And Jupiter aligns with Mars, Then peace will guide the planets, And love will steer the stars. This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius, the age of Aquarius, Aquarius, Aquarius”.

This is the dawning of the age, the Age of Aquarius Amazon.

Amazon Web Services is, or has the ability to become, everything at one’s fingertips.

Before there was Amazon there were development and support teams where every discipline was accomplished by a different person. There was a little bit of overlap, a certain amount of cross-training took place; but, the talent was pretty much contained and protected by one person in each area.

There were system administrators, network administrators, security administrators, storage administrators and database administrators, sometimes two or three of each. These seven or eight people supported anywhere between six and forty users internally, plus any number externally. Users are considered customers of whatever system is built, or being built. That does not change.

IT careers were built around these individual disciplines. Over the past ten years, Amazon has allowed, almost forced, all of that to change. There will still be teams of people, developers, mostly; but, everyone’s scope must be widened. Sometimes the team in a team of one.

While one may never be a network engineer or a storage specialist, most of these areas become pretty much “point and click” opportunities. It still takes training and a certain amount of under-lying knowledge; but, it is pretty much a natural progression from any of the disciplines named above to that of an Amazon certified professional.

As a database administrator, my path includes the following “CBT nuggets” (http://www.cbtnuggets.com):

    • Amazon Web Services AWS Foundations with Jeremy Cioara (18 lessons)
    • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Architecting for AWS (16 lessons)
    • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Foundations (14 lessons)

Do you remember how excited you were when you got your driver’s license? You could not wait to get out there and drive. Well, I couldn’t wait either, and prior to completing the first nine lessons, I have created three EC2 instances, used S3 (storage), provisioned several EBS volumes (more storage), created public and private key pairs (security), implemented an elastic IP address, taken a couple of snapshots (backup), created a virtual private cloud (VPC), connected remotely, transferred files and confirmed check-sums.

Linux is not an issue for me; however, I’ve never really been completely responsible for it. It took more than 12 hours to get an instance I like with the tools I need to connect and display X11 (usually Java) output back on my laptop. At one point I lost the “sudoers” file and could no longer log on as root. It took me 30 minutes to figure out what to do, and another 30 minutes to do it; but, I got back on, fully returned to the present.

My Oracle Database installations typically allocate a minimum of 250 to 650 GiB of storage. My first AWS configurations were capped around 60 GiB (and that is 30 GiB over “free”) so that I can get a handle on billing. Amazon billing is not a trivial subject. It deserves more than a single lesson. One could easily use their year-long, free trial, and never truly understand. Here is one more “discipline” to add under your hat.

So I am building, watching and learning. Without a customer to pay, with a personal credit card covering the bill, it becomes very important to turn things off when not using them.

There are a couple more blog entries to make before continuing with the lessons. Except I don’t feel like writing, I am in more of a note-taking, learning mode today.

I am an avid Amazon Web Services fan. I invite you to come follow with me!

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