Thursday, November 13, 2014

Advanced topics in Workspaces

OK, here we go.

First, What is VDI?  Just Kidding......

Example Co is a manufacturing company is hiring 100 contract workers.  Need 100 desktops with access to on-premise network resources, line of biz apps, remote access, bring your own device

They are moving new apps to cloud (AWS)

Home Network

VPN connect back
Active Directory

AD Connector Setup Ports and Routes:  Long table


Doing subnetting for the workspace desktops

Talking about PCoIP protocol using TCP and UDP 4172.  Workspaces are dual homed machines.  Eth0 talks to device, Eth1 talks to other AWS resources and Internet

PCoIP gateway,

Great visio of the architecture.  Need to get it.

Custom Images with Amazon Workspaces.  This is new where you can use your own images into Workspaces.

You can make an image add hardware resources and create custom bundle.

Demo of this.

Cool stuff.  Going through how you can add patches into the images and then deploy to all.

No-Brainers for the Future:
APIs Support, Bulk Action and Search on AWS Management Console, Custom naming of Workspaces, AWS Cloudtrail and CloudFormation integration, Tagging Workspaces, Enabling public IPs via AWS Management Console, Full File Client Installer

Top 10 Workspace Tips
1.  Identify your closest AWS region (
2.  Build one custom image - use with different Bundles and Directories
3.  Billing is monthly, not hourly
4.  Use MFA
5.  Workspace rebuilds use latest image associated with the bundle, plus D drive backup from the last 12 hours.
6.  Use multiple AD connectors against the same AD (one for pre-prod, one for production)
7.  No data transfer charge for inbound data to your WorkSpaces
8.  Use the EXACT printer driver
9.  Watch for expiring AD Connector account password
10.  Use policy file to control remoting features:  c:\program files (x86)\Teradici\PCoIP Agent\configuration\pcoip.adm

mass of humanity

Thursday Morning Keynote

A good morning to you from the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas.  Tony and I have made it to the keynote on Thursday morning.  Sorry for the lack of posts in the afternoon yesterday and the rooms were so crowded and hot that having a laptop out was almost impossible.    We should be ready for a fun filled day!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

AWS Workspaces and Zocolo

After a wonderful lunch of a "Texas" Short rib and "Louisiana" Chicken, Shane and I are in the session on Workspaces and Zocolo.  The last room was so crowded that I really couldn't function but this room seems to only have about 100 people or so.  A little more relaxed crowd than the full nerdy sessions.

Here we go.

Talk between VDI and Session Virtualization

Current customer challenges:  Reduce TCO per user.  Application remediation on new Windows O/S is the  most expensive.

Costs are higher than you think in a traditional VDI environment (Horizon View).

Amazon WorkSpaces use cases:  Mobile device access, high security, remote employees, seasonal workers, student workspaces, developer workspaces

Key benefits:  fully managed infrastructure, support multiple devices, keep data secure and available, choose hardware and software, pay as you go, corporate directory integration

Fully managed infrastructure:  Launch the number of workspaces needed, all heavy lifting taken care of by AWS, users receive email to install clients and connect

Support for multiple devices:  iPad,  Kindle Fire HDX, Android tablet, Microsoft Windows, Mac, Zero clients

Keep data secure and available:  Multi-factor authentication, no data stored on end-user device, PCoIP, user volume backed by Amazon S3

Choose software and hardware:  Value, 1 vCPU, 2 GB RAM, 10 GB storage,  Standard 2vCPU, 4 GB RAM, 50 GB storage, Performance 2 vCPU, 7.5 GB RAM, 100 GB storage.  Plus adds Office and Trend Micro environment.  Each level can add "Plus" to it.

Pay as You Go:  Value $25, Standard $35, Performance $60.  Add $15 per month for Plus.

Custom Images are new.  Golden images

Corporate Directory Integration.  You can either use your own AD or use a cloud based one.

Files on the Go:  Securely backup and sync users data, install on workspace and a pc and mac, data is backed up to S3, users can access their data when they need it.

Demo of Texas A&M gazoo desktop.

On to Zocolo:

Sharing documents easily and securely.

On to the demo.

Using AWS CloudFormation for Deployment and Management at Scale

Ok, I'm back in the Lando room.  I thought this was some sort of Star Wars joke or something but it is not.  I'm really in the Lando room with about 250 or so people.  We are going to listen to a talk on CloudFormation which is AWS' automation tools similar to Puppet or Chef.  Two guys from the BBC are going to give the talk.

They did have a coffee service outside of the Lando room and after loading up again, I should be fully caffeinated and ready to go.  Shane is in here with me.  Tony split up and I'm not sure which one he is going to.

Room is filling up very fast.  Close to 500 or so I would guess.  Here we go.

BBC is the 5th largest site in the UK and 55th in the world.  Top 20 in News, Sports, Arts, and childrens.   Juggling depth of audience is a key challenge.

>300 deployments per day, 60,000 deployments in the first 18 months.   Video transcoding, election result services, and live text for BBC sports is huge.

The Beginning -- Olympics dominating in 2012 with on-premises platform.  Hard to get focus on other projects.  Ops are a constrained resource.  40,000 change tickets since October 2009.  Greater delta between releases, longer feedback loops, high stress around emergency changes.

Infrastructure was a problem.

Three emerging trends.  Continuous delivery, cloud, DevOps

The Grappling Hook  

Two teams, one product and one platform.  Product team takes advantage of features as the become available.

Continuous delivery
DevOps -- The people that wrote it will fix problems the fastest and know when it is sensible to deploy

Give them the access to do it and ask them to take responsibility for their actions.

November 2012
Re:invent  Spoke to others about solving same problems, focus on underlying principles rather than immediate problem.

The platform pendulum between restriction and freedom.  Swings back and forth

Establish Principles:  Establish strong defaults for the way things should b

Managing infrastructure at scale:  Repeatability, flexibility, stackoverflow-ability

Managing deployment at scale:  Repeatability, robustness, resilience
Handling support at scale:  Access, Patterns, Support

The rest is just software.  Ok here comes some demos.

Hardware is not software, embrace it and treat it that way.
Infrastructure as code and AWS CloudFormation:  Managed infrastructure dependencies, AWS API interactions taken care for you, reproducibility

What does that mean for my application?  I can build identical copies of my app in different environments.  I can version my infrastructure templates with my code and reproduct the full stack at any point in time.

So my application is not just software, it is software and infrastructure combined.

The best way to form clouds:  JSON is great for defining infrastructure, for python


Due to no Internet / Wi-fi in the keynote all there will be no report from the Keynote.  Just image a bunch of text here about some AWS executive tells us how great AWS is and customers including Major League Baseball telling us that AWS transforms their business.

Ok that's it from the keynote.  Back in a few for the breakout session #1.

Herding cattle