FAQ

Isn’t using AWS easy? I’ll just do it myself.

Spinning up a single server is easy, but building out multiple servers while ensuring they all remain up to date with the latest patches and security fixes is more difficult.  To do this you need someone dedicated to this task.

  • Someone with experience who can help you quickly resolve any problems.
  • You also need someone who can help you quickly ramp up new instances as your product needs to scale.
  • This person also needs to be able to assist you with automating your deployments.   I can provide a continuous integration environment for the developers to use, plus I will work with you to ensure we can deploy new versions of your web application quickly and easily.  (and roll back if there is a problem)
  • I can also assist you in spinning up short term DEV and TEST environments that are identical to your production environment for you to use on an as needed basis to test your latest builds.

 

You aren’t located with us, and you aren’t dedicated to us full time, isn’t that a problem?

The beauty of working with AWS is that I don’t have to be in any particular place to manage the systems.  Once you take the physical hardware out of the equation, there is no need for me to be on site.  You are free to engage me for longer terms as you see fit, but not having to pay a full time systems engineer salary (and benefits) saves you a ton of money up front.

 

You’re too expensive!

Yes, I charge $100 an hour for my time.  But I provide incredible value for my time.  Because you pay the AWS fees directly, you are always in control.  You can stop using my services any time you like, and you still have your environment, up and running, exactly as I configured it for you.  If you want, you can always come back to me and we’ll pick up where we left off.  Check out the pricing page.

 

Can you explain how you do what you do???

I use an automation tool called chef, to create a configuration of your various machines, that I can then spin up at amazon at will.  This ensures every machine is built exactly the same each time.  Each webserver, always the same.  Each database server, always the same.  It takes the human error out of it.  The configurations are all text files, so I keep them in my git repository, which is offsite.  Chef uses a server that each client connects to to pull it’s configuration from.  I use hosted chef, a scalable, managed chef server, to run this part.  It ensures the chef server can keep up with any amount of demand I throw at it.  I also keep backups of the chef server configuration offsite.  I can use an amazon tool called cloudformation that integrates with chef, to push out entire infrastructures at AWS all at once.  Everything from load balancers, and autoscaling groups, and such can be pushed out with this method.  It allows you to push out an entire infrastructure in a short period of time, in case you need to spin up in a new region, or scale up.  For an example, look at my Examples page.

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