Programming Amazon EC2
Run Applications on Amazon's Infrastructure with EC2, S3, SQS, SimpleDB, and Other Services
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: February 2011
Pages: 186

If you plan to use Amazon Web Services to run applications in the cloud, the end-to-end approach in this book will save you needless trial and error. You'll find practical guidelines for designing and building applications with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and a host of supporting AWS tools, with a focus on critical issues such as load balancing, monitoring, and automation.

How do you move an existing application to AWS, or design your application so that it scales effectively? How much storage will you require? Programming Amazon EC2 not only helps you get started, it will also keep you going once you're successfully positioned in the cloud. This book is a must-read for application architects, developers, and administrators.

  • Determine your application's lifecycle and identify the AWS tools you need
  • Learn how to build and run your application as part of the development process
  • Migrate simple web applications to the cloud with EC2, Amazon Simple Storage Service, and CloudFront content delivery
  • Meet traffic demand with EC2's Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancing
  • Decouple your application using Simple Queue Service, Simple Notification Service, and other tools
  • Use the right tools to minimize downtime, improve uptime, and manage your decoupled system

"Jurg and Flavia have done a great job in this book building a practical guide on how to build real systems using AWS."
--Werner Vogels, VP & CTO at Amazon.com

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O'Reilly MediaProgramming Amazon EC2
 
3.8

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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    (2)

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    (3)

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83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accurate (4)
  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Helpful examples (4)
  • Well-written (4)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (5)
    • Novice (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (5), Sys admin (4)

    Reviewed by 6 customers

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great book to get your app on AWS!

    By Guillermo Sanchez

    from Amsterdam

    About Me Developer, Sys Admin

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate
      • Novice

      Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Amazon EC2:

      Must read if new AWS! We used this book with our company to help us migrate our growing app from traditional in house hosting to AWS. This book helped us get a view of the AWS ecosystem and implement key features of AWS like auto-scaling, multi region.

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      The best book on Amazon AWS services

      By MeZZiN

      from Anna Paulowna

      About Me Developer, Sys Admin

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Expert
        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Amazon EC2:

        I have read this book and consulted when we planned our migration from normal hosting to AWS. This is one the few books that describe best practices and explains the basic and advanced use of AWS services and let you shift you mind set from tradition hosting to real cloud based services via AWS. You should build your systems the way that you can terminate any instance without downtime. Resilience is key and this book will help you build better cloud based system that have a uptime of 100% just because you can :)

        (1 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Terrible, Just Terrible

        By mdmanx

        from Folsom, CA

        About Me Designer, Developer, Sys Admin

        Pros

        • Well-written

        Cons

        • Too basic
        • Too many errors

        Best Uses

        • Novice

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Amazon EC2:

        I am a huge fan of O'Reilly books having entire books, but this one was a big let down...

        First, I call this book the most shamless way for the authors to self advertise their own (crappy) websites. Claming they don't like "demos" they are constantly plugging their own services.

        The information was sparce at best. Mostly talking more abstract then real world.

        The authors had no usuall personal flare that I have come to expected from O'Reilly books.

        I personally found almost no use from this book. I read the documentation provided by Amazon instead.

        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Good start for Amazon AWS newbies

        By Michiel van Otegem

        from Amsterdam, Netherlands

        About Me Software architect

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

        • Marketing own apps

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Amazon EC2:

        Programming Amazon EC2 by Jurg van Vliet and Flavia Paganelli is practical in nature and takes you through all the steps to create and configure accounts, develop applications, and deploy applications. If you're new to Amazon EC2 (and related services) this is definitely a good place to start, because it goes through all the components Amazon offers, such as S3/Cloudfront and RDS for data storage. It also looks at how you can setup your application to scale up and down, and ensure your application has excellent uptime. The book takes you by the hand based on some applications the authors have created themselves. Although this approach makes the book practical, it sometimes reads as (irritating) marketing for their applications.

        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        The book you should read about AWS

        By David

        from France

        About Me Designer, Developer, Sys Admin

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Easy to understand

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate

          Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Amazon EC2:

          If you want to hoop in cloud computing with AWS this is the book you should read. Not only will it teach you the concepts but it will lead you on the design shift required to take advantage of its scaling power.

          (19 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          This is the Amazon EC2 Bible

          By Jason Irwin

          from Chicago, IL

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Intermediate

            Comments about O'Reilly Media Programming Amazon EC2:

            I read somewhere that Programming Amazon EC2 is a title for people looking to adopt Amazon's cloud platforms while avoiding a large amount of trial and error. I've been wanting to play around on this platform for a long time but have been a little intimidated by the myriad of terms and acronyms used to describe the available tools and configurations at my disposal. I fit firmly into the demographic that wants to get up and running with Amazon but doesn't have the time to learn in this manner. The book is a pretty quick read and is packed full of useful information. Despite a couple of issues this is the defacto guide to Amazon's web offerings and should (and will) act as a bible for anyone embarking on such a project. This book will undoubtedly save me countless hours in my future endeavors with these services and will pay for itself in no time. I highly recommend it.

            While this book had a far narrower focus than most of the titles I've read recently it fit my needs perfectly and fulfilled its goal of getting me up and running with these services with little fuss. It is a pretty short title but very detailed, breaking down the key technologies and working through examples of improving the infrastructure of existing applications by adopting said technologies. The book starts with a brief timeline of when each technology was created by Amazon and, more interestingly, what gap they were created to fill. This was somewhat insightful and especially interesting when you consider the scale of Amazon's online store and their adoption of said technologies. The proceeding chapters go into each technology in detail. The authors really know their stuff and there are some great tips from real life experience – some of which have the potential to save a lot of experimentation and frustration as one works their way through some existing idiosyncrasies. Furthermore the authors are cost-conscious and in a number of places provided guidance with regard to maintain resource utilization levels for optimum return on investment. The book provides a number of very useful scripts not only to create an environment but to monitor interesting metrics and planning for improvement once in the wild.

            The book's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. As mentioned above, the content is based firmly on real world production applications. The issue with this is that it is written mostly from the standpoint of taking existing applications and moving them to the cloud. For greenfield projects there are some very important omissions which I found somewhat frustrating. Firstly, the authors do not discuss alternative development/testing environments. Specifically, when using a service where you pay money based on time, bandwidth etc. I wonder if there is any way to develop offline in a local sandbox or, for the two years it takes to bring the product to market, I am expected to pay regular Amazon rates associated with a production environment? Furthermore, am I expected to be constantly connected when developing a solution against SimpleDB, SQS, etc. It may seem like a small point but, when planning a new project, is extremely important. The answer might be straightforward (and I'm willing to bet most organizations develop against real AWS instances and are online all the time) but having read the title cover to cover I still don't know the answer. Secondly, the authors omit information about licensing. Most of the discussion is Linux based, but I was really hoping for a breakdown of what is required if, say, I want to run Windows Server and SQL Server Enterprise. How does licensing work in these scenarios? If I get an AMI with these loaded then are my licensing costs included in the fees I am already paying, etc. Again, this is information that I would need before suggesting that my organization adopt AWS, but at this point in time I do not know.

            Other than the above issues I really can't say much bad about this book. It does exactly what it promises and provides a great introduction to the acronym laden world of Amazon's web infrastructure. The material is extremely specific so this isn't something I'd recommend to just anyone. But if you're thinking about moving to the cloud then this title is a must. I could make a pretty good business case for Amazon to offer this title free to developers as it makes a very strong case for using their services.

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