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January 2017, Vol. 6, No. 1

AWS free tier offers something for nothing on ephemeral workloads

One of the most powerful features of Amazon Web Services isn't a product per se, but rather what the public cloud provider offers for free. I've personally given thought to how to integrate AWS into my technology learning for the coming year. The exercise has helped expand my understanding of the value and uses for AWS. I've approached AWS from a traditional enterprise perspective. In a traditional infrastructure, resources are spun up and rarely designed to shut down. Virtualization has enabled power management via the consolidation of workloads during non-peak periods. However, the VMs remained running. AWS charges for the time that those instances run -- regardless of usage. One of the most difficult concepts for me to overcome has been the ephemeral nature of Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances. My mindset marries services to an always-running OS instance. To log in to my VM management platform to manage the hypervisor, my directory services must be available, meaning that all three infrastructure components must reside on...

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