Top AWS tips of 2016 show Lambda, containers rule

Serverless computing, containers and cloud competition were popular topics among AWS users in 2016. Here's a rundown of five popular resources.

As AWS expands its portfolio, enterprises must keep up with new service offerings while monitoring existing workload...

costs and performance. It can be daunting -- no matter how much an IT team abstracts away some of the work with automation.

IT teams working with AWS need to wrap their heads around all aspects of its cloud services -- from the initial move to public cloud to monitoring workload performance to deploying advanced services like containers. These most-read AWS tips of 2016 covered a range of topics to keep IT pros up on the latest with AWS, its services and where it measures against the competition.

AWS tips and tricks to dodge common Lambda issues

Serverless computing has been met with both enthusiasm and hesitation -- much like the concept of cloud computing. The technology enables developers to automatically execute logic-based functions -- putting the focus on writing code instead of spinning up VMs and managing infrastructure.

AWS Lambda is a prominent player in serverless computing, but many enterprises only run it on a limited basis because of a variety of concerns -- ranging from security to cost. Chris Moyer detailed five potential problems with the Lambda platform that would otherwise be more difficult to identify given the absence of available servers and logs to examine.

Inside regions and availability zones

As cloud providers race to expand their global data center footprints, enterprises struggle to make sense of the terminology and breadth of each provider's infrastructure. AWS and Microsoft both offer data center regions, but it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. This confusion can make it tough for an enterprise to choose a cloud provider and a geographic location for services.

Continuing with AWS tips, David Linthicum looked at how the service divides its infrastructure into regions and availability zones, and how enterprises can strategize accordingly. He also explains ways to track regional performance to meet application and data storage needs.

Docker portability pointless for most enterprises

Docker container use is growing among developers, and much of that popularity is attributed to container portability. Containers run on top of the host OS to allow applications to work across different environments, including from cloud to cloud.

But few enterprises really need that high level of portability which can be expensive. David Linthicum questioned if the complexity of Docker containers is worth the hassle for many businesses, as only complex applications will take advantage of container benefits in the first place.

Cloud competition gains ground on AWS in cloud market

AWS is Amazon's cash cow, single-handedly driving up company earnings. Jeff Kaplan explored the numbers behind an early year earnings report, which confirmed its strength and money-making abilities.

Kaplan also noted that AWS' quarterly growth slowed a bit, possibly indicating that its days atop the cloud marketplace may be coming to an end. Will shifts at Microsoft and Google change the culture of the companies and their cloud operations as they set their sights on AWS?

Manage AWS costs with these common principles

Every major IT decision needs to be sold from a financial perspective. Yet once enterprises enter the cloud, they can find themselves in precarious positions if they weren't aware of cloud sprawl. When it comes to adhering to the budget, an administrator's work is never done.

In another of our AWS tips, Kurt Marko detailed four specific ways to cut costs in AWS, including basic monitoring measures, instance strategy and infrastructure design. Even the most cost-conscious enterprises can further reduce costs over the long haul, but it takes some careful planning and know-how.

Next Steps

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This was last published in January 2017

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