AWS Cloud Architecture Best Practices

AWS services have many capabilities.  When migrating existing applications to the cloud or creating new applications for the cloud, it is important to know these AWS capabilities in order to architect the most resilient, efficient, and scalable solution for your applications.

Cloud architecture and on-premise architecture differs in so many ways.  In the cloud, you treat the infrastructure as a configurable and flexible software as opposed to hardware. You need to have a different mindset when architecting in the cloud because the cloud has a different way of solving problems.

You have to consider the following design principles in AWS cloud:

  1. Design for failure by implementing redundancy everywhere.  Components fail all the time.  Even whole site fail sometimes.  For example, if you implement redundancy of your web/application servers in different availability zones, your application will be more resilient when one availability zone fails.
  2. Implement scalability.  One of the advantages of using the cloud vs on-premise is the ability to grow and shrink the resources you need depending on the demand.  AWS supports scaling your resources vertically and horizontally, even automating it by using auto-scaling.
  3. Use AWS storage service that fits your use case.  AWS has several storage services with different properties, cost and functionality.  Amazon S3 is used for web applications that need large-scale storage capacity and performance.  It is also used  for backup and disaster recovery.  Amazon Glacier is used for data archiving and long-term backup.  Amazon EBS is a block storage used for mission-critical applications. Amazon EFS (Elastic File System) is used for SMB or NFS shares.
  4. Choose the right database solution. Match technology to the workload: Amazon RDS is for relational databases. Amazon DynamoDB is for NoSQL databases and Amazon Redshift is for data warehousing.
  5. Use caching to improve end user experience.  Caching minimizes redundant data retrieval operations making future requests faster.   Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery network that caches your website via edge devices located around the world. Amazon ElastiCache is for caching data for mission-critical database applications.
  6. Implement defense-in-depth security.  This means building security at every layer.  Referencing the AWS “Shared Security” model, AWS is in-charge of securing the cloud infrastructure (including physical layer and hypervisor layer) while the costumer is in-charge of the majority of the layers from the operating system up to the application layer.  This means customer is still responsible for patching the OS and making the application as secure as possible.  AWS provides security tools that will make your application secure such as IAM, security groups, network ACL’s, CloudTrail, etc.
  7. Utilize parallel processing.  For instance, multi-thread requests by using concurrent threads instead of sequential requests.  Another example is to deploy multiple web or application servers behind load balancers so that requests can be processed by multiple servers at once.
  8. Decouple your applications. IT systems should be designed in a way that reduces inter-dependencies, so that a change or failure in one component does not cascade to other components.  Let the components interact with each other only through standard APIs.
  9.  Automate your environment. Remove manual process to improve system’s stability and consistency.  AWS offers many automation tools to ensure that your infrastructure can respond quickly to changes.
  10. Optimize for cost.  Ensure that your resources are sized appropriately (they can scale in and out based on need),  and that you are taking advantage of different pricing options.

Sources: AWS Certified Solutions Architect Official Study Guide; Global Knowledge Architecting on AWS 5.1 Student Guide

The 38th Manila International Book Fair

The 38th Manila International Book Fair will be held on September 13-17, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM at the SMX Convention Center Manila, Mall of Asia Complex, Philippines

Our books will be available at Fastbooks Educational Supply Incbooth nos. 434 to 437 and 440 to 443 between aisle B & C.

1. 21st Century Literatures from the Philippines and the World
https://www.facebook.com/21st-Century-Literature-from-the-Philippines-and-the-World-166192120621458/

2. Contemporary Philippine Arts from the Regions
https://www.facebook.com/Contemporary-Philippine-Arts-from-the-Regions-199288810608993/?ref=bookmarks

3. Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
https://www.facebook.com/Business-Ethics-and-Social-Responsibility-492242571153216/

4. Fundamentals of Accountancy, Business, and Management 1
https://www.facebook.com/Fundamentals-of-Accountancy-Business-and-Management-1-Textbook-844242432407386/

5. Fundamentals of Accountancy, Business, and Management 2
https://www.facebook.com/Fundamentals-of-Accountancy-Business-and-Management-2-Textbook-354966994938591/

6. Food and Beverage Services
https://www.facebook.com/Food-and-Beverage-Services-NC-II-1092922670840451/

7. Reading Rizal
https://www.facebook.com/Reading-Rizal-741736016010334/

8. Principles of Marketing
https://www.facebook.com/Principles-of-Marketing-Textbook-1945328572391661/

9. Creative Writing
https://www.facebook.com/Creative-Writing-Textbook-114156479251402/

10. Creative Non-Fiction
https://www.facebook.com/Creative-Non-Fiction-114355012618324/

11. Practical Research 1
https://www.facebook.com/Practical-Research-1-Basics-of-Qualitative-Research-127637127784493/

12. Practical Research 2
https://www.facebook.com/Practical-Research-2-Exploring-Quantitative-Research-1658674800833432/

New Book – Practical Research 1: Basics of Qualitative Research

Grade Level: Grade 11
Semester: 2nd Semester
Track: Applied Track
Authors: Garcia, et al.
ISBN: 978-6218070127
Year Published: 2017
Language: English
No. of pages: 400
Size: 7 x 10 inches
Publisher: Fastbooks Educational Supply, Inc.

About the book:

This book aims to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills through qualitative research.

Contents:

 Chapter 1 – Nature of Inquiry and Research

  1. What Is Research?
  2. The Importance of Research in Daily Life
  3. The Characteristics, Processes, and Ethics of Research
  4. Quantitative and Qualitative Research
  5. The Kinds of Research Across Fields

Chapter 2 – Qualitative Research and Its Importance in Daily Life

  1. What is Qualitative Research?
  2. Characteristics of Qualitative Research
  3. Approaches in Qualitative Research
  4. Methods in Qualitative Research
  5. Strengths and Weaknesses of Qualitative Research
  6. Importance of Qualitative Research Across Fields
  7. Generic Outline of a Written Qualitative Research Paper

Chapter 3 – Identifying the Inquiry and Stating the Problem

  1. Range of Research Topics in the Area of Inquiry
  2. How to Design a Research that is Useful in Daily Life
  3. The Research Title
  4. The Background of Research
  5. The Research Questions
  6. The Scope and Delimitation of Study
  7. Benefit and Beneficiaries/ Significance of Study
  8. The Statement of the Problem

Chapter 4 – Learning from Others and Reviewing the Literature

  1. Criteria in Selecting, Citing, and Synthesizing Related Literature
  2. Ethical Standards in Writing Related Literature
  3. The Definition of Terms as Used in the Study

Chapter 5 – Understanding Data and Ways to Systematically Collect Data

  1. What are the Qualitative Research Designs?
  2. Description of Sample
  3. Instrument Development
  4. Data Collection and Analysis Procedures
  5. Guidelines in Writing Research Methodology

Chapter 6 – Finding Answers Through Data Collection

  1. Data Collection Methods
  2. Examples of Data Collection Methods

Chapter 7 – Analyzing the Meaning of the Data and Drawing Conclusions

  1. What is Qualitative Data Analysis?
  2. 2. Ethnographic Data Analysis
  3. Grounded Theory Data Analysis
  4. Phenomenological Data Analysis
  5. Constant Comparative Method Analysis
  6. Language-Based Data Analysis
  7. Coding
  8. Computer-Aided Analysis
  9. How to Analyze Qualitative Data
  10. Summary of Analyzing Qualitative Data
  11. Examples of Data Analysis in Qualitative Research

 Chapter 8 – Reporting and Sharing the Findings

  1. Summary of Findings, Conclusions & Recommendations
  2. Techniques in Listing References
  3. Process of Report Writing
  4. Selection Criteria and Process of Best Design

Online Textbook Support is available.


 

For orders, please contact: 

Fastbooks Educational Supply, Inc.

Telefax (02) 7431547; Tel (02) 5162585

e-mail 1

e-mail 2

JADE BOOKSTORES in Manila, Iloilo, and Davao.

JADE BOOKSTORE, MANILA

Address: 526 – 528 United Nations Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila, Philippines

Phone: +63 2 525 0464

JADE BOOKSTORE, ILOILO

Address: JM Basa St, Iloilo City Proper, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines

Phone: +63 33 337 3937

JADE BOOKSTORE, DAVAO

Address: CM Recto Ave, Poblacion District, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Philippines

Phone: +63 2244687

LUCKY EDUCATIONAL SUPPLY in all Bicol Branches

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Address: Barlin St. Corner P. Burgos, Naga City, Camarines Sur, Philippines

 Phone: +63 54 473 0555

LUCKY EDUCATIONAL SUPPLY, LEGASPI

Address: 215 Peñaranda St., Barangay Oro Site, Legazpi City, 4500, Philippines

Phone: +63 52 480 7094

LUCKY EDUCATIONAL SUPPLY, TABACO

Address: Ziga Avenue, 4511 City of Tabaco, Albay, Philippines

Phone: +63 52 487 4996

LUCKY EDUCATIONAL SUPPLY, SORSOGON

Address: Magsaysay Street, Sorsogon City, Sorsogon, Philippines

Phone:  +63 56 421 5230


 

Source:

Just about Books: Practical Research 1: Basics of Qualitative Resear…: Grade Level: Grade 11 Semester: 2nd Semester Track: Applied Track Authors: Garcia, et al. ISBN: 978-6218070127 Year Published: 2017…

New Book: Organization and Management


Organization and Management

Authors: Violeta Jerusalem, Marjueve Palencia, Jonas Palencia

ISBN: 978-6218070103
Year Published: 2017
Language: English
No. of pages: 256
Size: 7×10 in

About the book:

This book deals with the basic concepts, principles, and processes related to business organization, and the functional areas of management. Emphasis is given to the study of management functions like planning, organizing, staffing, leading, controlling, and the roles of these functions in entrepreneurship.

Chapters:

Chapter 1: Nature and Concept of Management
Chapter 2: The Firm and Its Environment
Chapter 3: Planning
Chapter 4: Organizing
Chapter 5: Staffing
Chapter 6: Leading
Chapter 7: Controlling
Chapter 8: Introduction to the Different Functional Areas of Management
Chapter 9: Special Topics in Management

Please contact me if your school is interested to review this textbook for possible adoption.

Publisher and distributor: Fastbook Educational Supply, Inc.,1227 Instruccion, Brgy 514, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines; Tel +(02) 516 2585; Email fasteducsupply@gmail.com

Protecting Your Company Against Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks are the latest security breach incidents grabbing the headlines these days. Last month, major companies including Britain’s National Health Services, Spain’s Telefónica, and FedEx were victims of the WannaCry ransomware attacks. Ransomware infects your computer by encrypting your important documents, and the attackers then ask for ransom to decrypt your data in order to become usable again.

Ransomware attack operations have become more sophisticated, in some cases functioning with a full helpdesk support.

While the latest Operating System patches and anti-malware programs can defend these attacks to a point, they are usually reactive and ineffective. For instance, the WannyCry malware relied heavily on social engineering (phishing) to spread, and relying on end users to open malicious email or to click on malicious websites.

The best defense for ransomware attacks is a good data protection strategy in the area of backup and disaster recovery. When ransomware hits, you can simply remove the infected encrypted files, and restore the good copies. It’s surprising to know that a lot of companies and end users do not properly backup their data. There are tons of backup software and services in the cloud to backup data. A periodic disaster recovery test is also necessary to make sure you can restore data when needed.

A sound backup and disaster recovery plan will help mitigate attacks against ransomware.

New Book: Principles of Marketing

Principles of Marketing

Authors: Emmanuel F. Ligaya, Violeta Jerusalem, Marjueve Palencia, Jonas Palencia

ISBN: 978-6219560962
Year Published: 2017
Language: English
No. of pages: 256
Size: 7×10 in

About this book:

This book deals with the principles and practices in marketing goods and services. It focuses on the development of integrated marketing programs, including the use of social media, that will help grow businesses. This book is for Grade 11 or 12.

Chapters:

Chapter 1: Marketing Principles and Strategies
Chapter 2: Customer Relationship: Customer Service
Chapter 3: Market Opportunity Analysis and Consumer Analysis
Chapter 4: Developing the Marketing Mix
Chapter 5: Managing the Marketing Effort (The Marketing Process)
Chapter 6: Workshop and Presentation of Marketing Plan

Please contact me if your school is interested to review this textbook for possible adoption.

Publisher and distributor: Fastbook Educational Supply, Inc.,1227 Instruccion, Brgy 514, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines; Tel +(02) 516 2585; Email fasteducsupply@gmail.com

New Book: Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

We have released the textbook “Business Ethics and Social Responsibility – Concepts, Principles, and Practices of Ethical Standards

Authors: Violeta Jerusalem, Marjueve Palencia, Jonas Palencia

ISBN: 978-6219560900
Year Published: 2017
Language: English
No. of pages: 304
Size: 7×10 in

About this book:

The book deals with the fundamental concepts, principles, and practices of ethical standards in the business environment.  It combines the theoretical foundations of setting up business enterprises with the conduct of entrepreneurial activities in the context of one’s accountability and social responsibility. This book is for Grade Level 12.

Chapters:

Introduction – Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

Unit 1 – The Role of Business in Social and Economic Development
Chapter 1 – Nature and Forms of Business Organizations
Chapter 2 – Purposes on Establishing Business Enterprises
Chapter 3 – Core Principles in Business Operations
Chapter 4 – Common Practices in Business

Unit 2- Foundations of the Principles of Business Ethics
Chapter 5 – The Classical Philosophies and the Implications on Business Principles and Practices
Chapter 6 – The Impact of Belief Systems in the Business Setting
Chapter 7 – The Filipino Value System and its Effects on Business

Unit 3 – Social Responsibility of Entrepreneurs
Chapter 8 – The Responsibilities and Accountabilities of Entrepreneurs
Chapter 9 – Major Ethical Issues in Entrepreneurship
Chapter 10 – Models and Frameworks of Social Responsibility in the Practice of Sound Business

Unit 4 – Business Beyond Profit Motivation
Chapter 11 – The Importance of Doing Business Beyond Profit Motivation
Chapter 12 – The Notion of Social Enterprises
Chapter 13 – Action Plan to Practice Business Ethics and Social Responsibility

Please contact me if your school is interested to review this textbook for possible adoption.

Publisher: Fastbook Educational Supply, Inc.,1227 Instruccion, Brgy 514, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines; Tel +(02) 516 2585; Email fasteducsupply@gmail.com

Ensuring Reliability of Your Apps on the Amazon Cloud

On February 28, 2017, the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) located in the Northern Virginia (US-EAST-1) Region went down due to an incorrect command issued by a technician. A lot of websites and applications that rely on the S3 service went down with it. The full information about the outage can be found here: https://aws.amazon.com/message/41926/

While Amazon Web Services (AWS) could have prevented this outage, a well-architected site should not have been affected by this outage. Amazon allows subscribers to use multiple availability zones (and even redundancy in multiple regions), so that when one goes down, the applications are still able to run on the others.

It is very important to have a well-architected framework when using the cloud. AWS provides one that is based on five pillars:

  • Security – The ability to protect information, systems, and assets while delivering business value through risk assessments and mitigation strategies.
  • Reliability – The ability of a system to recover from infrastructure or service failures, dynamically acquire computing resources to meet demand, and mitigate disruptions such as misconfigurations or transient network issues.
  • Performance Efficiency – The ability to use computing resources efficiently to meet system requirements, and to maintain that efficiency as demand changes and technologies evolve.
  • Cost Optimization – The ability to avoid or eliminate unneeded cost or suboptimal resources.
  • Operational Excellence – The ability to run and monitor systems to deliver business value and to continually improve supporting processes and procedures.

For those companies who were affected by the outage, applying the “reliability” principle (by utilizing multiple availability zones, or using replication to different regions), could have shielded them from the outage.

Securing Your Apps on Amazon AWS

One thing to keep in mind when putting your company’s applications in the cloud, specifically on Amazon AWS, is that you are still largely responsible for securing them. Amazon AWS has solid security in place, but you do not entrust the security aspect to Amazon thinking that your applications are totally secure because they are hosted there. In fact, Amazon AWS has a shared security responsibility model depicted by this diagram:

Source:  Amazon AWS

Amazon AWS is responsible for the physical and infrastructure security, including hypervisor, compute, storage, and network security; and the customer is responsible for application security, data security, Operating System (OS) patching and hardening, network and firewall configuration, identity and access management, and client and server-side data encryption.

However, Amazon AWS provides a slew of security services to make your applications more secure. They provide the AWS IAM for identity and access management, Security Groups to shield EC2 instances (or servers), Network ACLs that act as firewall for your subnets, SSL encryption for data transmission, and user activity logging for auditing. As a customer, you need to understand, design, and configure these security settings to make your applications secure.

In addition, there are advance security services that Amazon AWS provides, so that you don’t have to build them, including the AWS Directory Service for authentication, AWS KMS for Security Key Management, AWS WAF Web Application Firewall for deep packet inspection, and DDOS mitigation.

There is really no perfect security, but securing your infrastructure at every layer tremendously improves the security of your data and applications in the cloud.

Annual New England VTUG Winter Conference

I have been attending the annual New England Virtualization Technology Users Group (VTUG) Winter Warmer Conference for the past couple of years. This year, it was held on January 19, 2017 at Gillette Stadium.

Gillette Stadium is where the New England Patriots football team plays. The stadium has nice conference areas and the event usually features meeting and getting autographs from some famous Patriots alumni. This year we got the chance to meet running back Kevin Faulk and Patrick Pass.

Although the event is sponsored by technology vendors, most of the keynotes and breakout sessions are not sale pitches. They are usually very informative sessions delivered by excellent speakers.

The key takeaways for me from the conference are the following:

  1. Cloud adoption remains a hot topic, but containerization of applications being led by Docker, enables companies to construct and deliver microservices applications at lightning speed. Coupled with DevOps practices and support from major software vendors and providers (Windows, RedHat, Azure, AWS, etc), containers will be the next big thing in virtualization.
  2. VMware is getting serious about infrastructure security. Security has become the front and center focus of the release of vSphere 6.5. Their objective is to make security easy to manage. Significant security features include VM encryption at scale, enhanced logging from vCenter, VM’s secure boot support, and secure boot support for ESX1. For more information, visit this website.
  3. As more and more companies are moving into hybrid cloud model (a combination of private and public cloud), vendors are getting more innovative on creating products and services that will help companies easily manage and completely secure the hybrid cloud.
  4. Hyper-converged infrastructure is now being broadly adopted, with EMC VXrails and Nutanix leading the pack. The quest for consolidation, simplification, and software-defined infrastructure is in full steam.
  5. New innovative companies are present at the event as well. One particular company called Igneous, offers “true cloud for local data.”