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


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Shane and Riot Games

Who knew

Welcome Reception

How many women do you see in this picture?  The correct answer is zero. 

End of Day 1

Whew!  No battery, tired, and off to the reception.  See you tomorrow for more fun filled blogging!

Leveraging the Public Sector to Grow or Extend Your Business with AWS

Here we go with Shane and me in attendance.

Learn, Build, Go to Market

Strong Growth and Adoption
800+ government agencies, 3000+ education institutions, 10000+ non-profits

Why?  Make the world a better place, pave the way for innovation, save money

Trends in Policy, Security and Compliance

Fed, State and Local Gov't, Global

US Federal -- Greater emphasis on utility based computing, FedRAMP, Data center consolidation still important but more focus on agile IT services

State and Local -- More states are adopting cloud computing policies, NASCIO and NASPO are fostering cloud computing, local governments are adopting SaaS and cloud based solutions, data security is always a key issue

Trends in Cloud Security and Compliance

SAS-70 Type II
SOC 1and 2
ISO 27001/2 Certification

FedRAMP workshops -- seminars throughout the year

Partner Opportunities to Serve Public Sector

Traditional -- Consulting and Professional Services, Cloud Integration, Managed Services, Public Sector Resellers, SaaS

Transformational -- Open Data Initiatives, Educational and Research at cloud scale, Big data and HPC, Government as a Service

Intelligence Community Cloud Services -- 17 Agencies can buy off of this.  TS controls

Opportunity:  AWS GovCloud Region
Special regions, US Persons only, All logical and physical access by US Persons only, Minor technical differences

Next Steps:  Define, Leverage, Create Value, Promote, Position, and Participate

How to Build an AWS Consulting Practice

Ok, I've met up with Shane and Tony and had some lunch and some snack.  I needed the sugar and caffeine lift.  This session is on How to Build an AWS Consulting Practice with Josh Hofmann and Markus Sprenger.

About 300 people in the room.  So here we go.

1.  It's still Early.  We are in Year 3 of a 10 year adoption cycle.  Market for public cloud consulting will grow ten times faster than overall IT professional services.  AWS job postings show 1,500% increase since 2011.

2. Go Global in Minutes

3.  Managed Solutions are Driving Revenue.   Infrastructure >> Software >> Managed Services

4.  AWS Improves Margins and Team Performance

5.  The APN (Amazon Partner Network) can Help You

Value Proposition of AWS Cloud (Graphic that I'll put up later)

Cloud Value Realization has Many Paths

The Journey -- Plan the Work
Experimentation, Limited Use, Widespread Use, Corporate Standard

Three Ways to Develop a Practice
Be a Specialist -- Embed AWS into existing practices, Be a transformer -- Develop overall cloud transformation practice, Do both

Two paths to building a practice
Specialists -- Explore and Adopt
Transformers -- Expand and Transform

The Specialists -- Sales Opportunity, Combine software or domain expertise with on demand infrastructure to create turnkey solution:  Leverage cloud interest and adoption to generate new clients in your area of expertise:  Opportunity to expand beyond pure SOW into full practice

Need:  AWS Architect, AWS Software DevOps Lead, Cloud Sales Leader

25% on top of AWS for Managed Services Fees (Margin)

The Transformers -- Cloud Adoption Framework
Core Perspectives -- People, Business, Platform, Maturity, Process, Security, Operating
Touch lots of people and parts of organization. Must have skills in all of these.

Building the Adoption Roadmap
New Skills -- Change Management, Technical Skills, Security, Risk, Compliance, Project Management, and potentially technical specialists (SAP, Big Data, etc)

6 Step Plan
Business Plan, Planning, Capabilities, Lighthouse Customer, Replicate, Scale

Next Steps -- Understand AWS Economics, Find your niche and differentiate, Consider MSP or partner strategy, invest in solution frameworks (your IP), build your business plan, methodology, and map out capabilities, Leverage APN programs to expand customer base, review APN consulting best practices guide.

Part 2

I thought I would publish Part 1 so that you can read it in real time.

Really help the customer on the journey.  They know the end but don't know how to get there.  Work with a three way partnership CIO, partner, and AWS.  You really need that CIO at the customer to buy-in.

Customer Obsession.  Leaders start with customer and work backwards.  Successful partner ships, had certified staff, embrace Dev/Ops, enable migration, managed services, security best practices.  Talking about ATO's with government at DoD.

Customer-Focused Launches:  Germany region, lower prices, SSD backed EBS, New instance types, DOD ATO.

Invent and Simplify:  2014 AWS Innovations are AWS Mobile Platform, AWS Zocalo, AWS Marketplace, 48 new Redshift Features.  

Successful partnerships:  Deliver Software as a service, embrace on demand licensing, develop value added solutions, move fast

Think Big:   2014 AWS Investments:  Regional Expansion, Global Field Team, Partner Funding, Vertical Expertise.  

Successful Partnership:  Go "All-In" with AWS, Disrupt Traditional Models, Operate Globally

Terry back on the stage.  New partner requirements.  New Premier Consulting Partner Tier.

New training and certifications.

APN Competency Program by either Verticals or Workloads.  New competencies including Healthcare and Cloud Migration.

Bi-directional customer registration with opportunity submission tracking.  Engaging together with customers..AWS Professional Services.  Partner led not AWS led.  Bootcamps, etc.

AWS Managed Service Program.

Next part of program is Invent and Simplify.  Tiffani Bova from Gartner is now on the stage.  She does Sales Innovation and Automation.

Three things we know for sure... Technology is changing, customers are changing, partners need to sell differently

The story so far..... reimagining IT, amplifying the enterprise, taming the digital dragon.  It is all about the customer.  Reinvent the "how"  Reimagine what is possible.

Over the next decade, NO industry will escape profound digital disruption.   Blurring digital and physical world.

Today's buyer:  Does their own research, talks to providers directly, reaches out to their trusted network, and is overwhelmed with information.  You can't own the buyers journey like you used to.

What got you here won't get you there.  1.  Level 1 outbound leads are drying up.  2 Unpredictable pipeline.  3.  Deal rates are decreasing

Adding sales people does not meet added sales revenue.  Become customer centric.  Who do you want to hire next?  Don't hire your competitors best sales peron.  Think about five years from now.

Think big but act small.

Terry back on now.  New AWS SaaS Partner Program.  Talking about the public sector now.  New offerings for public sector.

Education programs, FedRamp partner workshop, partner ignite AWS services sessions.

Malik Zegdi from Conde Nast on the stage now.  Talking about challenges with deploying media and how hard it is to try new things.  Static infrastructure and high capital investments.  This last guy is killing me.  So slow.......... Zzzzzzzzz.  Caffeine buzz wearing off quickly.  I have no idea why they picked this guy.  Three awesome speakers and then broken English and low energy.

Ok, I'm signing off for this session.

APN Keynote

Finally I am seated and waiting for the first session which is the AWS Partner Network keynote.   As you probably know, SMS is a Consulting Partner with AWS and this first day is to help us exploit that relationship.  The previous picture shows the room as it is slowly filling up.  I would put the current crowd at close to 1,000 and I would guess maybe 2,000 by the start.

They always have a good mix of music at these things with modern rocky/pop mixed with classics.  The crowd is very technical heavy and I'm probably a bit overdressed in khaki's and a dress shirt with jacket.  They don't have the A/C cranked down yet so it's a little warm.  The wi-fi is a little slow since there are like 5,000 devices on it.  You would think with as many conferences as I've been too and the hundreds that I have not been to, they would have figured out this Wi-fi thing.

Two minutes.  The room is packed and I guestimate arount 3,000 now.  "Please take your seats"  That has been said about six times now.  A lot of milling around in the back.  Everyone came in through the back right of the room and everyone's badge had to be scanned.

Ok, here we go.  Customers talking about how great AWS is.  A lot of talk about security and value proposition.

Terry Wise on the stage now.  3rd annual conference.  Acknowledging veterans which is very nice.   Over 1900 marketplace listings.  600 unique products.  2014 launches.... Training and certs, APN Competencies, Quickstarts which complex software, go to market programs, AWS marketplace, APN knowledge base and multi-language support.

Central Focus, Above all else, align with customers.  Win when they win, Win only when they win.

Michelle Routh, CIO of Coca-Cola North America on stage.  Talking about the 2012 Super Bowl and the commercials that go into it.  Talking about the polar bear commercials and now showing them.  They had the polar bears change during the game but the servers were flooded and had to have a SWAT call.  Had to manually build up the servers and then change the load balancers.  Social media killed them.  After the game they realized that they failed.  Wrong tagging caused the outages.

2013 they got more prepared.  Pre-bought 10x planned capacity.  Showing the Coke chases ad.  Servers got flooded again.  Internal marketing groups were getting gunshy.    Placed all of the marketing stuff into AWS.  Cloud = Transformational Technology.   40% cost savings.  Used the money to give back to marketing.  Don't just sell to the CIO.  Also sell to the business as well.

Talking to partners.. us.. "We need your deep expertise".    Security talk now about patching and holes.   AWS handles all of this.   Change management as well.

Auto-scaling is a huge value proposition where a lot of software can't do it.  Licensing.  Enterprises love Metered usage.  No more CPU based pricing.  Establish strategic partnerships.   Ok she's done.

Terry is back on stage.  He is introducing Adam Selipsky who manages AWS field ops.

Best Practices - Joint Customer Engagment.
1.  Provide Value Addes Solutions
2.   Work with AWS to Define Lighthouse Accounts
3.  Engage Early and Define Rules of Engagement
4.  Focus on Customer Outcomes
5.  Position the Cloud Value Proposition
6.  Define the Customer's Cloud Journey
7.  Partner with the Customer's IT staff

APN keynote


I am now just sitting at a table on the lower level waiting until 11.  They didn't do that great of a job of having all of these people here with nothing to do until at least 11.  I did find a pizza place that serves Pizza 24 hours a day.   Plus the Las Vegas Sun calls Rock of Ages at the Venetian, "Totally Bitchin."  That's good to know.    I'm staring at a wall of monitors that just rotates between that and the Motown show called Human Nature that has a boy band as the singers.

I would say Macs outnumber Pc's by 2 to 1 in my rough count.  I'm actually kind of shocked by that because I thought there would be more corporate type Dells and stuff. I guess with AWS all you need is a browser and a command line.  Enough rambing for now.

A little more detail

Ok, I finally found a place to sit down and have a $4 cup of coffee.  It is LavAzza, the number one coffee in Italy.   The airport was dead and I walked right into a cab.  The cabbie said we were the second arrival of the morning so it was very quiet.   Zipped over to the Wynn Encore and gave my back to the bellman.  He said I could early check-in so I walked into the registration and early checked-in.  All that means is that they are going to text me when my room is ready.

I was given a "short-cut" to the Venetian where the conference is.  After the short-cut turned into a mile walk, over a bridge and through another property, I made it to registration.  Very smooth and organized.  There are already a ton of people here and now I'm waiting for the rest of the crew to arrive.


After a mile walk from the Wynn next door. I finally arrived. 99% nerdy white guys. I guess I fit that. DJ thumping at 7:45 AM

Good Morning

It is 5:05 Am here for Day 1 of the AWS Re:invent conference. I was up around 3:30 and ready to go.  Jenifer's flight is at 6:50.  No sign of her yet. 

There are actually a lot of people at the airport this morning. Get ready for a fun filled day of blogging!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Getting Ready to Go!

It currently is Thursday, November 6, 2014 and this blog is for my trip to Las Vegas for both the CA World conference and the AWS Re:Invent conference.  I am mainly going for the AWS conference but I got a free pass to CA World so what the heck as it overlaps.

Cloud services are estimated to hit $40 billion in revenue by 2018 so I'm very excited about this and where it is going.  Please leave me some comments and questions as I will be answering them along the way.