AWS Quick Start

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Amazon Web Services is now available at Illinois for research, instruction, and administrative use. You can request access or log into an account at the University of Illinois AWS service gateway: http://aws.illinois.edu/

Amazon will be on campus regularly to provide guided labs and consultation. More information is available in our Fall 2019 Lab Schedule.

You can contact the Illinois AWS team at aws-support@illinois.edu. We’re always available to sit down and discuss whether AWS is a good fit for your unit’s needs, design solutions, or take feedback on how we can improve the service.

Microsoft Azure is now available from Technology Services

We are happy to announce the availability of Microsoft Azure as a service from Technology Services.

The service can be used by all faculty, staff, and students, but a CFOP is required to create an Azure subscription and for billing.

Azure is Microsofts set of services and products that offers cloud computing power, servers, storage, databases, networking, analytics, content delivery, and other functionality to help organizations and researchers. Azure can help lower operating costs, run infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as needs change.

For more information, please visit the Technology Services website or contact us at azure-support@illinois.edu.

An Azure kickoff meeting is scheduled for September 23 at 2:00 p.m. in Digital Computer Lab L410. An online option will also be available.

We will introduce the Azure team, discuss how the service works on campus, and gather feedback on what you would like for regular meetings and training opportunities. Representatives from Microsoft will be onsite to discuss what you can do with Azure and answer questions.

Fall 2019 AWS Labs

Here is our Fall 2019 AWS Lab schedule:

These are hands-on labs open to University of Illinois faculty, students, and staff. We have a range of lab topics currently available:

  • AWS 101: Putting a web server on the internet
  • Relational Database Service: Databases you don’t have to manage
  • Identity and Access Management: Safely managing permissions
  • S3 and CloudFront: Storing and distributing static web content
  • CloudFormation: Automating AWS with infrastructure as code
  • Lamba: Using function-as-a-service to process images
  • Alces Flight: Building your own personal HPC cluster
  • Elastic MapReduce: Getting started with big data in AWS

Participants may select any lab and work at their own pace with guidance from University of Illinois and Amazon staff. Lab computers are provided, but you’re welcome to bring your laptop if you prefer.

Register here to reserve your seat.

Glacier Deep Archive

As of today, Glacier Deep Archive is available. Deep archive is a new storage tier in the S3/Glacier ecosystem with lower pricing than ever before: $0.00099 per GB per month (or right around $1/TB/mo).

Like the existing Glacier tier, deep archive moves stored data offline and requires a retrieval step to make it available again. It’s best for data that isn’t expected to be accessed on a regular basis such as disaster recovery backups.

Spring 2019 AWS Labs

Here is our Spring 2019 AWS Lab schedule:

  • Friday, April 12: 2:00 – 4:00 pm, 28 Illini Hall
  • Monday, April 15, 9:00 – 11:00 am, 28 Illini Hall
  • Thursday, May 2: 12:30 – 2:30 pm, 27 Illini Hall Full!
  • Tuesday, June 18: 9:00 – 11:00 am, 27 Illini Hall

These are hands-on labs open to University of Illinois faculty, students, and staff. We have a range of lab topics currently available:

  • AWS 101: Putting a web server on the internet
  • Relational Database Service: Databases you don’t have to manage
  • Identity and Access Management: Safely managing permissions
  • S3 and CloudFront: Storing and distributing static web content
  • CloudFormation: Automating AWS with infrastructure as code
  • Lamba: Using function-as-a-service to process images
  • Alces Flight: Building your own personal HPC cluster
  • Elastic MapReduce: Getting started with big data in AWS

Participants may select any lab and work at their own pace with guidance from University of Illinois and Amazon staff. Lab computers are provided, but you’re welcome to bring your laptop if you prefer.

Register here to reserve your seat.

AWS Training Opportunities and EFS cost savings

This week’s most relevant AWS updates:

Architecting on AWS in Chicago

This is a three-day in-classroom course that will give you a jump start to building IT infrastructure on AWS in a performant and cost-effective way. Cost is $1,800.

We also have a few webinars coming up focused on higher education:

Going All In: Adtalem’s Cloud Migration Strategy

Adtalem (formerly DeVry) executed a bold strategy to migrate their entire on-premises infrastructure to AWS in less than two years. This free webinar will be presented on March 21st at 1:00 pm Central Time.

How Cornell university Uses the Cloud to Reimagine Course Delivery

This pre-recorded webinar is available to view any time. It describes how Cornell professors uses cloud-based application streaming to make computational resources easily available to students and how they were able to build on those tools to add interactivity to their lectures.

AWS Innovate: AI Edition

AWS Innovate is an online conference series, and the next event will feature three tracks of AI presentations. Registration is free, and the conference will take place from 11:00 am to 3:30 pm Central Time on March 5.

Finally, we have a service update that’s relevant to some of our campus use cases:

Amazon EFS Introduces Lower Cost Storage Class

Amazon’s Elastic File System is a hosted NFS solution that provides high availability and redundancy while maintaining compatibility with existing configurations. Because it replicates data across three different availability zones, it’s been one of the more expensive storage options. This week, Amazon introduced lifecycle management and an “Infrequent Access” (IA) storage tier to EFS. With lifecycle management configured, all files which haven’t been accessed in 30 days will automatically be moved to IA storage, dropping costs by as much as 85%.