updated by the end of the year, but there’s no telling exactly when a given account will see the update.

A Cloud Guru has put together a video walking through the new console and highlighting some of the changes. Have a look, and hopefully it will be less of a surprise when the update hits your account.

August 24

This week, we’ll be diving into Amazon Lambda, which is probably my favorite Amazon service. Lambda runs code on demand and charges for run time. All previous hosting models charged for capacity and availability. Since Lambda includes high availability and massive scalability from the start, it has the potential to dramatically speed up applications and reduce costs.

All labs will be held in room 1009 of the Mechanical Engineering Lab. Please register to reserve your spot. Computers in the lab will be available for use, or you may bring a laptop if you prefer.

Please email aws-support@illinois.edu if you have any questions or suggestions for future topics.

Web Hosting with S3 and CloudFront (Lab, 9:00 – 10:00)

This lab will walk you through hosting a simple static web site on S3, delivered through CloudFront, Amazon’s global content delivery network. This is a great way to offload delivery of static assets (images, scripts, style sheets) from your web server while speeding up page loads and lowering costs.

AWS Lambda Introduction (Lab, 10:00 – 11:30)

Building on S3 and CloudFront as a content delivery system, this lab will demonstrate how to trigger a Lambda function to generate a thumbnail automatically when a new image object is uploaded to S3.

August 10

We’re hosting another training day on Wednesday, August 10. This week’s labs are all repeats from previous sessions for those who have had scheduling conflicts.

All labs will be held in room 1009 of the Mechanical Engineering Lab. Please register to reserve your spot. Computers in the lab will be available for use, or you may bring a laptop if you prefer.

Please email aws-support@illinois.edu if you have any questions or suggestions for future topics.

Web Hosting with S3 and CloudFront (Lab, 9:00 – 10:00)

This lab will walk you through hosting a simple static web site on S3, delivered through CloudFront, Amazon’s global content delivery network. This is a great way to offload delivery of static assets (images, scripts, style sheets) from your web server while speeding up page loads and lowering costs.

Automating AWS (Lab, 10:00 – 12:00)

Use AWS CloudFormation to build a service, then tear it down and recreate the whole thing with one click. Automation is key to zero-downtime software updates, scalability, and disaster planning, and I recommend this as a course to anyone interested in maximizing uptime, building clusters, or scaling your service on demand.

AWS 101 (Lab, 1:30 – 3:30)

Learn the basics of the AWS web console. You will create an EC2 instance and make it work as a webserver. If there’s time, you can clone it, add an Elastic Load Balancer, and create a highly-available web server cluster.