Host Your Web Site On The Cloud: Amazon Web Services Made Easy Paperback – 1 Oct 2010
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About the Author
Jeff Barr joined Amazon.com in 2002 when he relized it was destined to become the next great developer platform, and that he could help to make it so. In his role as the Amazon Web Services Senior Evangelist, Jeff speaks to developers at conferences and user groups all over the world. Before coming to Amazon, Jeff ran his own consulting practice and has held management and development positions at Microsoft, eByz, KnowNow, and Visix Software.
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This lays out the basics of connecting to various AWS services, and introduces some of the key concepts and terminology.
While useful, this book is now a bit out of date, as the author firmly points you towards the 'CloudFusion' PHP framework to connect to the services, but this no longer exists thanks to the fact that Amazon's own SDKs are now updated. This makes the code examples in the book no more than pseudocode.
If you are comfortable reading basic code, and then sifting through the documentation to find the updated SDK calls then you should be fine, but if you're not up on your PHP or are looking for a step-by-step guide then this is not for you.
As a developer who hasn't yet used cloud services, this book was a perfect introduction for me. There's some good sections on the general concepts of cloud computing, and what it can achieve. Given that the author works for Amazon, give him credit for also including information on what cloud computing *can't* achieve, and when it wouldn't be cost-effective. Some of the major services such as EC2 and S3 are gone into in detail, with some useful code examples and command line examples.
All examples are based on PHP scripting and Apache servers on Linux. There is nothing about Windows Server IIS based websites.
The book would have been less disappointing if I had paid £5 but I paid £19.27 which it is definitely not worth. I cannot recommend this book and considering asking for my money back.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Since this book is written for newcomers to AWS (like myself), I'm hoping/pleading Amazon will push some basic updates to those of us with Kindle versions. I'm not asking for anything big, but as an example the often-included 'cloudfusion.class.php' is now 'sdk.class.php'. Can people find it on their own? Sure - if I did, anyone can :) But now that cloudfusion has been rolled into the official SDK, it'd be an easy fix for the author/publisher/Amazon to push that change to the Kindle version. I don't expect weekly updates - I get that the book will be outdated relatively quickly, and another edition will likely roll out - but since this book is aimed at relative newcomers and the fix is pretty painless to extend it's useful life, I'd just offer it up as a suggestion.
This doesn't distract from how good the book is - if you follow the examples you'll have a great understanding of how AWS works and how to utilize it by the time you are through.
And thanks to Amazon's (recently added) generous 'free tier', my EC2 micro instance is now up and running on AWS! So far, I have not encountered any charges, although this is with light usage on my part. With free utility computing resources at the AWS' free tier, you can actually try out most of the exercises in the book with no (or little) charge.
The CloudFusion exercises as used in the book are slightly 'outdated'; it is now the 'official' AWS SDK and is renamed as such. So, some slight changes may be needed in the code. (Is there an errata online for this book?) This book does assume some intermediate PHP knowledge. There is an overview on cloud computing itself and an overview on Amazon's array of cloud computing services, which I found it to be very useful.
Overall, a 5-star book.
He's from Amazon so he should know what he's doing :).
Get this book if you want to learn more about each of the major components of AWS, and write PHP scripts to do simple operations. But do NOT get this book if you're looking for practical advice on how to host a web site on AWS. For example, there's no discussion about using SSL certificates within AWS, only a couple of paragraph about public IP's and directing your DNS entries to it, nothing about any considerations for Apache, Tomcat, Jetty, or other servers. The coverage is pretty much 98% all about how to do the very basic operations with AWS.
Summary: You can learn everything this book presents for free on the Amazon's AWS website. If you're looking to move an existing website to AWS, this book won't really give you any help unless you don't even know what AWS is.