EPAM Cloud Blog

EPAM Cloud Orchestration team works not only on developing and supporting our product, they also take their time to share their knowledge and experience.We have a number of resources for all those who want to get acquainted with EPAM Cloud as well as for those who are interested in latests news, new tips and decisions. These resources contain the best cloud-related articles written by our engineers and developers. The collection is being constantly updated and reviewed, to help our readers go with the times:

2018

29 May

EPAM Cloud: Containerization Ecosystem in Few Steps

Containerization has become a buzzword in recent years. This cutting-edge trend is not new in software development, but the methodology is developing quickly, and we can see new tools and approaches appearing regularly.

28 Mar

Using Same Terraform Template for Multiple Clouds

Terraform is one of the most common automation tools for managing infrastructures in Cloud via Infrastructure as Code approach. The tool is widely used by EPAMers within their daily routine. Meanwhile, EPAM Cloud is the standard solution for virtual infrastructures provisioning. Naturally, a day came when the need to take the best of both solutuoins arose.

2017

18 Jul

Chef Cookbooks - Getting the Details

Auto-configuration is one of the core services used in EPAM Orchestrator. Essentially, auto-configuration is about automatic installation and configuration of various software packages with no need for the user to set up anything manually and dig deep into the specific requirements of this or that software.

10 Jul

AWS Well-Architected Review

Within the scope of AWS Enterprise Support which we have discussed before, AWS offers the so-called Well-Architected Reviews. As the name suggests, this review is intended to verify that your AWS infrastructure can be described as a Well-Architected Framework.

29 Jun

AWS Enterprise Support Made Easy

Amazon Web Services is one of the cloud computing giants offering not only virtual resources as such but also a range of other services. The list of AWS products takes up a whole screen in small font and includes tools for all sorts of applications, from database management to AI and game development.

21 Jun

AWS Spot Instances: Best Practices

AWS spot instances are another method of cloud computing provisioning in AWS, besides on-demand instances and reserved instances. The common notion of spot instances is that they are cheap and they are tricky... sometimes too tricky for the cost to be of any importance.

11 Jun

SSDs in EPAM Cloud - They Exist!

What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of SSD drives? Light? Thin? Quiet? In the material world, this is important and may be a decisive factor in choosing a laptop, for example. But in cloud computing, do you really consider the weight of the device? Does it matter how much noise a cloud server makes?

31 May

Python SDK: Why Give a Fish When We Can Give a Fishing Rod

Recently we wrote about the method of using Packer with EPAM Cloud developed by our colleagues from St. Petersburg. They created a plugin using Orchestrator API methods to automate custom image creation. A small request quickly grew into a side project which the rest of EPAM may appreciate. But let's start from the beginning.

19 May

Five Myths about EPAM Cloud

In Cloud Consulting, we are in constant contact with Cloud users, and information is exchanged both ways. We are always trying to provide clear, complete and up-to-date data about EPAM Cloud, both via our documentation and in direct communication with our users. At the same time, we learn a lot from the EPAM Community, as well - many Cloud services, features and improvements have evolved from the feedback received from the colleagues actually using the Cloud.

10 May

Continuous Education for Continuous Delivery

It's funny how we hate learning when we are kids and how we are desperately looking for learning opportunities when we grow up. We are willing to invest our own time and money hoping to become more skillful, professional and competitive. At the same time, these investments are very likely to bring high return, so we are always on the lookout for useful, focused and effective education.

27 Apr

Direct AWS EC2 Usage Monitoring

EPAM Orchestrator provides basic monitoring for the instances run in private and public regions. Below, you can find the details on the advanced AWS usage monitoring, namely, on how to set up AWS EC2 usage monitoring with the QuickSight service.

10 Apr

Using Packer in EPAM Cloud

In software development, saving time and effort is very often as critical as producing clean code and ensuring consistent performance. For that reason, tools and methods allowing to reduce time and man-hours required for any configuration or setup work are in the focus of close attention of many development companies. Automation has grown into a separate layer of technology with lots of various tools, products and methods helping you spend less time on environment configuration and allowing developers to get started immediately.

24 Mar

Security and Access Management in Serverless Architecture: Best Practices

As we announced, EPAM Orchestrator is now spinning off its open source version, Maestro 3. The beauty of the new Orchestrator is not only in the ability to customize your application by adding only the required features, but also in the code contribution possibilities. Yes, if you think that your Orchestrator should have a feature which the out-of-the-box solution lacks, you just write the code and add it to the application.

24 Mar

EPAM Cloud Deployment Framework: Your Code, Your Rules

It's been a while since we announced that EPAM Orchestrator goes open-source. The enterprise solution that has become an integral component of software development in our company is getting to the new level. Maestro 3 (this is how the open-source solution is called) is a real construction set that allows you to have your own version of EPAM Cloud Orchestrator, containing only the elements you need.

15 Mar

Your Engineering Excellency

With hundreds of projects in dozens of industries, EPAM Systems can boast expertise and excellence in lots of different technologies. E-commerce, Big Data, content management, digital asset management - these are but a few areas where EPAM can be trusted to deliver a unique and reliable solution.

2016

28 Dec

Who You Gonna Call? - Consulting!

I wrote this post two times. This is the second version. The first one was a solid account of what Cloud Consulting have been doing in 2016. It had lots of figures, numbers and stats, and at one point I was even thinking of adding a diagram. Well, it was a summary report, and what's a report without numbers?

23 Dec

When Cloud Can Become Your Platform

If you work on a commercial product, in nine cases out of ten you use a development platform. It is easier, it is faster and the result is guaranteed. Obviously, before using the platform you have to have it deployed. Of course, you can do it yourself but in this case you will have to answer some questions first:

15 Dec

A Penny Saved Is a Penny Gained

Best Practices of AWS Usage with EPAM Cloud.

5 Nov

Orchestrator Goes Open-Source

EPAM Cloud Orchestrator was created in 2012 as a cloud solution for the EPAM Systems community. It appeared when the issue of redesigning the growing infrastructure of more than 500 projects became critical. After a thorough analysis of the existing solutions, EPAM experts had to admit that none of them fit the company needs.

1 Nov

FTP to Amazon S3

Amazon S3 is a native Amazon service providing scalable cloud storage. Amazon S3 is well-known to the EPAM community as the service to be used for big data storage, transfer and distribution, archiving, backup and many other applications. However, using S3 by native AWS tools requires an Amazon account which may sometimes present a security risk, when the credentials are shared with all project members.

5 Oct

Security in Amazon. Part 1

Today, nobody ever questions the importance of security in IT. On the contrary, security measures applied by companies, service providers and users get more and more complicated with each passing day. And this is not without reason, as, unfortunately, the hacking methods are also advancing with speeds which sometimes seem scary. Never a month goes by without news about a large-scale hack with massive data, identity or money theft.

13 Sep

Splunk as s Service - How We Took a Good Thing and Made It Better

Every project larger than a couple of servers requires support. And, naturally, support requires monitoring to be able to promptly respond to any requests or complaints. An important component of monitoring is log collection - gathering data from various resources and applications making up your system with the ability to search and analyze it later.

2 Aug

Maestro API: Reporting Without Mediators

EPAM Cloud is rapidly developing, and it includes not only new features and tools, but also the development of API which enables direct interaction with Orchestration. As API is developing rather rapidly, documentation cannot keep up with all the changes. However, we believe that there are cases when a clear peace of code can be more explanatory than pages of text. We are going to prove it with a simple example of a code aimed to retrieve billing reports.

2 Jun

Containerization - Let's Think Outside of the Box

Nowadays, software developers rarely start their projects from scratch - the project specifics usually suggest the tools and platforms which can be used to make the process more convenient and efficient. In the abundance of development facilities currently on the market, you are sure to find the one which suits your purposes perfectly, if you know where to look.

29 Apr

Hybris as a Service - Your Turnkey Solution

E-commerce solutions make a significant part of EPAM customer products. EPAM e-commerce products are implemented in a number of brands, from global heavyweights to smaller local companies. No two customers are the same, they all have different flows, strategies and approaches, but that only makes it more challenging.

22 Mar

AWS Multi-Factor Authentication: Quick Set Up

EPAM Cloud supports three ways to get access to Amazon Web Services facilities: Maestro CLI tools, temporary AWS Console access, and, in case permanent and/or advanced access is necessary - access via IAM user. The first two options, in terms of security, are of low risk, as the scope of allowed operations is limited by EPAM Orchestration, or the access is temporaty and limited.

10 Jan

EPAM Cloud Regions: Which to Choose?

EPAM Cloud is a service widely used by EPAM project teams for hosting their virtual infrastructures. Among the reasons of its popularity and community growths is the wide spectrum of technologies, tools and solutions, allowing to select the most comfortable and effective approaches that would meet the needs of each specific case.

2015

15 Nov

Windows Azure Recovery Services. Part 3: Working with Backup Agent

Hi everyone! Let's continue configuring the Windows Azure Recovery Services. Last time, we finished with loading the certificates necessary for working with the service. Now, let's finally set up the Windows Azure Backup Agent for performing the backup.

20 Sep

Windows Azure Recovery Services. Part 2: Preparation

Greetings, readers! Last time, we looked at the costs of storing backups with the help of Windows Azure Recovery Services and compared them to the costs of using Windows Azure Storage Services.

2 Aug

Windows Azure Recovery Services. Part 1.

Oftentimes while working with the Windows Azure cloud platform, clients require a backup service for data stored either in the cloud or on the local servers. If we are looking at the SQL Azure database, then the answer is simple - SQL Azure Data Sync. But what do we do if this functionality is required, for example, for virtual machines? Or maybe for data that is not relational or is not stored in a relational database?

3 Jun

SQL Reporting Services in clouds. Part 3: Multi-Tenant

The previous post was devoted to configuring SQL Reporting in Windows Azure. We've looked at two alternate configurations for report publishing services: as a service (SQL Reporting), and using an SQL Server virtual machine (SSRS). Now, let's have a look at the SQL Reporting services and the SQL Server configuration method which supports multi-tenant scenarios, when a single reporting service can be used for different data sources.

30 May

SQL Reporting Services in clouds. Part 2

Last time, we compared the cost of using the reporting services that are available as a service in Windows Azure (SQL Reporting) with the option of virtual machine deployment with an SQL Server (SSRS).

1 Apr

SQL Reporting Services in clouds. Part 1

Customers increasingly want to move their existing solutions into the cloud, and the Windows Azure platform is becoming more and more popular in the field of cloud calculations.

15 Mar

Scaling Out Real Project Database with SQL Azure Federations. Part 3: Migration

Greetings to all the Internet dwellers out there, and a happy beginning of a new week! We continue migrating the database using SQL Azure Federations. As you may remember, previously we selected the table and the field we will be using to divide our database into shards. Let?s do it!

16 Feb

Scaling Out Real Project Database with SQL Azure Federations. Part 2: Master Data

Last time we've covered some theory about SQL Azure Federations, including what you should give a thought and what you should keep in mind when migrating. Importantly, it's not only about technology. The first thing to consider is always the database architecture, regardless of the scaling out method you choose - Federations, MySQL Cluster or anything else. The database you scale out must be always architecturally oriented.

27 Jan

Scaling Out Real Project Database With SQL Azure Federations.

Scaling application in cloud is a burning issue. The very concept of cloud technology implicates on-demand application scaling. Any decent cloud provider supports respective functions. Why is scaling out so important? What are the ways to do it effectively?

2014

29 Oct

SQL Reporting Services in clouds. Part 3: Multi-Tenant

The previous post was devoted to configuring SQL Reporting in Windows Azure. We've looked at two alternate configurations for report publishing services: as a service (SQL Reporting), and using an SQL Server virtual machine (SSRS). Now, let's have a look at the SQL Reporting services and the SQL Server configuration method which supports multi-tenant scenarios, when a single reporting service can be used for different data sources.

1 Oct

SQL Reporting Services in clouds. Part 2

Last time, we compared the cost of using the reporting services that are available as a service in Windows Azure (SQL Reporting) with the option of virtual machine deployment with an SQL Server (SSRS).

1 Oct

SQL Reporting Services in clouds. Part 1

Customers increasingly want to move their existing solutions into the cloud, and the Windows Azure platform is becoming more and more popular in the field of cloud calculations.

20 Sep

Windows Azure Recovery Services. Part 3: Working with Backup Agent

Hi everyone! Let's continue configuring the Windows Azure Recovery Services. Last time, we finished with loading the certificates necessary for working with the service. Now, let's finally set up the Windows Azure Backup Agent for performing the backup.

20 Sep

Windows Azure Recovery Services. Part 2: Preparation

Greetings, readers! Last time, we looked at the costs of storing backups with the help of Windows Azure Recovery Services and compared them to the costs of using Windows Azure Storage Services.

9 Aug

Windows Azure Recovery Services. Part 1.

Oftentimes while working with the Windows Azure cloud platform, clients require a backup service for data stored either in the cloud or on the local servers. If we are looking at the SQL Azure database, then the answer is simple - SQL Azure Data Sync. But what do we do if this functionality is required, for example, for virtual machines? Or maybe for data that is not relational or is not stored in a relational database?

9 Aug

Autoconfiguration using Puppet and AWS Cloud Formation

The day has come for us to put aside our cookbooks, recipes and Chef's knives, and try on the role of puppet master!

9 Aug

Berkshelf and Chef Cookbook Dependencies

I continue delving into the specifics of management automation and configuration, while also trying to share my community experience. In this article, I will continue talking about the automation tool for solving Chef cookbook dependencies, namely Berkshelf.

21 Jun

AWS Route53: DNS Failover now with Elastic Load Balancer Support

DNS Failover is a great and handy feature for sure, but those who hosted large projects with ELB on AWS didn't notice any difference. If a failover does not support ELB, this function is absolutely useless for me, personally.

21 Jun

Scaling Out Real Project Database with SQL Azure Federations. Part 3: Migration

Greetings to all the Internet dwellers out there, and a happy beginning of a new week! We continue migrating the database using SQL Azure Federations. As you may remember, previously we selected the table and the field we will be using to divide our database into shards. Let's do it!

21 Jun

Scaling Out Real Project Database with SQL Azure Federations. Part 2: Master Data

Last time we've covered some theory about SQL Azure Federations, including what you should give a thought and what you should keep in mind when migrating. Importantly, it's not only about technology. The first thing to consider is always the database architecture, regardless of the scaling out method you choose - Federations, MySQL Cluster or anything else. The database you scale out must be always architecturally oriented.

15 May

Test Kitchen For Beginners

As the infrastructure scale grows, it becomes increasingly harder to keep track of the dependencies and the aftermath of making changes in the cookbooks. That's when the issue with testing cookbooks arises. You can solve this issue with the help of such tools as Foodcritics, Chefspec, Minitest, Test Kitchen, etc. In this article, I'd like to share my experience of learning test kitchen in the proverbial "21 days".

15 May

Migrating to Chef Server 11

Initially, we used Chef Server 10 for our EPAM Cloud virtual machine autoconfiguration. The number of supported roles exceeded 60, including both simple and quite complex cluster solutions. When the number of server clients reached 750, we noticed a significant decrease in performance.

26 Apr

Chef in 21 days. Part III. A Chef and AWS tutorial

Greetings, readers! Here is the third, final part from the series of articles for Chef beginners ( Part I, Part II). This part is dedicated to a specific example of using Chef in the Amazon cloud. As I have already mentioned, it is a rather popular scenario. To understand the subject better, we will look at a case with two ec2-instances (Amazon virtual servers), with the Chef server as the one and the node as the other.

26 Apr

AWS Test Drive: Amazon Sandbox.

Recently, AWS Amazon has introduced a service Called AWS Test Drive... As part of a collaboration between AWS Amazon and our company, I was lucky to get my hands on this service and play around with its functionality. To begin with, I'd like to share a few words on AWS Test Drive and its usage.

22 Mar

Chef in 21 Days. Part II: Creating Your First Cookbook.

Greetings, readers! Are you still with us? Enjoying Chef so far? Pretty exciting, isn't it? Let us continue the voyage to achieving automation mastery that we have begun in Part I of this article. In Part II, we will talk about the first experience in writing a cookbook, as well as about recipes, attributes and templates.

22 Mar

Chef in 21 Days. Part I: Introduction.

The title was inspired by a huge variety of similarly titled books. Here, I will try to describe the path of the automation warrior for all young padawans, though I sometimes still feel like one. I will help to quickly familiarize you with the cross-platform automation tool called CHEF. With considerable effort, you will master it well enough for your first serious experiments. This article is a guideline of sorts, for people not well acquainted with automation.

2012

13 Aug

CLI is Bad... or is it?

There seems to be an everlasting opposition between CLI supporters and opponents. In this article, we collected the most common arguments to support both sides.

25 Jul

AWS ELB: Cutting Instances from Load Balancer

I've recently stumbled upon a small yet unpleasant scaling-related issue - when I stop a host it keeps on accepting requests for about 30-35 seconds. Naturally these requests can't be processed. That is why an idea crossed my mind to cut instances from load balancer before stopping a web server.

19 Jul

Auto Scaling in Amazon Web Services: EC2 + CloudWatch

Auto scaling configuration based on Amazon EC2 is a particularly cunning task I once solved and have been using the solution ever since. No doubt, there can be a pack of options, but I will only cover the simplest one: horizontal scaling of a single server under a single balancer.

5 Jul

Simple Infrastructure With Only 3 Commands

Last time I worked with Amazon was during research and investigation procedure to complete the vision for beginners. That was some time ago, more than 6 months. Now I decided to use and expand this knowledge and route it to Amazon CLI tools.

5 Jul

AWS Cloud Watch: Custom Metrics

Today we will talk about custom metrics in CloudWatch of Amazon Web Services. Custom metrics are needed when there is no possibility to check the parameters within the CloudWatch standard metrics. We can do more with custom metrics, for example check connections number between modules, I/O operations on the NFS or Load Average. Basically, I will tell you how to get Load Average metrics shown in your CloudWatch interface.

14 Jun

History and Vision of Nimbula Director

I decided to write about Nimbula, because it is practically the only Virtual Hosting provider that I closely worked with. As I was testing a solution that is based on Nimbula while working in EPAM, I currently have some thoughts to share about it. So, let's start with the overview of what it is.

16 Mar

Making Migration to Cloud Comfortable for Customers

First of all let us answer a simple question: Why do customers migrate to Cloud? On the one hand, the answer to this question is quite complex, but on the other hand, the main benefits are pretty obvious.

8 Feb

Exploring the Cloud. Part Two.

Continuing my previous post here, we start by selecting a Windows AMI to run our instance. Second page of the wizard is an overview of instance settings and you don't really need to change anything here, just check out the information and proceed to the next step.

8 Feb

Exploring the Cloud. Part One.

I've heard a lot about Cloud services. Things like infinite capacity, flexibility, unlimited system and data resources. Those stand for "professional" clouds, the ones used by businesses and companies around the world. When it comes to private Cloud services, we hear that all of our pictures, videos and music can be reached from anywhere, from any device that has internet access. This sounds cool, doesn't it?