Using Ansible to create an inventory of your AWS resources

First published on Nivlesh’s personal blog at https://nivleshc.wordpress.com

Background

I was recently at a customer site, to perform an environment review of their AWS real-estate. As part of this engagement, I was going to do an inventory of all their AWS resources. Superficially, this sounds like an easy task, however when you consider the various regions that resources can be provisioned into, the amount of work required for a simple inventory can easily escalate.

Not being a big fan of manual work, I started to look at ways to automate this task.… [Keep reading] “Using Ansible to create an inventory of your AWS resources”

Using Ansible to deploy an AWS environment

First published at https://nivleshc.wordpress.com

Background

Over the past few weeks, I have been looking at various automation tools for AWS. One tool that seems to get a lot of limelight is Ansible, an open source automation tool from Red Hat. I decided to give it a go, and to my amazement, I was surprised at how easy it was to learn Ansible, and how powerful it can be.

All that one must do is to write up a list of tasks using YAML notation in a file (called a playbook) and get Ansible to execute it.… [Keep reading] “Using Ansible to deploy an AWS environment”

A tale of two products (don’t expect Dickens)

At Re:Invent and just after, AWS released several new products. Included in those were AWS FSx Windows and AWS Backup. Both of these products had a lot of interest for me, for various reasons, so I thought I’d give them a try. None of my experience was under work conditions, but the following are my experiences. Note: Both are only in a small number of regions, currently.

AWS FSx Windows

Pros:

  • Easy setup (by itself)
  • Fully compatible Windows file server
  • DFS support
  • Has backups
  • Works as expected

Cons:

  • Requires AWS Microsoft AD in each VPC
  • Can’t change file share size
  • Some features can only be changed from CLI
  • Throughput can only be changed through restore
  • Minimum share size is 300GB

First out of the box, and released at Re:Invent is AWS FSx Windows.… [Keep reading] “A tale of two products (don’t expect Dickens)”

AWS DeepRacer – Tips and Tricks – Battery and SSH

If you would like to know more about what the AWS DeepRacer is, please refer to my previous post:  AWS DeepRacer – Overview

I was going to do an unboxing video, but Andrew Knaebel has done a well enough job of that and posted it on YouTube, so I’ll skip that part and move onto more detail on getting up and running with the AWS DeepRacer. 

A lot of this is covered in the AWS DeepRacer Getting Started Guide so I’ll try and focus on the places where it was not so clear.… [Keep reading] “AWS DeepRacer – Tips and Tricks – Battery and SSH”

AWS DeepRacer – Training your reinforcement learning model in AWS Robomaker

If you would like to know more about what the AWS DeepRacer is, please refer to my previous post:  AWS DeepRacer – Overview

There seems to be many ways to get your AWS DeepRacer model trained. These are a few I have discovered:

  • The AWS DeepRacer Console (Live Preview yet to commence, GA early 2019)
  • SageMaker RL notebook
  • Locally from the DeepRacer GitHub repository
  • AWS RoboMaker sample simulation
  • AWS RoboMaker Cloud9 IDE with sample application downloaded

In this post, we will be exploring how to train a reinforcement learning model using AWS Robomaker, both with the sample application downloaded and in the Cloud9 development environment.… [Keep reading] “AWS DeepRacer – Training your reinforcement learning model in AWS Robomaker”

Backups? Doesn’t Amazon handle that?

For many, the cloud is a magical place where servers just appear and your cloud provider looks after everything, or, if they at least have a concept of the servers, they just assume that the provider will also back them up. Lots of people never bothered to think about protection in a VMware environment, so why start now?

Unfortunately, while your cloud provider probably supplies the tools, you still need to do the configuration and management.… [Keep reading] “Backups? Doesn’t Amazon handle that?”

AWS DeepRacer – How to load a model

If you would like to know more about what the AWS DeepRacer is, please refer to my previous post:  AWS DeepRacer – Overview

This post assumes you have followed the AWS DeepRacer Getting Started Guide which gets you to the point of being able to manually drive the car.

So now you have the AWS DeepRacer charged up and ready to go. You have a trained model you got from Re:Invent or you followed my other post here and trained your model with RoboMaker/SageMaker.… [Keep reading] “AWS DeepRacer – How to load a model”

AWS DeepRacer – How to login to the Ubuntu Computer Onboard

If you would like to know more about what the AWS DeepRacer is, please refer to my previous post:  AWS DeepRacer – Overview

This post assumes you have followed the AWS DeepRacer Getting Started Guide which gets you to the point of being able to manually drive the car.

So to go deep into your understanding of the AWS DeepRacer and to troubleshoot deep technical issues, it may become necessary to log into the Ubuntu Server on-board the AWS DeepRacer.… [Keep reading] “AWS DeepRacer – How to login to the Ubuntu Computer Onboard”

AWS DeepRacer – Overview

Recently I had the privilege of attending the AWS Re:Invent 2018 conference in Las Vegas. Among the hundreds of announcements, there was one that particularly spoke to my passions of reinforcement learning and robotics.

The AWS DeepRacer!

I was one of the lucky few that got into the AWS DeepRacer workshops where we were introduced to the technology in the service as well as interacting with the yet to be released DeepRacer console.… [Keep reading] “AWS DeepRacer – Overview”

AWS Organizations, How do I get Started?

Overview

In the previous blog post (see here) we took a look at AWS Organizations, what it is, what it’s comprised of and the benefits of a multi-account strategy. In this post we will take a look at how to get started with AWS Organizations by looking at a couple of ways we might want to design our Organization Unit’s hierarchy and go through the process of setting up our First OU’s and AWS Accounts. In a future blog post we will look at how we can implement an AWS Account Vending Machine to automate this process and ensure consistency across future accounts.… [Keep reading] “AWS Organizations, How do I get Started?”