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What’s New at A Cloud Guru – July 2020

Sam Kroonenburg
Sam Kroonenburg

Hello Cloud Gurus! We’ve got some great new courses for you this month, plus a new ACG Project where Faye invites you to embrace the chaos, a new Release Review where we play around with AWS DeepComposer, and new episodes of DeepComposerFuture of TechKubernetes This Month, and more. 

Mastering AWS CloudFormation

AWS CloudFormation lets you deploy your infrastructure with precision and consistency, and makes working large teams a snap by leveraging powerful and reusable infrastructure as code.

Already have a base understanding of CloudFormation? Looking to deep-dive into all it has to offer? This course is for you. With over 4 hours of laser-focused material balanced between theory and hands-on learning, no stone goes unturned, from detailed tips and tricks to common pitfalls. 

You’ll come away from this course with a deep understanding of CloudFormation templates, to the extent that the only limiting factor to your templates will be your imagination. We’ll also explore various deployment options, including StackSets and Nested Stacks, dive into Macros that allow you to run custom functions against targeted places, or against your whole template, and explore CLI tools that can help simplify and speed up your workflow. 

Throughout the course you’ll get a chance to learn by doing through hands-on labs, including creating a serverless SlackBot and building a real-time voting app. To cap it all off, you’ll get to challenge yourself by building your own advanced Macro and implementing it into your own template.

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Intro to Azure Resource Manager
105 Azure Intro Azure Resource Manager

Want to get the most out of Microsoft Azure? Then you’ll need to get up to speed on Azure Resource Manager (ARM), the tool that lets you automate the provisioning of your Azure resources. Using ARM lets you move away from slow and sloppy manual deployments, saving time and improving the quality of your cloud infrastructure.

In this course, we take an introductory look at the main ARM concepts, such as resource groups, resource providers, Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), the ARM API, and ARM templates. It’ll also guide you through creating, executing, and debugging basic ARM templates via several different options including Visual Studio, PowerShell, Azure Cloud Shell, and Azure Command Line Interface (CLI). 

Since this is just an intro, we won’t be going too deep, but you’ll gain enough knowledge and practical experience to start using basic templates in your projects.

Getting Started with Azure Machine Learning Studio

The days when you’d need an advanced degree to practice machine learning are gone. These days, any organization can access artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies pretty easily. As wide availability of AI/ML tools leads to increasingly wider adoption, expertise in platform services like Azure Machine Learning will be in high demand. 

This course isn’t designed to make you a machine learning expert, but rather to give newcomers an entry point. We’ll introduce you to machine learning terminology, walk you through the machine learning process, and also get you hands on with the Azure Machine Learning Studio, where you’ll create a simple machine learning model. 

After completing the course, you’ll be able to:

  • talk about the relevance of machine learning in today’s technological landscape
  • understand the basic concepts, terms, and steps of the machine learning process
  • build a simple machine learning model in the Azure Machine Learning Studio

No prior coding experience is required, and while it helps to have some familiarity with Azure, the course material will be a fit for anyone who’s interested in machine learning but not sure how to get started.

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ACG Project: Embrace the Chaos

Nobody likes downtime. Service outages can damage reputations and lead to huge revenue losses. So how can you reduce your risk of downtime? By embracing chaos — or chaos engineering. Join Faye Ellis to build a website using EC2, Cognito, and DynamoDB, then use Gremlin Free to break it.

In this ACG Project, you’ll take down a server, create network black holes, overload the CPU, and even simulate an AWS AZ or region failure, then observe the impacts. By triggering failures in a controlled, intentional way, you can be confident your systems can deal with them before they occur. 

DeepComposer #102 – Powered by Machine Learning

The power of machine learning sits behind every DeepComposer composition, and it’s time to bring it into the spotlight. In episode 2, Kesha leads an exploration of the machine learning lifecycle, generative AI, and pulls back the curtain to look at the AWS architecture that makes music generation possible.

Future of Tech #304 – Food

In our latest episode of Future of Tech, Lars digs into the future of food. What does food have to do with technology, you ask? Well, we all have to eat, and our global food system is already straining to feed the world. As the population continues to grow, and environmental challenges put even more pressure on agriculture, how is cloud technology helping to keep everyone fed?

Release Review #306 – AWS DeepComposer

Nick Triantafillou gets hands-on with AWS DeepComposer in our latest Release Review. This digital keyboard and service gives developers a creative way to get started with machine learning and, more specifically, learn about Generative AI with Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) through music. We play around with the keyboard (yes, you’ll even get to hear Nick play some tunes!) and run through a demo of the DeepComposer service to see how it all works, before wrapping up with our pros, cons, and verdict.

Kubernetes This Month #206

In our latest Kubernetes This Month, we discuss Docker Enterprise 3.1, Linode Kubernetes Engine (LKE), GKE container threat detection, and updates to the StackRox Kubernetes Security Platform. Our deep dive provides a closer look into Docker Enterprise 3.1, as well as the partnership between Docker and Snyk. And to close everything out, we announce the winner of last month’s Kubernetes Guru of the Month question and set our new challenge question for this month! Are you ready to be our latest guru of the month?


We’ve also got a new installment of GCP This Month, and as always, you can turn to AWS This Week and Azure This Week to keep up with all the major developments and releases from the two largest public cloud platforms.

Until next month, cloud gurus!

That about wraps it up for this month’s edition of What’s New at ACG. Keep an eye out for even more updates for us next month. Until then, stay safe, keep learning, and keep being awesome, cloud gurus!


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