AWS re:Invent 2013. Day 3

I spent day three of this conference diving deeper into some of the details of AWS that will be important to Coherent Solutions’ customers. These are:

  • Amazon Redshift
  • Optimizing the costs of running on AWS
  • Building HIPAA compliant solutions on AWS

More compelling testimony on Redshift

Another compelling real-life Redshift use case was delivered by NASDAQ. Coherent’s data analytics expert, Curt Bergmann, will be happy to know that NASDAQ data analysts who use R were very impressed with Redshift performance and capabilities, and how well it worked with R.

Cost optimization on Redshift

It is important to take advantage of all of the various services and capabilities offered by AWS to get the best possible price. Some of the ways to optimize use of the platform are:

  • First of all, you need to understand the pros and cons of the three different ways of paying for EC2 instances: 1) on-demand; 2) reserved instances, and; 3) spot instances.
  • Learn to size your instances properly.
  • Take advantage of building blocks/services such as Elastic Load Balancer, CloudFront CDN, and ElastiCache to use infrastructure efficiently.
  • Consolidate multiple AWS accounts under one umbrella to take advantage of pooling reserved instances, and higher data storage and transfer pricing tiers

Customers new to AWS will need to get more familiar with the platform to take advantage of cost savings. But establishing a good baseline and then measuring, optimizing, and adjusting within a solid governance framework is the key to a cost efficient, high performance AWS solution.

…Not to mention a secure one. In July, 2013, AWS announced that they will sign Business Associate Agreements with customers subject to HIPAA rules. They have also incorporated technical components including (but not limited to):

  • Running encrypted file systems on EBS
  • Key management using CloudHSM
  • ACL
  • Policies on S3 objects
  • Network ACL
  • Security groups

These security measures make it possible to develop and deploy fully HIPAA compliant solutions within AWS VPC environments.

On this last day of the conference AWS and its partners did a great job of driving home their value proposition of: performance, flexibility, security, and cost-efficiency. The information presented throughout the conference validated Coherent’s commitment to delivering customer solutions on AWS. If you are in the process of choosing a cloud platform, or you have chosen AWS and need help navigating it to deliver the best, most cost-effective solution, we can help. Contact us today!