Amazon web services talk at BCS

As a committee member of the British Computer Society Internet specialist group, I thought it would be a good idea to arrange a talk on some aspect of cloud. Cloud is now maturing as a technology in many different ways. Software as a service, infrastructure as a service, hybrid clouds and private clouds are all various configurations and permutations of cloud.  The most established IaaS product is Amazons web services, AWS. AWS is a range of cloud services which provide infrastructure on demand as a pay as you go service. The services include on demand computing power, on demand storage, database processing, auto scaling and much much more.
So, as a committee member I thought it would be a good to ask AWS to present to the BCS. They very kindly agreed and arranged for Matt Wood to present at the BCS headquarters in Southampton Row, London. The event was over subscribed which highlights the popularity of cloud topics and AWS in particular. Matts 45 minute presentation covered the main area of AWS such as the computing, storage and security. As it was a technical audience Matt didn’t hold back on the technical details describing the fundamentals of EC2 and S3 and how you provision and use these key elements of AWS. Security is always a topic of concern which Matt addressed and gave reassurance of Amazons diligent approach to it.
AWS now has 152 billion objects in their s3 storage and can compute 4.2 Tflop instructions in their computing cluster. These figures highlight the vast infrastructure Amazon has in place and they continue to invest and innovate to ensure they remain number 1 when it comes to cloud IaaS.
Questions were asked at the end. One particular question related to how easily applications can be migrated to the cloud. Matt quite rightly said that it all depends on the application. To take advantage of all the AS features the application has to be cloud aware and built for failure in mind. The application needs to be able to scale horizontally, on demand, and in order to do this it needs to be designed and built with AWS in mind.
Forlinux have implemented a number of AWS solutions, gaining valuable experience and understanding on how best to implement web applications in the AWS cloud. There have been failures where the solution was designed to run on a conventional LAMP stack but would not migrate to the AWS cloud due to various reasons.

At the end of the talk, Matt was surrounded by members of the audience keen to understand a little more. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Matt Wood and Amazon for a very good presentation.

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