Cloud Computing Return of Experience in France

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Having worked in North America for 5 year prior to joining Cloudreach in France during 3 years helped me see how far behind we were in terms of cloud adoption in France. But during these 3 years I really got the opportunity to see AWS, GCP and Azure convincing all the large French companies and the cloud becoming more mature and an acceptable and safe option.

Some of the motivators that force companies to move to the Cloud:

  • Startups that began to compete with them and are faster are executing because they are already in the Cloud
  • Number of new services available in the Cloud, automating common solutions and making costly existing internal processes or VMs completely useless
  • IoT, AI, Containers, Datalake and data processing speed capabilities offered by the Cloud
  • Unique capabilities of the Cloud to innovate and play with different services very quickly
  • Large companies that successfully made the move to the Cloud, removing doubts that some C-level had in the past
  • Cool and trendy technologies making recruitment of talents easier

I have seen companies mostly struggling with:

  • Designing an organised Landing Zone that will host everything that they will create in the Cloud
  • Setting up correct permissions and roles for user access and machine authentication
  • Building their network including planning for the future of their organisation
  • Choosing the right tools for automation of their infrastructure and their applications
  • Estimating the cost of their infrastructure and optimising it after the first month of use
  • Dealing with operations after the creation of the resources
  • Bad knowledge of Cloud providers SLAs for the services they use and what they need to change to make it acceptable for production

Pro tips to make the move easier

Train your employees and help them to get certified with the fantastic ACloudGuru, Coursera and Udemy. Yes the certifications are costly and a very good business for Cloud providers but they will assure a correctly set up infrastructure.

Then if you haven’t read it already there is great blog post about the purpose of having a Cloud Center of Excellence (CCOE) to transform your entire organisation.

Architecting the right way

Having an experienced Cloud Architect among your team will make a significant difference. Read the Well Architected Framework from AWS. Document as much as you can, make clean designs with Lucidchart and their library of AWS, Azure and GCP icons. Iterate and keep them up-to-date.

In terms of infrastructure automation, most companies are using the solution made by their Cloud provider or Terraform. For application automation many solutions are available on the market like Ansible, Chef, Puppet, etc. Don’t try to do both with the same tool.

If you call for help to automate your infrastructure, don’t let a company or a partner just deliver the code to you. Train your people first and make them participate to the code reviews until they are able to reuse and make their own templates.

To conclude, every company has its own level in term of Cloud Adoption: some are slowly moving to instances with a bit of automation, others are born with containers and serverless. Whatever your situation is, I hope this post would have helped. Enjoy your cloudy adventure!

AWS DevOps Professional Certification – All-5 AWS certified!

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I passed the AWS DevOps professional exam this weekend with success after a few weeks looking at the following services: CloudFormation, Autoscaling, Beanstalk, Opsworks and Cloudwatch. The strategy for the exam was to watch all videos, then do the quizzes (there is a 7-day free trial) as well as review the following:




Must know:

  • Rolling Updates versus Rolling Deployments
  • Blue-green strategies on Opsworks, Beanstalk and with Route 53 and AutoScaling
  • A/B deployments
  • AutoScaling lifecycle hooks
  • Cloudwatch Logs
  • Opsworks CLI commands
  • CF Custom resources, cfn signals and wait conditions
  • Kinesis, Cloudtrail, S3 Logging

AWS Solutions Architect Professional Certification

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Getting ready for the AWS Solutions Architect Professional Exam is not an easy task! It is currently one of the most difficult AWS certification to get with the DevOps one due to the number of services it covers. Plan on studying for a few months, not only AWS services but a very wide range of concepts. The level required to pass this exam is very high, nothing compared to the Associate level certification. AWS even recommends 2 years of experience on the platform.

As usual a good start is to follow the awesome courses.

Don’t forget to study all the AWS Reference Architectures and watch AWS Summit videos:

The exam tests your ability to answer very quickly, it’s a bit more than 2 minutes per question and very few are short ones. Sometimes answers are very similar and you will have to proceed by elimination. Best tip that helped me from Reddit: Focus on the “kicker”.  This is the part of the after the fluff that tells you exactly what they want.  e.g. “Which option provides the MOST COST EFFECTIVE solution.

One last thing, if English is not your first language you might be able to get an extra 30 minutes by contacting the certification team, but this request can take up to a month prior to taking the exam.

Good luck to everyone taking this exam!