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Exploring AWS: Death of the Normal IT Guy?

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of five blog posts by trainer Jeremy Cioara that will explore Amazon Web Services. His blog posts will appear bi-weekly.

email-1-death-of-IT-guyEvery now and then, I pull out my “memories” book (where I toss old basketball game ticket stubs, opening day tickets for “The Matrix,” and the Arizona State Chess Champion certificate from the 4th grade). Right in the middle of that book is my Certified Netware 3.11 Administrator certificate. I pause and think, “That’s where it all began!” and then realize I wouldn’t have the first clue what do to if given access to a Netware 3.11 console. What ever happened to Novell? I just checked. They still have a website… but the pictures weren’t showing up correctly. That can’t be a good sign.

Did you know in the early 1990s, Novell Netware controlled 90 percent of the enterprise server market? And today? Virtually nothing. So the question we’re all waiting for… why? I would suggest simplicity. Microsoft began releasing server software that was relatively stable, included a point-and-click GUI, and “felt” like the Windows 95 client operating system. No more Netware DOS-based command-line tools? Bring up servers without the complexity of a Novell Directory Service (NDS) tree (NDS was despised by the SMB admin)? Well… I’ll let history tell the tale and close my “memories” book to fast forward to modern day.

See if you can follow this connection.

I just went into AWS and launched three pre-configured, redundant Windows servers on different network segments (I would call them VLANs, but the point-and-click interface of AWS hid all that complexity from me). I assigned public IP addresses, enabled Remote Desktop Services, and configured a basic Active Directory environment with a couple of test users. I’m just about to bring up a connection from a thin client at my house to the cloud.

… and I did this in just under 60 minutes!

… and I just realized that I could have done this in less time using AWS Workspaces.

Internet connections are pretty darn reliable these days. Having on-site, redundant servers are becoming a tough sell.

So AWS… the death of a “Normal” IT guy? Or the death of “IT as normal?”



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