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Amazon Web Services Melbourne Meetup March 2011

Last night Simone Brunozzi, Technology Evangelist at Amazon Web Services Asia Pacific came to Melbourne for the Amazon Web Services Melbourne meetup.

Amazon Web Services LogoSimone and I organised the event – please read on for a summary.

Step one involved Simone and I having a quick coffee at Degraves Espresso Bar (he loves Melbourne coffee), then picking up a few cases of beer for the meetup:

Around 25 people attended, with approximately half the crowd already using AWS.

Simone started with an introduction to AWS, followed by a demo involving spinning up an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance using the AWS Management Console, logging into the server via SSH, installing a web server (Apache), then testing the server using its public IP address.

Next was a demo of Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS), where he launched a MySQL instance in the cloud.

For both demos he used the Asia Pacific (Singapore) region, which is commonly used by Australians because Amazon doesn’t currently have a presence in Australia (more on that here).

There was then an informal Q&A, where the audience asked a wide range of questions. Personally I think this was the most valuable part of the meetup because the audience was so broad.

Lisa Lang from Sitepoint was nice enough to attend and give away a few copies of their Host Your Web Site in the Cloud book.

After the meetup a few of us (Mark, John, Simone and I) headed to Degraves Street for a quick pizza before Simone had to return to his hotel for a late night conference call (the guy works some pretty long hours!).

Amazon Web Services in Australia?

Currently most AWS products are only available in the US (east and west), Ireland, Singapore and Tokyo so one of the main discussion points of the night was whether or not AWS will be available in Australia.

Simone was not able to confirm whether AWS will add an Australian region, however he did say that Amazon is always investigating the feasibility of new regions, and requests for an Australian region are quite common. Fingers crossed 🙂

Now What?

It was a fantastic experience organising the meetup with Simone, and I hope we can organise another one for the next time he’s in Melbourne.

Thanks again to Simone for taking time out of his busy schedule and providing free beer and credits, Openhub for letting us use the venue, and thanks to everyone that came along.

Everyone seemed to learn (at least) a few things, and we’ll all be receiving free AWS credits early next week 🙂

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