AWS biggest instance

Wow, today I noticed that AWS now provides a truly massive instance. By request at the moment.

vCPU ECU Memory (GiB) Instance Storage (GB) Linux/UNIX Usage
x1.32xlarge 128 349 1952 2 x 1920 SSD $16.006 per Hour

Above is the EU-WEST-1 (Ireland) pricing for an on demand instance. That equates to $384 per day.

I'm not sure we've seen a workload that could justify this monster. When configuring a cluster we would usually use smaller and many instances to match the load more closely.
In a monolithic environment this could be used as a single SAP HANA node or similar?

Of course we will update you when we find one in production.

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What does DevOps or the Ops team do?


Automate all the things, and stop things going wrong.


Create tools and services to automate all aspects of IT and Development infrastructure. Automate the builds of new servers, the monitoring (checking stuff does what it is supposed to do), and any useful tools in between.


My team often write tools that allow the building of an entire environment (such as UAT) at the touch of a button. The idea is the developer wants to test some new function or bug fix without effecting the rest of the team. Easy (you might build it locally on your laptop with Vagrant or similar) unless you want to integrate the test with other company systems, such as a back end store which runs the reports, or billing programs for instance.
Fortunately with some other tools that all ready exist, such as AWS API and puppet, our team can create a configuration file (or two) and give you the option of creating your test environment and destroy it afterwards (the cloud flexibility that means you don't pay for what you don't use), at the touch of a button, on the screen.


Graphs and statistics are important for any server environment to know when you are testing the limits of the capacity. You need to know stuff like disk space used, memory used, requests for data from your app, so you can quickly find where bottlenecks and performance limits may be found. And while these things are monitored for statistics, a couple of extra tools can provide automatic scaling (adding or removing servers from a cluster or load balance group), self healing (build a new server if a previous one dies or crashes) and alerting for when the tool to auto recover isn't written yet and you need an actual engineer to check it out.

If this sounds like something you would like to find more about, contact us here


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How to break into Devops

Cloud academy are offering a course for Free that might help.

Ask me how I moved into DevOps.


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Gotchas with Bash programming

Working with Linux servers and automating tasks requires the use of bash programming. This is quite an old language if you compare it to 'modern' languages such as ruby.

As such it has some very unfriendly ways. One of which bit me today.
One of the scripts purges old snapshot on AWS.

Bash tries to be helpful by file globbing and word splitting. This caused some undesired effects.

Fortunately, thanks to Greg's Wiki the fix is quite easy. use quotes.

snap_data=$(/home/ec2/bin/ec2-describe-snapshots $snapshot_id_evaluated --region $AWS_REGION)
snap_description=$(echo "$snap_data" | grep complete | awk '{print $9}')
snap_creation_date=$(echo "$snap_data" | grep complete | awk '{print $5}')
purge_after_fe=$(echo "$snap_data" | grep ^TAG.*PurgeAfterFE | cut -f 5)


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Are lawyers deprecated?

We all know our identity is important. However sometimes, when your label (name) is the same or similar to someone else it can cause problems. I see and hear this problem daily as a project I recently worked on had three Neils in the team. Of course we have surnames too. That is the differentiating factor.
Imagine the shock to the world when lawyers get involved in protecting a name. All sorts of fun can ensue and my opinion is that unless it could easily be confused then there is no issue.
I refer to the NPM shock that devastated a number of websites and applications this week.

Read all about the JavaScript NPM module here.


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