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%.

AWS Backup and Fargate Price Drop

Amazon announced AWS Backup yesterday. Backup provides a central interface to manage backup strategies for:

  • Elastic Block Store
  • Elastic File System
  • Relational Database Server
  • DynamoDB
  • 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.

First Lab of 2019

We’re still working on a full lab schedule for this spring, but we’ll be holding out first lab session of the year this Thursday, January 10 from 2:00 to 4:00 in room 28 Illini Hall.

Please register if you’d like to attend.