Palo Alto, CA, Aug. 20, 2018 — Squadex, a Cloud Transformation Consultancy from Palo Alto, California, is excited to have organized AWS User Group meetup on August 17, 2018.

It was the third local meetup that brought together AWS evangelists, engineers, and practitioners, which was exclusively set up and held by the Squadex team. The second AWS User Group meetup took place on July 20, 2018.

At the meetup, Tomasz Stachlewski, Senior Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Dmitry Kuleshov, DevOps Engineer at Intellias, shared practical tips on Docker and Serverless and explained why using AWS cloud computing makes sense today.

Keynote Details and Summary

“Docker in the Cloud” by Tomasz Stachlewski

With 3+ years at AWS, Tomasz Stachlewski is an established expert in delivering keynotes that are both useful and fun. His keynote at the third AWS User Group meetup was no exception.

Tomasz kicked off his talk with an amusing AWS-themed quiz. There were only eight questions, but it was enough to break the ice. Five winners of the quiz received special prizes fromAWS.

Tomasz’s keynote consisted of two parts: theory and a demo.

In the first part, he explained why we need to manage Docker containers and highlighted the problem — containers are a piece of cake to handle when you have a few of them, yet if you have dozens and thousands of containers, container management can easily turn into a hassle.

To simplify and accelerate container management, engineers need to utilize specific container orchestration tools like Kubernetes, Google Container Engine, Azure Container Service, and Amazon ECS.

Container orchestration services should have the following features:

  1. Capacity management
  2. Auto-scaling
  3. Self-healing
  4. Service discovery

AWS Cloud allows for all of that. According to Tomasz, it is much easier to grasp than Kubernetes and is perfectly equipped to help engineers handle servers on their own, or through a managed service.

Presently, AWS provides three services that allow working with Docker containers:

  1. Amazon ECS
  2. Amazon Fargate
  3. Amazon EKS

In the second part of his keynote, Tomasz gave three amazing demo sessions for each of the Amazon tools.

He showed how to create repositories and environments, create and run clusters, set up task definitions, and more.

He highlighted the specifics of every tool. For instance, Amazon ECS allows to run and scale websites and enterprise applications in the cloud without having to install container orchestration software. Amazon Fargate allows engineers to easily run containers with no need to manage servers and handle clusters. Amazon EKS adds up Kubernetes to AWS, which simplifies management of containerized apps.

Moving forward, Tomasz answered questions from the audience and thanked everybody for a warm welcome.

To sum it up: Docker containers can be hard to handle. To simplify and accelerate container management, engineers use container orchestration tools, which AWS provides — Amazon ECS, Amazon Fargate, and Amazon EKS. These cloud-based tools are simple and intuitive, which has the potential to revolutionize the process of working with Docker containers.

“How Not to Go Down the Tubes with Serverless” by Dmitry Kuleshov

The keynote of Dmitry Kuleshov, DevOps Engineer at Intellias, evolved around five major questions about Serverless:

  1. What is it?
  2. Why use it?
  3. How to use it?
  4. How not to get over-billed?
  5. How to secure your apps?

Serverless is a cloud computing execution that allows for building and running applications without servers to provision and manage.

Since serverless is implemented in the cloud, you can easily scale up or down and do not pay for idle. HA and fault tolerance are built in. These features are convenient and allow to greatly reduce operational costs.

Serverless develops quickly. With only 10 re:Invent sessions in 2015, it generated over 40 sessions in 2017. According to IBM, the $1.8bn industry is projected to grow by 700-1000% by 2021. The markets give a more modest projection of 411% by 2021.

Serverless is quickly becoming so popular for a reason. Due to the cloud’s shared responsibility model, the IT organization is only responsible for the data layer.

There are at least four major use cases of Serverless on the Web:

  1. Web application
  2. Data lake
  3. Stream processing
  4. Operations automation

For instance, if we think of AWS Cloud, it features multiple tools to deploy, store, manage, and secure applications. Amazon CloudFront, Amazon S3, Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB — to name a few.

AWS has a flexible pricing policy. Not only does it offer beneficial terms to both SMEs and enterprises, but also ensures that they pay only for what they use. For instance, you get a million requests in AWS Lambda for free and pay only $0,20 per million requests afterward.

On the security side of things, AWS offers AWS Shield (Standard & Advanced) and AWS WAF. AWS Shield offers advanced protection from the most common network and transport layer DDoS attacks, and other potential vulnerabilities.

AWS Shield Standard is automatically provided to all AWS customers at no additional cost. In the meantime, the advanced version offers additional detection and monitoring, protects against massive DDoS attacks, and provides cost protection (i.e. you can return funds spent as a result of an attack).

Common protections using AWS WAF are as follows:

  1. IP reputation lists
  2. HTPP floods
  3. SQL injection
  4. Scanners and probes
  5. Cross-site scripting
  6. Bots and scrapers

To sum it up: Serverless cloud computing develops rapidly. It allows engineers to considerably decrease time to market, quickly scale their apps up or down, enhance operations and user experience, and reduce cost. Serverless is projected to grow by at least 411% by 2021.

Squadex will continue to host AWS User Group meetups to increase engineers’ awareness about AWS products, solutions and use cases built on AWS cloud, aiming to improve practical skills of the broader AWS fan community.