I have not posted here in a while; it was my original expectation to post here more often during a learning period as I explore exactly what AWS is offering, how it is used, and how it is kept safe.

The distinction between private vs. public is still customarily considered to be physical hardware in your possession, vs. hardware at one or more unknown locations outside of your physical possession.

Amazon is a public cloud. They do offer governments a private cloud and considering my military background, and my current security clearance, it is very likely that I could end up there with what hopefully will be a familiar interface.

It is my plan to concentrate on the public cloud. The Virtual Private Connection, the VPC, makes it feel more private, it gets one off the internet and behind a firewall with full control security groups and Access Control Lists (ACL), subnets, routing tables, as required, or desired. Security, at least, the ability to be secure, is a good start.

Amazon won’t tell you exactly where things reside. It’s grouped by regions and availability zones. Somewhere. In that general direction. You know? Secret. That is the nature of the cloud. Not knowing the location of the physical hardware is security in itself.

The design of the VPC has been primarily on my mind for several months now. I knew from my database experience what I needed with regard to firewalls and subnets; although I had never been personally responsible to implement and manage them. When I wanted a server, I would always make my request for the same general configuration, specifying how much storage, mount points, etc. I seldom personally had to be involved in exactly how that machine was created.

Having installed Linux several times in the past, I have a respect for those who do their jobs well. And I have been blessed with talented teammates. With proper libraries installed, as root, I would calculate and adjust kernel parameters; but, the effort was pretty simple on my end. With as many “defaults” taken as possible, I’m sure.

Not that the effort is difficult, AWS makes it simple to spin up an instance, the rest not so hard; but, not so simple either 🙂 I have some learning to do to perfect things, and some time to spend getting certifications.

I continue to be blown away by Amazon, not just their AWS; but, the company. And if I wasn’t before, I think I would have to be with their recent exposure on 60 Minutes. If you haven’t seen the video, you should.

Amazon knows that all companies, all civilizations eventually fail. They want to be at the front, to be as big and as bold as they can, for as long as they can… their CEO says until at least “after I die”, hopefully.

Nobody knows how the future will play out. How private will private clouds be when used by several countries governments? What will it be like when anything in the world under five pounds can be delivered to you in less than 30 minutes in any city of the world?

The United States was screwed against a financial wall by a third political party. This country had better get its’ act together, or it will continue to falter, and fail. (Not until “after I die”, hopefully.)

Pockets of intelligence and creativity are coming out of far away places. I was researching a town in Egypt on the upper banks of the Nile where my friends “save the children”  child lives in poverty, and I see that since 2003, ten years now, a huge medical software firm has arisen globally from that town of 2700. I’ve lived in that population. I have seen that poverty. Out of the ashes arose the, what was it, the Phoenix?

We will be over come if we don’t keep up. It is rather an exciting race. Amazon is bringing us the world, and the world is coming to us, or going elsewhere. All of this is being done with modern day versions of 30 year old technology. Imagine when newer technologies takes hold. It may no longer be practical, logical or desirable for Oracle’s high performance and high-cost licenses. Vertical scaling may be gone forever.

Amazon gives us the Elastic CloudFront… using a network of edge locations around the world.

I have worked with databases considered huge in their day; up to 7 terabytes. I have never seen an Oracle database so big it could not perform. Vertical scaling was the norm. But, with an edge location available to me anywhere in the world, why do we think we want or need vertical? That is, of course, a rhetorical question. IBM once thought there would be no need for more than five or six super computers. Bill Gates once thought that nobody would ever need more than ten times sixty-four kilobytes of memory. Larry Ellison probably still thinks that Oracle is the operating system. But, on point, it takes an analyst, an architect to navigate these waters.

Oracle may be headed for Computer Associates. CA being a place where many products have traditionally gone to die. Amazon: How can we make it cost less for our customers? Get over it Oracle.

It is no secret that I am infatuated with the technology; but, infatuation and ability are two separate things. I am confident that I know what needs to be learned, and what pieces I know that I need to polish. There is still room for a team, for partners, for associates, and if something clicks big-time, employees. But, there is also no job here that cannot be done by one, given time, desire, an IT mentality, education and experience.

My most immediate goals, outside of finding a customer, contract or employee, are to obtain CompTIA Security+ and Amazon’s AWS Certified Solutions Architect certifications.

That’s it for today. It’s almost tomorrow. Hope to see you then, there, tomorrow, in the cloud.

– David

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