The morning began with an in depth examination of Amazon’s EC2 offering. The IaaS Amazon offer is the most comprehensive currently on the market. Provisioning a server immediately from the rich Amazon catalog was illustrated when I demonstrated starting an Linux machine configured with Apache Web server, MySql database and PHP. Within 60 seconds the server was ready and I then demonstrated how to gain root access and start using the server. The cloud specific storage options such as CloudWatch, CloudFront and auto scaling were detailed. EC2 also offers a number of cloud scale storage options – often referred to as NoSql – were also discussed as well as the Amazon security infrastructure and its configuration. Interestingly, the cost of running all the course demonstrations on Windows and Linux servers, which included 11 hours of server running time, CloudWatch monitoring, different storage usage was $1.18 !
At this stage attendees now had an in depth knowledge of the architecture of the cloud and the various components that are provided as well as hands-on experience of working with these components and associated tools. The course then moved onto strategies for cloud adoption- how to define a strategy that minimises risk for an organisation. A number of scenarios from attendees work scenarios were considered and discussed. Some of the barriers to cloud adoption were also considered – and importantly how these barriers can be removed – innovative hybrid solutions that can meet regulatory requirements and leverage the strengths and benefits of cloud computing. Security and data location were primary barriers and the different levels of security were detailed. The course finished off with a look at application architectures for the cloud – migrating existing applications, developing new applications which utilise the new cloud libraries and hybrid solutions all of which can benefit an organisation.
By the end of the course attendees were fluent in the technical possibilities the cloud offers and had acquired the knowledge to build a business case for cloud adoption which is pragmatic, acknowledging risks, but also minimising these risks for their organisations. How I am confident attendees have acquired these skills ? – the final course workshops had the attendees apply their knowledge to real world scenarios and their solutions provided clear evidence of the skills gained.
Congratulations and thanks to a great group of attendees