In order to increase my ratio of AWS-related work, I started with a three-points plan. In this blog-post, I want to explain to you, what those are and why I’m taking those steps.
The AWS-service RDS (Relational Database Service) offers fully managed relational databases as a service. The database-types can be MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Oracle, Mircosoft SQL-Server or Amazon Aurora. In case you never heard of Amazon Aurora, it’s a database with MySQL under the hood with lots of improvements concerning performance, scalability and failover-concepts.
As I love AWS and their products, I just wanted to work for them, too. So I took the chances and applied for some positions at their global Amazon Jobs page. In this post, I’ll give you some insights on the application process, how I experienced it.
One of my favourite services of AWS is definitely EC2 or Elastic Compute Cloud. It’s a service, which let’s you run your own instances. An instance serves as a virtual server and can get provisioned for any needed task. However, not all Availability Zones or even Regions provide the same subset of Instance Types. Furthermore, the availability of certain Regions depend on your account’s details.
The concept of DynDNS assigns a DNS-entry to a frequently changing IP-address. This is done, because a DNS-name can be recognized more easily than an IP-address. For this approach, you can use the AWS-service Route 53, as its purpose is to manage DNS-entries.
As your business or customer base increases, also the costs for the used AWS-services grow. This should happen within certain healthy boundries. Therefore you need a mechanism for controlling the growth-rate of your monthly costs. The AWS-services Billing & Cost Management gives you the possibility to keep an eye on your costs, but that is limited to static values. Fortunately, you can export your monthly bill to a S3-bucket, parse the CSV-report and adjust your cost alert limits accordingly.
The concept of running instances on AWS is different to running a server at some classic hoster. In the beginning, this might be a bit confusing. Therefore, control-triggers concerning your bill are always recommended. Not only during your first hands on AWS, but also for more experienced users. AWS’s mechanism for cost control gives you updates concerning ongoing monthly costs.
Downloading files from server during a web-browser session can be a time-consuming task. Therefore, you should try to keep the size of the served pages and assets as small as possible. File compression is one approach, which can help you here. Normally, you first would need to compress a file and then let a web-browser know that the files in a reponse are compressed. With a CloudFront-distribution, you don’t have access to a web-sever configuration, where you could do this. For this reason, you need to set the response meta-data differently.
The technology SSL is being used for encrypting the traffic between webserver and browser. SSL is implemented in HTTPS. CloudFront supports HTTPS out of the box, but that is limited to *.cloudfront.net-domain names, because a SSL-certificate checks its validity mainly according to the requested domain name. If you want to use a custom CNAME for your CloudFront-distribution and also have your content being served via HTTPS, a custom SSL-certificate for the specified CNAME is needed.
With CloudFront, Amazon created a CDN (Content Delivery Network), which can be used for serving static files in a fast manner. The actual files are being managed at one single place, but are provided by different servers. The particular server for a request is chosen based on the requester’s location. If a US-based client is requesting a static file from the CDN, the file is being provided by a server based somewhere in the USA. However, if the client’s location is Germany, the file won’t be served from a US-based, but a German server. This is done in order to save loading-time.
Route 53 is the AWS-service for registering and managing domains. For registering and moving domains into Route 53, AWS hands over the requests to the registrar Gandi, which is located in Paris, Luxembourg, San Francisco and Taipei. The actual content of a domain is managed within Route 53, if the nameserver-entries for the domain point to specific AWS-nameservers.
The aws-cli is a neat and handy command line tool with which the management of AWS-services is way more faster. Therefore, this blog focuses on the usage of aws-cli. Within in this post, I’ll explain to you how to setup the aws-cli.
Unfortunately, no real content has been created yet. The next three blog-posts will be on the following subjects