How To AutoMate Amazon Web Services (AWS)

by Jonathan Chan, in Ask an ASE, posted 9/25/12
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The Mars Rover Landing on August 5 took AWS well passed the clouds and into another world.  Amazon Web Services (AWS) was meant to provide customers with on-demand access to a range of Cloud Infrastructure Services. The pay-as-you-go model eliminates the need for large, upfront hardware costs — and the headache that comes from administering such a system.  And NASA’s Martian expedition helped expound upon this idea.  The Mars Exploration Rover, Curiosity, needed to return vast amounts of data/scientific results back to Earth 154 million miles away — much more than the current data centers were able to handle. This was, after all, a mission set to compile images and metadata for two years (or, one Martian year).

So rather than building another data center, NASA went with an AWS implementation. By selecting this implementation they were able to construct a scalable infrastructure in a matter of weeks rather than months. An infrastructure that was “prepared to service hundreds of gigabits/second of traffic for hundreds of thousands of concurrent viewers," Amazon said. After the landing, the mission will still continue to use AWS to automate the analysis of images of the planet to identify potential hazards or areas of scientific interest.

And this is a good thing. Thousands of other customers (including Yelp, Netflix and Pinterest) have already discovered the benefits of integrating Amazon Web Services into their current business processes. As the usage of AWS increases, the management of AWS (from the console) also begins to increase. Most companies won’t be using AWS on a galactic scale, so let’s look at an example a little closer to home: a file management scenario with AWS. Let’s say that at a certain time each day you want to verify that a certain number of files were moved into a network directory. From there, based off the file names, the files are uploaded to specific Amazon S3 buckets to create backups. The process would look something like this:

                                                  Task

Currently, you can either manually complete this process by logging into the AWS console every day or by developing some custom code that accomplishes this. The problem with running it manually, however, is that you have to be physically present to run it every day. And with custom code, this can often be time-consuming to develop and test.

There is a third option: Automation. With AutoMate, this can be done quickly in a couple of steps using our powerful scheduling ability and AWS action set. The actions are all drag-and-drop so you’ll be up and running in no time. And best of all, the AWS actions integrate with all of the 525+ activities in the AutoMate Library. This means integration with file systems, databases, SharePoint and many other critical business components. Together, you get the power and scalability of AWS and the triggering/process automation of AutoMate.

Below, you can view a video on how to automate Amazon Web Service.

How To AutoMate Amazon Web Services (AWS)

More information regarding the NASA AWS Implementation can be found here: http://aws.amazon.com/solutions/case-studies/nasa-jpl-curiosity/