Why We Love the AWS IoT Button

Why We Love the AWS IoT Button

The AWS IoT button is a simple wi-fi device with endless possibilities. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’re probably familiar with the hardware that inspired the IoT button – the Amazon Dash button. The wi-fi connected Dash Button can be used to reorder your favorite Amazon products automatically, making impulse buys with the click of a button. The Dash Button makes ordering fast and easy, products are readily accessible, and you’ll never run out of toilet paper again. The AWS IoT button can do that and so much more. A lot more.  

Beyond the singular function of making Amazon Prime purchases, the IoT button can be used to control just about anything that uses the internet. Based on the Amazon Dash Button hardware, the IoT button is programmable, easy to configure, and can be integrated with virtually any internet-connected device. It was designed for developers to help them get acquainted with Amazon Web Services like AWS IoT, AWS Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, and more, without the need to write device-specific code.

How to Use the AWS IoT button

  • Configure the button to connect to your wi-fi network
  • Provision the button with an AWS IoT certificate and private key
  • From there, the button connects to AWS IoT and publishes a message on a topic when clicked
  • Use the rules engine to set up a rule – configure single-click, double-click, or long-press events to be routed to any AWS service
  • Configure the button to send notifications through Amazon SNS, store clicks in an Amazon DynamoDB table, or code custom logic in an AWS Lambda function
  • Configure the function to connect to third-party services or AWS IoT-powered devices

 

 

What You Can Do with It

The AWS IoT button can be made to set a variety of actions. With incredible potential for what you can do, it’s hard knowing to know where to begin. Rest assured, Amazon has a few suggestions:  

  • Count or track items
  • Call or alert someone
  • Start or stop something
  • Order devices
  • Remotely control home appliances

With this in mind, here are some ways that creative developers are using the AWS IoT button:

A Challenge

The AWS IoT button opens the door for developers to create an unlimited number of functions. You can use it to do just about anything on the internet – including parking your instances.

So here’s our challenge: create a function to park your instances (or perhaps, to snooze your parking schedules) using the AWS IoT button in configuration with ParkMyCloud. If you do, tell us about it and we’ll send you some ParkMyCloud swag.

Managing Microsoft Azure VMs with ParkMyCloud

Managing Microsoft Azure VMs with ParkMyCloud

Microsoft has made it easy for companies to get started using Microsoft Azure VMs for development and beyond. However, as an organization’s usage grows past a few servers, it becomes necessary to manage both costs and users and can become complex quickly. ParkMyCloud simplifies cloud management of Microsoft Azure VMs by giving you options to create teams of users, groups of instances, and schedule resources easily.

Consider the case of a large Australian financial institution that uses Microsoft Azure as its sole cloud provider. In this case, they currently they have 125 VMs, costing them over $100k on their monthly cloud bill with Microsoft. Their compute spend is about 95% of their total Azure bill.

Using one Azure account for the entire organization, they chose to split it into multiple divisions, such as DEV, UAT, Prod, and DR. These divisions are then split further into multiple applications that run within each division. In order for them to use ParkMyCloud to best optimize their cloud costs, they created teams of users (one per division). They gave each team permissions in order to allow shutdown and startup of individual applications/VMs. A few select admin users have the ability to control all VMs, regardless of where the applications are placed.

The organization also required specific startup/shutdown ordering for their servers. How would ParkMyCloud handle this need? This looks like a perfect use case for logical groups in ParkMyCloud.

For detailed instructions on how to manage logical groups with ParkMyCloud, see our user guide.

Putting this into context, let’s say that you have a DB and a web server grouped together. You want the DB to start first and stop last, therefore you would need to set the DB to have a start delay of 0 and a stop delay of 5. For the web server, you would set a start delay of 5 and stop delay of 0.

Of course, you could also manage logical groups of Microsoft Azure VMs with tags, scripts, and Azure automation. However, we know firsthand that the alternative solution involves complexities and requires constant upkeep – and who wants that?

ParkMyCloud offers the advantage of not only to cutting your cloud costs, but also making cloud management simpler, easier, and more effective. To experience all great the benefits of our platform, start a free trial today!