How-to, tips, tricks and more hands-on advice for working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) from

Controlling AWS Costs with Reserved Instances

For many organizations, switching from on-demand instances to reserved instances can significantly cut back on costs, make cloud workloads more efficient and -- most importantly -- prevent any surprise charges from appearing on their bill.

Using AWS for Network Endpoint Monitoring

There are plenty of tools that can monitor the health of resources located in your own datacenter, but many of them don't work for monitoring resources in the public cloud. Thankfully, AWS provides a suite of health-check tools called Route 53.

Using AWS To Manage On-Premises Servers

While EC2 is designed to run instances within the Amazon Web Services cloud, you can also use the EC2 console to manage instances running within your own datacenter. Brien shows you how.

Assessing Your Security with Amazon Inspector

Here's how to use the Amazon Inspector tool to check the health of your AWS instances from within.

Virtual Private Cloud Peering with AWS, Part 2: The Setup

Now that you know the limits of what you can and can't do with VPC peering, here's how to actually set it up in AWS.

Virtual Private Cloud Peering with AWS, Part 1: The Guidelines

VPC peering can be useful for linking resources that would otherwise be isolated from one another. But before you set it up in AWS, it's important to know the ground rules.

What You Need To Know About VPC Security Groups

Here's a quick rundown of what a VPC security group is, what it does, and some of the rules you'll need to keep in mind when creating and working with them in AWS.

Using the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio

Working in an AWS environment doesn't mean that developers have to give up the tools they use daily. For Visual Studio developers, AWS offers a solution to help them deploy services on its cloud.

Creating a Virtual Private Cloud on AWS

VPCs are relatively easy to set up in AWS, although they usually require a significant degree of configuration afterward. Brien walks you through the steps.

Using AWS for Mobile Device Testing

The proliferation of mobile devices and platforms has complicated the testing process in recent years. Fortunately, the AWS Device Farm lets admins and developers run tests against a variety of device types.

Connecting to a Linux Instance in AWS Using PuTTY

Logging in to a Linux instance is significantly different from logging in to a Windows instance. Brien walks you through the steps using the PuTTY utility.

Creating Resource Groups in AWS

Amazon Web Services allows admins to create logical groupings of AWS resources, and manage them using tags and tag values. Here's how to get started.

Using AWS To Host WordPress

The AWS cloud is more than a platform for hosting VM instances, allocating cloud storage and other IaaS-related tasks. As Brien shows, it can also be used as a platform for hosting Web applications.

Creating Snapshots of AWS Instances

Backing up virtual machines in the public cloud has always been a challenge. One of the methods that Amazon Web Services recommends for protecting EC2 instances is the creation of snapshots.

Using AWS for Enterprise Document Storage: Part 2

AWS WorkDocs isn't as powerful as competitors like Microsoft SharePoint, but it does offer organizations a way to host documents in the cloud and do basic collaboration. Brien shows how.

Using AWS for Enterprise Document Storage: Part 1

AWS offers a vast number of storage choices, but what if you just want to upload some documents to the cloud and share them to end users? A simple and inexpensive option is AWS WorkDocs. In the first installment of this series, Brien shows how to set up WorkDocs, including establishing the Active Directory environment.

Monitoring Configuration Changes with AWS Config

The AWS cloud's flexibility is one of its biggest assets, but it also presents management challenges for companies with large deployments or multiple administrators. In such instances, AWS Config is an indispensable tool for getting a handle on cloud resources.

Moving Large Volumes of Data to Amazon S3 with Snowball

In general, public cloud vendors are well-suited to running large-scale workloads. But what about migrating them?

Getting Started with Amazon Simple Notification Service

While Amazon SNS can be used as a text messaging engine, it also has less obvious uses that you can leverage in your own applications. Brien walks through a few of them.

Monitoring EC2 Instances with Amazon CloudWatch

You wouldn't let VMs running in your datacenter go unchecked. The same goes for VMs in the cloud. Brien shows how to use AWS' CloudWatch tool to ensure these instances perform as intended.