Welcome to The Cloud Pod – where the forecast is always cloudy! This week your hosts Jonathan and Ryan chat about EC2 instances, including changes to AWS Systems Manager and Elastic Disaster Recovery. And speaking of disasters, we discuss ongoing Google DDOS attacks. Plus, we’ve thrown a little earthquake warning into the podcast – just for effect.
AI startups faced a reality check with AMD’s new Instinct MI300A chips. Initially seen as a potential Nvidia’s H100 alternative for AI workloads, the practicalities of integrating these chips proved more complex than anticipated. A notable example is a startup that has been working with AMD chips for years, suggesting a steep learning curve for those considering the switch.
This development means most startups would need to start their coding from scratch, a challenge considering Nvidia’s 20-year lead with tools like Cuda. Despite these challenges, AMD’s chips offer advantages, such as combining GPU and CPU capabilities and larger memory capacity than Nvidia’s H100.
Adding to the tech news, Amazon has made a surprising move by committing $1 billion to license Microsoft 365 for one million of its employees. The productivity booster transitions traditional MS Office software to a cloud-based suite. This shift raised questions about Amazon’s previous reluctance to upgrade and potential concerns about data residing on Azure systems.
Regarding this, Ryan expressed concerns about data privacy and corporate espionage with this significant change in Amazon’s software landscape.
A notable update involves the AWS Systems Manager now being enabled by default for all EC2 instances. This change simplifies managing essential services like patch and session management across an organization. Ryan praised this efficiency, remarking, “Having these things turned on by default simplifies cloud services for businesses.”
Meanwhile, CloudWatch launched new out-of-the-box alarm recommendations for AWS services, providing the best practice configurations and templates. Jonathan found this development particularly impressive, noting its practicality without an overemphasis on AI.
A significant enhancement in AWS Elastic Disaster Recovery allows for recovery into existing EC2 instances, minimizing downtime and data loss. Ryan highlighted the advantage of this feature, especially in terms of IP reuse.
Also, earthquake warning! Amazon CodeWhisperer’s new customization feature is a notable coding development. This capability addresses a common limitation: lack of context from private code repositories. It enables developers in the CodeWhisperer Professional tier to receive real-time code suggestions based on their internal libraries, APIs, and methods.
Ryan praised this feature, stating, “You don’t have to retrain the model with internal data to get proper responses. That’s a pain and that’s not gonna scale.” He also said “CodeWhisperer’s AI being able to be able to make recommendations, then feeding it this customization capabilities on top of that is fantastic.”
Jonathan quipped in response, “Yeah, I’m waiting for when it doesn’t just generate code for you but tells you what you could be doing better.”
Justin found the 2023 State of DevOps Report to be more insightful than previous years. It highlights the role of culture in organizational performance and details aspects like team performance, employee well-being, and their impacts on software delivery and operations. It also classifies teams as User-Centric, Feature-Driven, Developing, and Balanced, each with unique approaches to value delivery and job satisfaction.
Reflecting on the report, Jonathan commented, “Give me the tools to do the job, and I’ll happily work. Without them, I’m out.”
Google’s successful mitigated the largest DDoS attack to date, which peaked at 398 million requests per second (RPS). This unprecedented attack relied on a stream multiplexing-based HTTP/2 Rapid Reset technique to exploit systems.
Google’s response, effectively leveraging their network edge capacity, ensured that customer services remained unaffected despite the attack’s scale.
Jonathan observed, “We’re entering the asymmetric warfare phase of DDoS now,” highlighting the challenge of mitigating such attacks, which require minimal resources from attackers.
Google introduced Systems Insights to simplify database system monitoring. It addresses diagnosing slow-running databases by consolidating metrics, events, and logs into a single dashboard.
Available for Postgres and Spanner, and in preview for MySQL, it streamlines database performance assessment. Ryan highlighted its value in transitioning from Microsoft SQL Server to Postgres, emphasizing the importance of system performance visibility for tuning decisions.
Windows Server 2012 R2 support ends October 10th, 2023. Users should consider Extended Security Updates via Azure Arc, free updates by migrating to Azure, or using Microsoft’s PaaS offerings like Azure SQL Managed Instance.
Ryan noted Microsoft’s strategic approach: “Microsoft can’t fund engineering indefinitely. They offer good lifespan and extensions. Using this as an Azure differentiator is clever.” This signifies a move towards modernizing within the Azure environment.
And that is the week in the cloud! Check out our website, the home of the Cloud Pod where you can join our newsletter, slack team, send feedback or ask questions at theCloud Pod.net or tweet at us with hashtag #theCloud Pod