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The Cloud and Amazon Web Services


Cover image for The Cloud and Amazon Web Services

The Cloud and Amazon Web Services


“The Cloud” is a buzzword that’s been hyped and overused. We’ll cut through the marketing cruft with a series that starts with the basic concepts behind cloud computing and guides you through practical, hands-on examples using Amazon’s cloud offerings.

This six-episode series targets users who are new to the cloud, with content tailored for novice to mid-range expertise levels. Jesse’s material is useful for both developers and managers. The preview video has more information about which sections are best for each audience. The series covers the main Amazon Web Services’ technologies like EC2 and S3. It also covers the lesser known, but incredibly useful technologies like Elastic Load Balancer, CloudFront, Elastic MapReduce, and Relational Database Service. Each episode covers several Amazon Web Services technologies, discusses the theories behind them, and presents practical exercises.

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You’ll learn how to leverage the cloud in the same way Jesse did when he developed The Million Monkeys Project. He used cloud computing resources to simulate the proverbial “million monkeys” at a typewriter, randomly churning away until they’d re-created all of Shakespeare’s works.

The cloud makes resources available to your shop that were traditionally available only to larger IT shops. This allows someone in their basement or a startup to leverage and use the same infrastructure as the larger IT shops. You’ll learn about engineering for this new infrastructure, security considerations, how to use map-reduce (with Hadoop), pricing models, and more. Pick up the entire set and you’ll have the right information for every member of your organization.

Contents & Extracts

Free Preview Video:

1. The Phantom Cloud

  • Introduction and overview of The Cloud
  • The various types of Cloud Providers
  • How Service Level Agreements affect your business
  • An Introduction to storing data with S3

2. Attack of the WordPress

  • Launching your first EC2 instance
  • Using custom AMIs to rapidly deploy a software stack
  • Running a WordPress instance in the The Cloud

3. Revenge of the Cloud

  • Security and Organizational considerations when moving to The Cloud
  • Performance Considerations
  • Vertical and Horizontal Scaling
  • Using Elastic Load Balancing to scale

4. A New Cloud Hope

  • Calculating the ROI of a move to The Cloudera
  • AWS Pricing Models
  • Calculating cost rollup for a Cloud deployment
  • Comparing IT costs using a price per unit

5. The Cluster Strikes Back

  • Creating a Hadoop cluster in The Cloud with Elastic MapReduce
  • The Million Monkeys Project
  • How Hadoop and MapReduce work
  • How Elastic MapReduce leverages Hadoop and EC2 instances
  • Hadoop scalability on Elastic MapReduce

6. The Return of the Ensemble

  • Using CloudFront to quickly serve content
  • Starting Windows EC2 Instances
  • Connecting to Linux and Windows EC2 instances in The Cloud
  • Using the Relational Database Service for a Cloud Database
  • Moving an existing database to use the Relational Database Service


Jesse Anderson is a Creative Engineer in Reno with many years of experience in creating products and helping companies improve their software engineering. He works at Cloudera on the Educational Services team as a Curriculum Developer and Instructor. Jesse works on both professional and personal projects. A recent personal project, Million Monkeys Shakespeare project, went viral and gained international notoriety. Jesse’s interviews national media outlets including the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. He volunteers his time as the President of the Northern Nevada Software Developers Group and he sits on the Technology Advisory Committee at Morrison University.

His blog and website is and his Github account contains example MapReduce programs