Roy Osuji

DevOps Playground London: Hands-on with AWS Serverless

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In most IT departments you usually have an individual who’s responsibility it is to manage the servers. When your software or website has a particularly high load they can rearchitect the site to manage it.

“In essence, “serverless” is a computing model where the existence of servers is hidden. So you don’t need to worry about servers at all. All you have to worry about is  the function and programming.” – Sunil Tailor

Serverless computing is a cloud-computing execution model in which the cloud provider acts as the server, dynamically managing the allocation of machine resources. Pricing is based on the actual amount of resources consumed by an application, rather than on pre-purchased units of capacity.[1] It is a form of utility computing. In this DevOps playground, Sunil will be getting hands on with AWS’s serverless technology.

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Roy OsujiDevOps Playground London: Hands-on with AWS Serverless
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DevOps Playground Singapore: Hands-on with Amazon Connect

Our very first DevOps Playground took place in September in Singapore, at the Lifelong Learning Institute. We had fun with Amazon Connect!

At the event, we created a working solution utilising Amazon Connect, Amazan Lex, AWS Lambda, S3 and SNS. Cloudformation was used to help configure these services with the minimum of effort. Unionising these Amazon services allowed us to create an environment that enabled us to have an interactive telephone conversation through Amazon Connect, powered by Amazon Lex. Once the call was complete, the conversation was transcribed using AWS Lambda and sent via SNS to a subscribed email.

Watching the video below, you can run through the Playground from the comfort of your home!

Thank you to everyone who attended and made our very first DevOps Playground in Singapore a huge success.

Roy OsujiDevOps Playground Singapore: Hands-on with Amazon Connect
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DevOps Playground Edinburgh: Hands on with AWS Fargate

On the 27th February, we had the privilege of launching ECS Digital’s very first DevOps Playground in Edinburgh. Such an occasion called for a special topic, and this time we focused on AWS Fargate, a brand-new and often misunderstood technology from Amazon Web Services.

For those who don’t know, DevOps Playground is a small meetup run by ECS-Digital consultants to give people a hands-on practical introduction to DevOps technologies and help to evangelise them.

 

So, what is Fargate?

Amazon Web Services defines it as a ‘technology that allows you to run containers without managing the underlying instances’ – this means that by using Fargate as launch type, your container will be downloaded and launched in some physical place inside the AWS datacenters, away from your direct management.

The Playground

As is tradition at DevOps Playground, we prepared a hands-on example to give the audience a taste of the functionality of this technology. There was a brief introduction to AWS Elastic Container Services, with an explanation on the logical division between Clusters, Services and Tasks. Then we proceeded to create the Cluster, register the container specifications (Task Definitions), and finally run a service. A single instance of the famous Ghost blog engine.

The foundation that makes all of this possible is the new networking mode called awsvpc, which allows us to attach an Elastic Network Interface to a container, rather than to an EC2 Instance. This gives us direct access to container services, rather than the underlying hosts, in turn making Fargate possible.

Limitations

Of course, since Fargate is pretty new, there are some limitations on it’s usage. Amongst the most important are the following:

  • Currently, it’s available only in one region: us-east-1. This is because it has limited availability at the moment and us-east-1 is considered the experimental region.
  • It is not possible to attach persistent EBS volumes, directly to the container for now .
  • Limits of 20 Fargate services, per account, per region
  • Limits of 20 public IP addresses per Fargate services, per account, per region.

Reception

Despite the heavy snowstorm, we had a good turnout with many questions in between the presentation and after that led discussions regarding containers, service management and related problems. It was great to talk to passionate engineers and gain an insight into the tech environment of Edinburgh.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I feel that there will be a lot of potential in the Scottish capital for this new technology in the future.

Looking forward to the next DevOps Playground in Edinburgh.

Resources

In case you want to play with Fargate, We publicly released the walkthrough we executed at the meet-up. You can find it here, in our public Github repository.

For more information about DevOps Playground in your city click below:

Interested in attending one of our DevOps Playground events? Follow up on Meetup to receive a notification about the next event – Join us!

Roy OsujiDevOps Playground Edinburgh: Hands on with AWS Fargate
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