[cs615asa] HW-N Windows on AWS Workshop and Database Scaling Talk

Rosanna D Pangelinan rpangeli at stevens.edu
Mon Apr 29 09:21:42 EDT 2019

Hi Everyone,

I attended two events hosted by AWS, a “Windows on AWS Workshop” and a talk on “Database Scaling Strategies for Startups”.


- The Windows on AWS Workshop was more of a presentation on AWS services rather than a technical workshop. The speakers gave a walkthrough on AWS products specifically for customers that are looking into moving their Windows and MSSQL systems to the cloud. Here are some of the services I want to highlight:

            - global availability: 20 regions

            - security: (Identity Access and Management) IAM and Amazon VPC

- scaling: Amazon RDS for SQL Server can scale db instances up to 16TB

- integration with Windows tools: Visual Studio, Powershell, CLI, Nuget

            - Amazon FSx for Windows file server

            - AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory

            - Auto Scaling API

            -Application Discovery Service

            - Cloudwatch Logs: monitoring

They also discussed some of the migration processes involved with moving to AWS and mentioned certain tools and Amazon partners that were helpful. Here are a couple of examples:

  *   AWS Partner Network
     *   Movere: analyzes and assesses infrastructure and optimizes AWS configuration
     *   Velostrata: workload mobility software
     *   Attunity: helps with the transfer of data
     *   New Relic: monitoring

- “Database Scaling Strategies for Startups” was a short talk given by the CTO of Felix Gray, Houtan Fanisalek. Felix Gray had to scale their database as their website users were growing, at one point there were 3k users browsing their website at a time. They scaled their infrastructure and moved to Amazon Aurora, which was an easy migration from their MySQL database. He outlined their migration steps, and discussed other Amazon products, such as ElastiCache, ElastiSearch, and Redshift, that helped with optimizing performance by offloading some of the load on the database.

Here’s a link he provided for best practices for migrating RDS for MySQL to Amazon Aurora:


Relation to class:

 The two events strongly related to the class as the main topics included optimizing and modernizing systems. The workshop was geared towards system administrators, SQL database admins, IT infrastructure architect, etc and presented on how moving to the cloud with AWS would be beneficial. The talk was presented in a similar way, since the speaker was presenting his company's positive experience with migrating to Amazon Aurora. Both events presented system administrators with new products and tools that would optimize their systems.

Reason for choosing event:

I chose the first event, the workshop, simply because I was interested in seeing other AWS products. System administrators need to keep up with new technologies and be aware of available products and services. And the event was able to do that, with Amazon presenting their products to potential customers and the discussing the benefits of using their services.

I specifically chose to attend the Startup talk because I wanted to see from the customer’s standpoint how their company benefited from using AWS products. It wasn’t the same products presented in the first event, but the speaker did present on how AWS helped their company with scalability.


  *   I learned more about the migration process during the workshop and how that there are Amazon tools and partners that help with all the assessment, design, and deployment stages.

Here’s a link to an Amazon document on best practices, if you want to read up on it:


  *   From the talk, I learned that there are Amazon services that help with optimizing performance by offloading some of the workload on the databases, specifically Aurora Read Replicas, Write, and Redshift.
  *   There were new AWS products I learned about from both events. These were from the talk:
     *   Nitro: hypervisor for EC2
     *   Aurora: Amazon’s relational database
        *   ElastiCache: stores most common db queries
        *   ElastiSearch: faster search
        *   Redshift: used for analytics
  *   The talk was held at their AWS Loft, which they define as “a place where startups and developers can meet over coffee, work on their apps, attend educational sessions, and get in-person answers to AWS technical questions – all at no cost”. It’s a good resource for technical learning and networking as well. Here’s the link for upcoming events if any of you are interested: https://aws.amazon.com/start-ups/loft/ny-loft/. (FYI, there’s a “DevOps week” happening May 6th – 7th.)


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