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 Spring 2019 Lab Schedule.
You can contact the Illinois AWS team at email@example.com. 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.
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.
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.
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 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’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%.
Amazon announced AWS Backup yesterday. Backup provides a central interface to manage backup strategies for:
Elastic Block Store
Elastic File System
Relational Database Server
Storage Gateway volumes
Backed up data is securely stored in Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, and configurable to cycle into Glacier if you prefer.
Automating and verifying backups has been a common need on campus, and now it’s built in for free. I expect the service to incorporate additional services in the future.
Earlier this month Amazon announced a price reduction for Fargate. I’ve worked with a number of groups who weren’t sure how to balance convenience and costs. The new pricing is between 35% and 50% less expensive, depending on your configuration, which makes it more attractive to run your containers without any management of the underlying infrastructure.