Setting up sys-admin capability for Amazon Web Services on Mac OS el-capitan


If one is starting to do AWS system administration work like i am, then the first steps you have to take to make sure AWS-CLI is installed. It can be quite tricky to install awscli in the latest Macintosh OS, the El-Capitan.

First you will need to make sure pip is installed. Pip is inherent to the latest python installation, so there is no need to follow the long pathway of running through an installation. Next, make sure you install the AWSCLI this way.

sudo pip install awscli –upgrade –ignore-installed six

The reason for this is that mac-os already has a six folder installed and it will fail the installation process and you will be wondering where you failed. So you should save that trouble!

Next, please configure your credentials by typing “aws configure”. Have your secret key and secret access key ready for this. configure it easily. Another way is by typing

export aws_secret_key=…; export aws_…. ;export aws_region=..

If this is a little tough for you; typing aws configure would do! This is step 1 done. Step 2 would be posted in my next column.

Couple of updates from my world

Good day guys,

Its been almost 2 weeks now since i have started work and i have to say i have learnt a lot of things within the time. The world of AWS is huge and i would say it is a separate universe on its own. You would probably take 1-3 months to get hold of what each part of the system does to suit the ecosystem. In this two weeks, the things i have learnt so far;

1. Git/Github
2. Cumulus
3. The business and technical aspects of Amazon Web Services
4. Building my first stack on AWS

Git and Github are amazing things, where one can track changes and stuff done on a particular stack or code. It works as a version control system. It is a whole world on its own, and learning it has been a joy, and also a precursor to my current role. I am still in the process of learning.

Cumulus, is really an interesting tool. It is basically used to get numerous stacks together and create a system in the right order. Now this tool is really interesting, and for one of my clients, its an essential tool to make changes and get things done. This will probably take a while to get a hold of.

In terms of the business and technical aspects of the Amazon ecosystem, it is awesome i finally got both the accreditations. I still probably have 40-50% understanding on the whole thing but i will get there soon. Hopefully.

Ah yes! I followed some tutorial by AWS and created my first WordPress stack, which includes an EC2 instance, EBS and a database. I have a lot to learn from cloudformation. This would be my homework for the coming week.

Thats all for now!

Great ideas for 1st year mechatronic students with not much IT in them.

Great ideas for a first year internship student for mechatronics and IoT
•Eject the bed or shake it remotely to wake up the kid from anywhere
•Home water usage device which can be fitted to all the water outlets and receives the notification on mobile app
•Brew coffee using Tweeter or Change the Thermostat setting using Tweeter
•Receive notification whenever the physical mail is delivered in the physical mailbox
•A smart recycling system that knows when its full
•A smart bag which reminds you of the items to be carried to office
•Collecting data from all the IOT devices in the house and storing into Google sheets for personal analysis
•Gesture control/ voice recognition remote/key finder

Thanks to my Quora buddies for the ideas. 

First post, First day of 2016

What is AWS? AWS is defined as Amazon Web Services. Its a branch of Amazon and they provide cloud services from PaaS, IaaS to SaaS. So yeah, they are world beaters and its good to be in the bandwagon early when the demand is hot.

One of my resolutions for new year…. is to make sure i master AWS, from the perspective its architecture to its systems operation and engineering. This blog will be a summary of journeys, collections of experiences and technical write-ups on AWS and its support realm as I chalk up ways and methods to get things in the groove.

My vision for the blog, is to educate the world about the beauty of AWS and impart my experiences in managing a cloud infrastructure from my perspective.

Lets start.

Public cloud and the government scenario.- Part 1

Lately there is a buzz about NZ government going into the public cloud space. NZ government is an example of an effort trying to emulate Estonia, one of the worlds leading fronts in employing the e-government strategy. Lets break down the terms.

Public cloud is denoted to be an infrastructure which is available to the public and not personal to a company alone. This does not mean public cloud is like a night market where anyone or everyone can administratively access it. It is about control and what you can “see” and “cant see”This is opposite to a private cloud or in-house equipment. Simple right? yes it is simple. I wont go into the nitty gritty of types of services. That is for another day.

So…. why is the government adamant in implementing a public cloud service. Well, it is the concept of privacy, management of data and location of the physical premise. The public cloud service too has to follow the NZISM model for security compliance. Forget about some of the US-based standards, where Amazon has done a great job in attaining certification. It is the unique nature of the set of security compliances that the public cloud service has to comply to.

To answer the problem, i did attend a meeting by CSA (Cloud Security Alliance) in Wellington. It was hosted by University of Waikato. They discussed about a project called Stratus. Stratus is a cloud security framework to provide tools for security measures and maintain the integrity of data on the cloud. For more on Stratus;

CSA has come up with unique compliance measures from the STAR (Security, Trust and Assurance Registry)  to the CCM (Cloud Controls Matrix). These are in fact great measures to look at measures taken by providers to keep data safe. STAR is mainly an accreditation for cloud service providers. CCM on the other hand is an extensive matrix for auditing a cloud based system to maintain security standards.

One of the key concepts of public cloud is availability. For example, Amazon Web Services have co-locations in the same regional zone. This means that if one data centre goes down in one a-zone, there are 2 more centres in the same region to work with. This is great for the common person, but for government data; it might be a turn off. Replication of data is a sensitive thing. Why? The lack of control. This however depends on the level of secrecy of the document stored. If data stored on the public cloud is deemed to be publicly available, then putting it on a public cloud might be the cheapest and safest way to do it.

Physical security is a cloud providers responsibility, so the government has no authority in managing the physical security for the data they keep. There is a certain level of trust needed from the government to the cloud service provider making sure their data centres are safe and the staff in there are vetted. The only control they have is the service they have purchase and manage. I guess the major question here is; do i reduce operational expenditure by cutting staff needed to manage the data centre and move the money elsewhere for better use? Governments have a responsibility to the socio-economic status to provide more jobs. So there is a shared responsibility between Amazon and Government of NZ.

End of part 1.

*The document is a continuous input*

2016 New Year Resolution

Happy New Year!! It is 2016 today and when I reflect upon my undertakings in 2015, i notice that i barely achieved 10% of my goals. This calls to say that, relating your goals to what you do everyday is probably the best way to look at it.

My personal goals are defined by three factors; economics, personal life and career. This are the 3 key functions needed in a successful run for a year. I shall start with my career.

To make sure these resolutions are good, we should follow the SMART goal system. SMART is defined as Specific. Meaningful. Action Oriented. Realistic. Timely

My career goals.
1. Achieve 100% uptime and non-breached SLAs for the fiscal year 2016. Build the API Talents operations
2. Achieve my AWS Solutions Architect and System Operations Associate Certification
3. Become a senior support engineer

My Personal Life goals
1. By end of fiscal 2016, become 80kg
2. Start PR process
3. Help refugee and migrants through MCLaSS volunteering

My Economic goals
1. Save 25% of my annual salary to my Savings account in BNZ in 2016