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Top five expert tips on AWS Educate, Elastic Beanstalk and more

These tips on AWS Elastic Beanstalk, microservice architecture and AWS Educate were the popular topics on SearchAWS among readers and AWS cloud users this year.

SearchAWS rounds up its five most helpful tips of the year on Amazon Web Services. These tips are designed to give admins, architects and developers a broader look at the entire AWS experience. Whether you're seasoned with the AWS products or still wondering whether the cloud is right for your enterprise, this collection of articles will keep you up on the latest in the wide world of public cloud.

Cost of running Docker containers vs. AWS instances

Two topics in the world of public cloud remain hot: containers and saving money. AWS expert Brian Tarbox examines how the former affected the latter and compares it to the cost of running AWS instances. Using an easy-to-read table with each computing option to break down costs, the tip struck a chord with readers.

Tarbox breaks down the benefits of both containers and instances. While one option offers better cost savings, the other contains benefits worth consideration. He finishes by recommending readers observe the container craze with watchful eyes -- they're clearly paying attention.

The evolution of AWS IaaS and PaaS

Talk about pointing to a trend -- Chris Moyer identifies and expounds on the progression of Amazon Web Services from infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to platform as a service (PaaS). While Google's App Engine was first on the PaaS scene, Amazon was not far behind -- first offering Docker support through Elastic Beanstalk, then releasing Amazon Lambda, a true PaaS product. Moyer also examines containers and their place in the discussion, including whether or not they will replace traditional IaaS.

AWS Educate arms future admins with cloud skills

With a shortage of qualified IT job-seekers to match the growing field,tech companies need to find ways to connect with students before they walk off with their degrees. In this tip, Jeff Kaplan covers AWS Educate, a program intended to educate students and teachers on how to use the Amazon cloud, discounting services while offering a path to certification.

The new service proved interesting to SearchAWS readers, as did Kaplan's breakdown of decades-long cooperation between tech companies and institutions of learning. IBM, Microsoft and Cisco all employed similar tactics over the years to grow the IT job corps, and Amazon hopes to further strengthen its position as the leader in the public cloud market with its AWS Educate initiative.

Continuous deployment and AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Developers are challenged to code faster than ever, and continuous deployment is an intriguing option to slash timelines from months to days. This tip explains the importance of automated testing and the benefits to using a strong version-control system, such as Git.

The heart of his piece deals with continuous deployment in AWS Elastic Beanstalk through Java-based Jenkins. Moyer provides several plug-in options for Jenkins, which handles its code deployment duties as "Jobs." After configuring the build steps, he explains how to properly code to Elastic Beanstalk.

Boost AWS availability with a microservice architecture

Nike and Netflix are just two of the prominent businesses taking advantage of microservices. In this tip, George Lawton takes a detailed look at the rise in popularity of microservices and the architectures on which they run. He also details the common goal of the Netflix software development team, which operates more than 500 microservices on AWS.

Rising in popularity, containerization is one way to implement microservices, but developers can also achieve that architecture through AWS Lambda. This tip also offers five ways IT shops can ease into a microservices architecture.

Next Steps

Demystifying the AWS and Docker containers hype

Proper tools improve AWS cloud developer productivity

AWS blurs the lines with PaaS and IaaS

Choosing the right AWS instance for your cloud application

Containers and AWS Lambda to reinvent cloud provisioning

This was last published in August 2015

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What AWS trend has most captured your attention?
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The one that has caught my attention the most is the cost of running containers vs. AWS instances. We worked with Amazon a couple of years ago on a TCO project, and the results were rather interesting. I’d love to be able to see the results of that study with containerization thrown into the mix as well.
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This is something I want to keep an eye on as well. Granted the answer is likely going to change along with containerization within AWS, but it seems like there are some conflicting numbers out there. Costs and containers certainly seem to be popular topics with our readers.
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I thought it was a smart move for Amazon to spin up AWS Educate. Not only do they offset expense by selling cloud resources at a reduced rate, but it positions them to fill a shortage with people trained and certified on their infrastructure.
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Agreed. Everything you read points to a skills shortage in the IT job force. If AWS Educate chips away at that, it's a win-win. If other cloud providers challenge for that element of the market, it pushes everyone to review how they approach the college market and certifications as a whole. Hopefully it's viewed as an instrument of knowledge growth, first and foremost. The dollars are a consideration but shouldn't come first.
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