I need to recertify my AWS Pro Certification sometime this year (the C19 situation has royally messed up well everything, and believe me you really don't want to sit the pro exam at home unless you have a completely bare room and a guard on the door — people have been threatened with failure for looking up from the screen Amazon have become so paranoid about this)

/me takes deep breaths to calm down from the rant

Anyway I’m doing several courses to brush up on new stuff and the things I really don’t use, and I’m watching a video…


I’ve done “stuff” with Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) for years, mostly deep in the guts of the JVM the actual software was running on, attempting to identify why certain calls were taking >5s which was an absolutely critical aspect of any telephony based system, no failed connections, no repeated rings — nothing that might unnerve someone, Ofcom takes a very dim view of upsetting people with automated phone calls…

The front end was inviolate though — Brian, the IVR Architect “Programmed” the System, Designing the Flows, much awe and adoration was showered on him for this

I’ve always had a…


OK, its been a while since I had a proper rant, I mean there is a global pandemic going on and things are so bad someone entrusted me with “leading” a “team”

I’m informed most should be out of the hospital before Christmas…

Before SOMEONE comments, I have much more hair and last had a cigar 5 years ago…

Key Management Service (KMS) is one of the underpinning components of AWS, and all the real Cloud Service Providers have something similar, because being able to take a thing and turn it into a secret thing is really rather important

And its encryption, not encoding, this is key, running something through base64encode isn't going to make the…


Last week, one of the inmates of Shrivenham Polytechnic (OK technically the UK Defence Academy — I’m a smartarse), Major Chris H released two blogs over on the Cormorants channel, that were superb

Now this is all proper grown up stuff, but what makes it interesting is for once someone has written an article on AI without bringing up this dude

Obviously I’ve now broken the streak

Culturally the West has been stuck with the idea of Skynet for quite some time, not so with more Eastern or viciously pragmatic societies, which is why in many cases China has leapt ahead in AI applications

Amusingly AI…


So something a little more sensible… well reduced snark, a problem that I was asked to look at a while back

Problem Statement

Enterprise Software analytical and data modelling tooling is still a heavily ‘desktop’ orientated, that does not tie in well with the ‘as a service’ model used today, and the components that do tend to be extremely expensive.

Although AWS Workspaces provide a more flexible environment that can work with these tools immediately, the types and restrictions means that they are not a one size fits all solution especially for the more extreme and non-CUDA aware workloads, and keeping an…


Logs provide a real time window into the running application in the form of a stream of aggregated time ordered information, traditionally they are written to disk as an output format, but as clustered and dynamic/transient environments writing to a logfile is not a ‘good idea’ — finally the days of expect scripts and grep (should) be over

Rather the logs are streamed off the execution environment into an aggregation system, allowing for a central point of analysis and evaluation, often with automated alerting mechanisms inbuilt

I mean its not, I’ve caught people connecting to docker containers to grep the…


Or Why Virtual Machines are going nowhere — and docker and k8s are not your saviours

A few years ago those technical geniuses at Gartner came up with the idea of Bimodal IT, essentially its a fancy way of recognising that modern development practices do not work well with traditional ITIL shops — only you pay several thousands of pounds to learn this

Impressive isnt it — and no, I have no idea what it means

And so immediately, people who are better at blagging than doing started going on at providing businesses ‘differentials’ which definitely wasn’t related to a rate of change

More and more I’ve been hearing of Mode One/Mode Two in relation to infrastructure, and I have opinions, mostly based around the lack of attention to…


Amazon Managed Services (AMS) are an odd function of Amazon, for a considerable (40+%) uplift in your monthly bill you should have an organisation that does ‘AWS’ for you

The reality is however significantly different, extensive amounts of automation are used, but they are lacking in any form of comfortable interface or clear explanation, ensuring that organisations using it still need a high degree of AWS skill in-house to run, build and maintain an AMS environment — you are not getting ProServ on the cheap(ish)

There is also a remarkably annoying ‘review’ process for the components that arent automated —…


So you’ve now have legions of business users and people with access to the CloudWatch Logs console suffering as they attempt every permutation of action they could possibly ever use

Congratulations, you are now beginning to understand why security is hated — and why we feed off and embrace the hate

Now lets look at the case where you enter an organisation where the developers have decided “This is hard, lets use *”

Remember it is considered to be murder in these circumstances, no matter how many times I’ve protested, the spoilsports

Now earlier this month at Re:Invent, AWS Access…


Now increasingly worryingly long ago, I was working on a 3-tier traditional webapp system, where the database (belonging to a certain Red-Themed company) would suddenly freeze, take out the JBoss instances and the whole site down.

Now the company behind the database shall we say had an ‘approach’ to software licensing that well puts one in the mind of the traditional and not fictional pirates

Kinda like these guys, Cartman would make an excellent O****e salesman

And so the server was underspecced due to the cost of the per-CPU license, the DBA was insistent that there was nothing wrong with the database (from the perspective of DBA’s the database is the…

BenH

Cloud Architect, coffee snob, vicious rumor has it I know stuff about InfoSec, and I once helped hijack a spacecraft

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