Cloud Computing & Amazon Web Services

Today we have a Technology Evangelist Simone Brunozzi from AWS to come talk to us about AWS and Cloud Computing.

The evangelist just touch down in Singapore 4 days ago. Like many other incidence, he is shocked by our awesome-humid climate. For some reason, someone told him that he’s seeing Winter. Ha. Welcome to Singapore!

Half way through, Prof. Ben asked about Dynamo(?). A simple Googling found me this

Dynamo is a highly available, proprietary key-value structured storage system [1]. It has properties of both databases and distributed hash tables (DHTs). It is not directly exposed as a web service, but is used to power parts of other Amazon Web Services such as S3 [2]. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamo_(storage_system) wikipedia)

Ok, I still have no idea what this is?

monolithic? micro kernal? I heard Chee Eng talked about the battle between Linus &  Andy Tanenbaum.
Turing. (EDIT: Thanks Prof. Ben for pointing out that it was Andy not Turing) However, I don’t remember the terminologies.

“Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.” – Andy Tanenbaum

Simple solution for seemingly complicated problem -> Amazon Import/Export
Shipping the Hard Disk to AWS and AWS will plug it into the Cloud. This sound like an interesting option for EusoffWorks Long Term Archive. After all, we have 15TB data to store. How much will this cost? EDIT: a simple check on the official site shows that it’s only available in US Standard and EU (Ireland) Regions. It will be really good if Singapore or NUS has its own cloud up soon. Hopefully it’ll have a similar feature. It sounds more feasible this way.

Content Delivery Network (CDN) = Proximity as a solution

A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a system of computers containing copies of data, placed at various points in a network so as to maximize bandwidth for access to the data from clients throughout the network. A client accesses a copy of the data near to the client, as opposed to all clients accessing the same central server, so as to avoid bottleneck near that server.

Content types include web objects, downloadable objects (media files, software, documents), applications, real time media streams, and other components of internet delivery (DNS, routes, and database queries).

Amazon CloudFront -> Cloud CDN
Awesome ->8 server in the US, 4 in Europe, 2 in Asia. Well, if our facebook app grew to such a stage where we’ll need a CDN, this sounds like a good idea. However, I think I’ll still need to check the pricing.

Amazon EC2 = Virtual Machine for virtual server

Amazon EBS = Elastic Block Store (1 to 1000GB)
EBS is redundant and persistent

The power of virtualizing.. the end-user will not even realize when there are hardware failures because the hypervisor acts as a shield to the hardware beneath. Moreover, there are a lot of backup/fail-safe mechanism that acts. Reminds me of the fail-safe mechanism in Atlantis @ the Pegasus Galaxy (Stargate).

One example of business that cannot use Cloud Computing -> Banks, where real physical wires are needed to connect the ATMs to the Data Centers. But can’t they connect all the ATMs to a cloud? Or even better -> add the Data Center off the bank unto the Cloud? Hmm…. don’t understand.

JianHong asked a question, I think it’s about the differences between  “Dedicated, Shared Dedicated and Shared”. Amazon EC2 is a Shared Dedicated system. “Shared system” shares everything on the physical machine, including processing power and RAM.

All in all, I’m overloaded with information. It’ll take some time to chew on it. However, time is not really on my side as Thursday is the due date for our Facebook App. Chiong ar……!