AWS Containers Workshop

Update 2/7 1:35 pm:

I’ve launched a waitlist. If we have cancellations, I’ll contact waitlist participants to try and find a replacement.

You can register for the waitlist here.

Update 2/7 11:15 am:

Both workshops are full. Thank you for your interest! Based on the quick signups, I’m planning to repeat the workshops on March 21. We’ll run through these workshops first, but once we’ve had an opportunity to identify what worked well and where we might have opportunities to improve, I’ll plan out the details for March 21 and send out another announcement.

Original announcement:

Technology Services will be hosting a free full day AWS workshop on February 21 offering the first two sections of Amazon’s Interstella workshop series.

Part 1 (9:00 to noon) will walk you through the process of packaging a legacy LAMP application into a Docker container.

Part 2 (1:30 to 4:30) will migrate parts of that monolithic application into dedicated microservices, each of which independently auto-scales.

Both workshops will be held in L410 Digital Computer Lab.

I hope this will be interesting to developers, webmasters, and IT pros on campus. This sort of migration should allow us to improve service delivery and reduce the effort needed to operate compatible applications.

Please register here prior to the event. Participants will need to bring a laptop with a web browser and SSH client.

Spring 2018 AWS Labs

We’ve locked in our Spring lab schedule:

  • January 17: 9:15 to 11:15 a.m. in 28 Illini Hall
  • February 8: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in 27 Illini Hall
  • March 7: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in 27 Illini Hall
  • April 4: 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. in 27 Illini Hall
  • April 18: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in 28 Illini Hall
  • May 23: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in 28 Illini Hall
  • June 6: 9:15 to 11:15 a.m. in 28 Illini Hall

During each lab session, you’ll have your choice of topics:

  • 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

You may run through multiple labs if time allows.

Technology Services will grant you access to a shared AWS account for the lab; you don’t need your own. Computers will be available onsite, though you’re welcome to bring your own laptop if you prefer.

An Amazon solutions architect will be on site along with University of Illinois staff to guide you through lab materials and discuss cloud topics.

Please register here to reserve your seat.

AWS Security Maintenance: Meltdown & Spectre

Amazon is in the process of planning how to patch their remaining EC2 hosts to protect against Meltdown and Spectre. Official details are here:

We’ll probably receive a small number of maintenance notifications in the next few days. I’ll try to forward those onto account owners in a timely fashion. Since Amazon is trying to fully remediate as quickly as possible, we can expect substantially less lead time than Amazon provides for normal maintenance.

Amazon’s work should protect their hypervisors, disallowing use of the attacks to break out of a VM, but you’ll still need to update the OS inside your VM to protect at that level.

re:Invent Service Launches

Amazon re:Invent was held last week in Las Vegas. We saw a lot of exciting announcements, some expected and some more surprising. Amazon has the major launches detailed here:

For our campus usage, I’m most excited about these:

  • Fargate – makes containers easier than ever before.
  • ECS for Kubernetes – allows container management with Kubernetes, which may be how you’re already doing it.
  • Hibernation for Spot Instances – don’t lose your work if you get outbid.
  • New Spot Pricing Model – smooths out spot market pricing to avoid sudden surprises.
  • Aurora Serverless – auto-scale database capacity, even down to zero (with a quick scale-up when you need it again)
  • DynamoDB Backups – I can get rid of the scripts I wrote to back up DynamoDB; they don’t work as well as the new service.
  • Comprehend – process spoken language.
  • Translate – translate between spoken languages.
  • SageMaker – machine learning made easy.
  • Inter-Region VPC Peering – we’re evaluating how we can make the UOFI Active Directory available in regions outside us-east-2.
  • PrivateLink – access private services without advanced VPC configuration.
  • GuardDuty – use AWS’ behind-the-scenes machine learning to alert on unexpected behavior within your account.