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Skill Level Intermediate
- As we begin this chapter, it's very important to understand the topics we're going to look at and the reason it's so important is because you're going to be learning about various concepts that will be flushed out throughout this entire course. So the things that we talk about here at an introductory level, we're going to get into in much more detail as we go through the course. So for that reason, I wanted to start by giving you an overview of what we're really talking about in this chapter. First of all, we'll be looking at cloud computing defined. What really is cloud computing? Because this is used in a lot of ways throughout the IT industry today. So we need to understand in relation to Amazon web services, what are we talking about and what is the concept in general? And then we also need to look at the benefits of cloud computing to understand why we might want to move there. Why not just do everything within our own walls, on premises, in our organization, why do we need to go to something like AWS in the first place? And then we'll talk about the different models of cloud computing because cloud computing can be implemented in various different ways. It can be implemented in such a way that we do everything in the cloud. We do some things in the cloud and some things on premises. There are various options. We need to understand our choices there. Then we need to think a little bit about the history of AWS. Now when we talk about the history of a solution like AWS, people often wonder why I just wanted to get into the technical goodness. Well, the reason is that when you understand the history, you understand things a lot better as they're implemented today. For example for myself, anytime I needed to learn a new technology, I always wanted to go back and study the past versions of that technology. I remember I first needed to really learn Microsoft's database product, SQL server in the late 90s. And so what did I do? I went back to the very first version of SQL server that was available and I studied books on that version and then the next version. Right up to the version I was actually working with at that time, which was SQL Server seven. And so I wanted to make sure I understood the history because that made me experienced. In other words, I got to gain the experience of learning why things are changed and why things are the way they are, rather than some other way and therefore, your knowledge is deeper. So knowing just a little bit about the history of AWS will help. Then we're going to talk about the actual platform that is AWS. How is this thing built? We don't get to know all of the little parts and pieces because it's kept private within Amazon, but we do understand the organizational structure of the AWS cloud and we need to understand that structure to make sure we're using it in the right way. Then we'll look at the different products that are part of AWS and there are a myriad of products. AWS has certainly evolved over time. So there's a lot in there and we need to understand what they offer. We'll also talk about security and compliance at a high level. This is an important thing to understand because if I'm moving into the cloud, I need to make sure that any security requirements I have out of the cloud are still being met when I'm in the cloud. So understanding this is key. And then finally, we'll be looking at regions and availability. So we need to understand this concept within AWS that dictates where stuff really happens while we like the benefit of the cloud that says, it's out there in some mystical space that we don't know a lot about. We may have situations where we must know where it is in general. For example, if you need to serve people local to a particular region, you want to make sure your services are in that region. It will give them faster performance. And that's just one example. So all of these topics and more we're going to get into right here in this very first chapter. So what is this thing called the cloud? Well, the cloud is internet based solution. It's something that runs on the internet. But it's still something, so it still operates on servers and a good way to think of it is it's someone else's server connected to the internet and you can use it. But the cloud gets a little bit more complicated than that. Because we don't necessarily know all the details about that server. We don't know it's location. We don't know the server hardware capabilities specifically and some of this is hidden from us. Think for example about using something like Google Drive. You have no idea where those files are actually stored in the whole world, much less particularly to your region. So you don't have all of those details. This is kind of the mystery that is the cloud. And this really all started back when engineer's would develop network diagrams. And their network was connected to something, whatever that something is. And they didn't really want to illustrate the whole network to which they were connected, so they'd say, you know, it's kind of in that, we don't really care about it realm, we're going to use a cloud to represent it. So they would use a cloud to represent this network they're connected to. They're saying by that we're connected to it, but we don't really care about all the details and all the ins and outs of how it works. So from that use of the cloud icon, we developed the terminology of saying something is in the cloud. It's simply available in the cloud, rather than on premises in our local network. Now, there are many different examples of cloud service providers. For example, you may use Dropbox. Dropbox is very commonly used to store files and then share those files with other people and you can use a free service, you can subscribe and pay more so you can have terabytes of storage, but ultimately, it's storage in the cloud and that's all it is. Just storage in the cloud. And then you've got the Google cloud. So the Google cloud is a little more advanced than that. So we're going to do storage in the cloud. We have Google Drive, but we also have email, we have documents and spreadsheets, presentations. All of these different things provided by Google, again in the cloud. You don't worry about where your files are stored. You don't worry about where your email history is stored. It's all up there in the cloud. Then you have Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure is Microsoft's offering of cloud services. Everything from active directory in the cloud to SQL Server databases in the cloud. And of course, we have Amazon web services, by far the leading cloud service provider in the world today. There are many more people using Amazon web services then all of the other cloud providers combined. So cloud services, there are a lot of examples of what these actually are and they vary in what features and services they offer. Without question, one of the richest cloud services is Amazon web services. Now, before I go any further, I want to leave you with this thought. Think about the cloud and Amazon web services like, everything you do on your local network, but in the cloud. If you just think about it that way, it might lower some of your stress and learning all this material because you're going to understand, I'm still dealing with IP addressing and IP routing. I'm still dealing with servers. I'm still dealing with services on servers like, database services and DNS services and IP addressing through dynamic configuration of IPs as opposed to static configuration of IPs. So I'm still dealing with all that same stuff that I'm used to dealing with on my local network. The only difference is, it's in the cloud now. So what I've got to do is learn how do I get to all that stuff in the cloud? And if I can figure that out, I'll be on my way to learning AWS. (light guitar music)