9 Ways to Get AWS Credits

9 Ways to Get AWS Credits

AWS credits are a way to save on your Amazon Web Services (AWS) bill. Credits are applied to AWS cloud bills to help cover costs that are associated with eligible services, and are applied until they are exhausted or they expire. Essentially, credits are a coupon-code like mechanism used by Amazon on your bill. If you want to see how to redeem your AWS promotional credits, look here. So how do you get these credits? There are a number of ways – here are 9 that we have either used ourselves or that have been successfully used by our customers. 

AWS Activate

With AWS Activate, companies can build or scale with up to $100,000 in AWS promotional credits. AWS Activate is ideal for startups because they get access to resources as quickly as possible, and AWS provides them with a low cost, easy-to-use infrastructure to help them grow. 

This is a big help for startups, knowing they are getting their money’s worth with these credits lets them focus on one thing – growth. If you are looking to get started on AWS definitely check this out.

Publish an Alexa Skill

For all you developers, each Alexa skill that you publish, you can apply to receive a $100 AWS promotional credit. Take advantage of these credits to get all your skills potential!

AWS Cloud Credits for Research 

AWS Cloud Credits for Research evaluates academic research from researchers at accredited institutions around the world. Researchers that apply for this program take an initiative to build a cloud-hosted service, software, or tools and/or want to migrate a research process or open data to the cloud. The credit amount awarded will vary depending on the cost model and usage requirements documented in the research proposal. 

AWS Marketplace

Discover, purchase, and deploy cloud-based networking and security solutions or Big Data solutions offered on AWS Marketplace and get $200 in AWS promotional credits once you subscribe to a qualifying product. 

AWS Webinars & Events 

Attending AWS webinars, events, and conferences can get you AWS credits. In order to be awarded the credits, you’ll have to provide proof that you actually attended. Make sure to keep an eye on their events page, as new stuff is being added all the time.

AWS Educate

In an effort to educate the next generation of cloud professionals, AWS has made AWS Educate available to institutions, educators, and students. It provides institutions with the resources educators and students need for training resources, cloud-related learning, and content for courses. Students have the opportunity to receive credits by getting hands-on experience with AWS tech, training, content and career pathways. 

At member institutions, educators earn $200 in AWS credits compared to non-member institutions they earn $75. Students receive an AWS Educate starter account along with $50 in credits at a member institution and $35 at a non-member institution. To make this even more appealing, AWS will award students and staff with more credits if you sign up as a member institution.  

AWS Credit Program for Nonprofits

Through TechSoup Global, eligible nonprofit organizations can request one grant of $2,000 AWS credits once per fiscal year. 

AWS Free Tier

As always, AWS Free Tier is a great option to get access to AWS products for no cost. Customers can use the product for free up to specified limits for one year from the date the account was created. 

This includes 750 hours of Amazon EC2 Linux t2.micro instance usage, 5 GB of Amazon S3 standard storage, 750 hours of Amazon RDS Single-AZ db.t2.micro Instances, one million AWS Lambda requests and you can build and host most Alexa skills for free. 

AWS EdStart

AWS focuses on education technology startups long term success with their AWS EdStart program.  AWS is looking to provide businesses with the resources they need to get started as quickly and easily on AWS to ensure they have every opportunity to prosper. After applying and getting approved, businesses will receive their credit validation. The credit amount awarded is based on the business’s needs. 

You only have access to promotional credits for a limited time, so make sure you take advantage of all these opportunities if you can! Whether you are just getting started with AWS or have been using it for a while, there are plenty of credits and resources available to make AWS an affordable option for you. 

Happy 4th Birthday, ParkMyCloud! Cloud Optimization Year in Review

Happy 4th Birthday, ParkMyCloud! Cloud Optimization Year in Review

It’s that time of year again at ParkMyCloud’s cloud optimization headquarters. Summer is in full swing, the 4th of July is on Thursday, and the USWNT is in World Cup semi-finals – let’s GO USA. And, of course, ParkMyCloud is four years old. 

Anniversaries in Review

We always like to take a moment of reflection on these anniversaries –– here are our previous ones, if you’re curious:

These snapshots really give perspective to both how the company and the market are changing!

Our 4th Year: Cloud Cost Optimization Meets Application Resource Management

This past year has been a big one for ParkMyCloud. As you may be aware we were acquired in May by Turbonomic, the leader in application resource management. In the short time since that acquisition, things have been nothing but positive for ParkMyCloud and our customers. ParkMyCloud remains a separate brand and we continue to invest in the product and add new features to the platform to help our customers automate cost control for AWS, Azure and Google clouds. We now have more than 1,100 organizations in more than 50 countries using ParkMyCloud, achieving an average ROI of 815%. Yes, you read that correctly – 815%!

A few interesting trends found in the cloud usage tracked in our platform over the last 12 months: 

  • There are now more Google Cloud projects being managed in the ParkMyCloud platform than Azure subscriptions, but conversely are more Azure resources than Google resources.
  • We now see ParkMyCloud customers using both Azure and Google Cloud together. This is new – in the past we have seen combinations of AWS and Azure as well as AWS and Google Cloud. 
  • Every large enterprise that was using AWS exclusively 2-3 years ago now also has some Azure resources in the platform. Combined with the last data point, you can see how multi-cloud is truly the current reality.
  • The resource count in the platform is up over 600% over the last year. Obviously organic growth and the acquisition of new customers drives this, but we have seen a big uptick in the use of scale groups and analytics workloads, an effect of greater needs for elasticity.

Looking Ahead: Bigger and Better Cloud Optimization and Automation Coming Soon

The big news for our customers this year has been the addition of rightsizing to the platform. We currently support automated rightsizing for AWS and Google Cloud, and will have Azure complete in a few weeks. Soon, we’ll also be offering scheduled resizing which will give you flexibility to align resizing with your internal maintenance windows and other specific times to minimize downtime. During the second half of this year, we plan to add support for containers, snapshot management and the ability to identify AWS Reserved Instances. This last addition will help users see how they are utilizing their Reserved Instances and whether their utilization needs to match their reservations. Users will also be able to plan Reserved Instance purchases based on their uptime needs, better matching reservations vs. on-demand resources with schedules. 

How do we develop this roadmap and stay on a path of constant improvement? We have a lot of customer conversations and get great input from our customers on our Slack channel. We hear about containers, serverless and other more advanced PaaS offerings that users would like to manage in addition to the main culprit of cloud waste, oversized and idle resources.

As always, we are open to feedback on what’s most important to you. What would help you optimize your cloud environment? Let us know in the comments below (or if you prefer, Slack or email.) 

If we don’t hear from you, we will make these ground-breaking decisions on a warm Tuesday evening at Crooked Run Brewery in Sterling, VA (that’s where some of our best ideas come from). If you are in the vicinity, swing by for a beer!

Trends in Cloud Jobs In 2019

Trends in Cloud Jobs In 2019

Trends in cloud jobs can be overall indicators into trends in the cloud computing space. With an ever-evolving and increasing use of cloud services, new and important changes are needed to the skillsets, roles, and responsibilities of cloud professionals. Here are some trends we’re seeing.

The Cloud Job Market is on the Rise

There is exponential growth in the cloud computing industry, so it’s no surprise that the demand for cloud computing intellect and skills is also increasing, with no slowing down in the foreseeable future. According to Gartner TalentNeuron, an online real-time labor market insight portal, “there are about 50,248 cloud computing positions available in the U.S. from 3,701 employers, and 101,913 open positions worldwide.”

As more and more enterprises drive value from container platforms, infrastructure-as-code solutions, software-defined networking, storage, continuous integration/delivery, and AI, they need people and skills on board with ever more niche expertise and deep technological understanding. Anecdotally, many organizations we talk to share that getting and keeping talent on board is a challenge as they seek to evolve their use of cloud services. The cloud jobs that are available in the market today are a result of employer demand to drive innovation and are paramount for new business applications and services to the end-user.

Cloud Talent Demand Trends

Here are a few roles and talent areas that will see increased demand this year.

Cloud Architect

Cloud Architects are experts responsible for the supervision of a company’s cloud computing system, overseeing the organization’s cloud computing strategy through deployment, management, and support of cloud applications. A Cloud Architect has a strong background in networking, programming, multiple operating systems, and security. In addition, they also have a strong knowledge of cloud services such as AWS, Google or Azure, with experience on ITSM, I&O, governance, automation, and vendor management. Here at ParkMyCloud, we talk to a lot of Cloud Architects!

Cloud Architects are also known as Cloud Developer or Cloud Systems Administrator. When it comes to getting hired, an AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert or Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect certification are currently the industry standard to help you emerge above the rest in this cloud job arena.  

Cloud Consultants

Cloud consultants are “the experts” who can help an organization conduct an overall technical analysis and assessment of the enterprise and recommend suitable cloud technology options to promote productivity and efficiency. A Cloud Consultant’s education background includes IT or business administration, IT consulting experience and highly effective communication skills. A Cloud Consultant’s expert knowledge of cloud service providers and cloud technologies available is key to provide maximum value to an enterprise.

You may find of interest, cloud computing careers relatable to Cloud Consultants include Cloud Security Engineers, Cloud Operations Engineers, and Cloud Infrastructure Engineers. An educational path to becoming a Cloud Consultant ranges from studying different programming languages to getting certified – although not necessarily required – in a single or multi-cloud computing systems.

Business Intelligence Analyst

A BI analyst has strong skills in database technology, analytics, and reporting tools and excellent knowledge and understanding of computer science, information systems or engineering. Skills necessary to understand a company’s cloud needs through data interpretation and be able to collate and cogently communicate cloud-based services and cloud strategy solutions to drive actionable results. An important role in the cloud management of businesses as demand for data and data analysts increases. BI analyst will collaborate with many individuals in the  IT department in an organization to maximize proficiency and productivity.

BI Analyst can also be described as BI Developers, BI Managers, and Big Data Engineer or Data Scientist. To work in BI, you do not need to be certified, but it may help you get an advantage when considered for a job, with certifications like Certified Business Intelligence Professional and Certified Application Associate: Business Intelligence.

IoT Engineer

An internet of things (IoT) engineer is an IT professional who is an expert in at least one or more of the core IoT disciplines: devices, connectivity, edge and cloud analytics, enterprise integration, platforms, and development and DevOps. Job titles for IoT engineers in the industry depend on the discipline they focus on, for example, the can be called IoT Architect, IoT Data Scientist or IoT Hardware Engineer, but all have in common an in-depth knowledge in specific subject matters of IoT in comparison to other engineers, making them the right person when it comes to decision making regarding the specific IoT subject matter. The main responsibility of IoT engineers is to help businesses keep up with IoT technology trends.

According to Gartner, “By 2022, 80% of leading I&O organizations will devise I&O strategies for digital business initiatives such as artificial intelligence and IoT.”  And, if you have any doubt that this is important in the cloud space, just see how many of AWS’s new services this year are IoT-focused.

The Future of Cloud Computing Jobs

In today’s trends in cloud computing jobs, if you’re looking to get involved in cloud for the first time, check out these 4 Cloud Computing Jobs to Check Out If You Want to Break Into the Space. Or, perhaps consider these interesting cloud job titles we came across for the future:  

  • Data Detective
  • Master of Edge Computing
  • Cyber City Analyst
  • Man-Machine Teaming Manager
  • Quantum Machine Learning Analyst

Cloud computing growth continues to accelerate at unprecedented rates as businesses continue to invest in cloud services like SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. The adoption of cloud technology  platforms, empowers businesses with unlimited possibilities for innovation, but in order to stay at pace with this innovation and the dizzying array of services being offered by Amazon, Microsoft, Google, IBM  all businesses will need skilled resources offering cloud computing professionals a very promising career in the cloud industry for years to come.

What trends are you seeing? Let us know in the comments below.

SaaS  vs. PaaS vs. IaaS – Where the Market is Going

SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS – Where the Market is Going

SaaS, PaaS, IaaS – these are the three essential models of cloud services to compare, otherwise known as Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Each of these has its own benefits, and it’s good to understand why providers offer these different models and what implications they have for the market. While SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS are different, they are not competitive – most software-focused companies use some form of all three. Let’s take a look at these main categories, and because I like to understand things by company name, I’ll include a few of the more common SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS providers in market today.

SaaS: Software as a Service

Software as a Service, also known as cloud application services, represents the most commonly utilized option for businesses in the cloud market. SaaS utilizes the internet to deliver applications, which are managed by a third-party vendor, to its users. A majority of SaaS applications are run directly through the web browser, and do not require any downloads or installations on the client side.

Prominent providers: Salesforce, ServiceNow, Google Apps, Dropbox and Slack (and ParkMyCloud, of course).

PaaS: Platform as a Service

Cloud platform services, or Platform as a Service (PaaS), provide cloud components to certain software while being used mainly for applications. PaaS delivers a framework for developers that they can build upon and use to create customized applications. All servers, storage, and networking can be managed by the enterprise or a third-party provider while the developers can maintain management of the applications.

Prominent providers and offerings: AWS Elastic Beanstalk, RedHat Openshift, IBM Bluemix, Windows Azure, and VMware Pivotal CF.

IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service

Cloud infrastructure services, known as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), are made of highly scalable and automated compute resources. IaaS is fully self-service for accessing and monitoring things like compute, storage, networking, and other infrastructure related services, and it allows businesses to purchase resources on-demand and as-needed instead of having to buy hardware outright.

Prominent Providers: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure (Azure), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and IBM Cloud.

SaaS vs. PaaS vs. IaaS

SaaS, PaaS and IaaS are all under the umbrella of cloud computing (building, creating, and storing data over the cloud). Think about them in terms of out-of-the-box functionality and building from the bottom up.

IaaS helps build the infrastructure of a cloud-based technology. PaaS helps developers build custom apps via an API that can be delivered over the cloud. And SaaS is cloud-based software companies can sell and use.

Think of IaaS as the foundation of building a cloud-based service — whether that’s content, software, or the website to sell a physical product, PaaS as the platform on which developers can build apps without having to host them, and SaaS as the software you can buy or sell to help enterprises (or others) get stuff done.

SaaS, PaaS, IaaS Market Share Breakdown

The SaaS market is by far the largest market, according to a Gartner study that reported that enterprises spent $182B+ on cloud services, with SaaS services making up 43% of that spend.

While SaaS is currently the largest cloud service in terms of spend, IaaS is currently projected to be the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 20% plus over the next 3 to 4 years. This bodes very well for the “big three” providers, AWS, Azure and GCP.

Where the Market is Going

What’s interesting is that many pundits argue that PaaS is the future, along with FaaS, DaaS and every other X-as-a-service. However, the data shows otherwise. As evidenced by the reports from Gartner above, IaaS has a larger market share and is growing the fastest.

First of all, this is because IaaS offers all the important benefits of using the cloud such as scalability, flexibility, location independence and potentially lower costs. In comparison with PaaS and SaaS, the biggest strength of IaaS is the flexibility and customization it offers. The leading cloud computing vendors offer a wide range of different infrastructure options, allowing customers to pick the performance characteristics that most closely match their needs.

In addition, IaaS is the least likely of the three cloud delivery models to result in vendor lock-in. With SaaS and PaaS, it can be difficult to migrate to another option or simply stop using a service once it’s baked into your operations. IaaS also charges customers only for the resources they actually use, which can result in cost reductions if used strategically. While much of the growth is from existing customers, it’s also because more organizations are using IaaS across more functions than either of the other models of cloud services.

ParkMyCloud is Now Part of Turbonomic

ParkMyCloud is Now Part of Turbonomic

I am excited to announce that ParkMyCloud is now part of Turbonomic! This is great news for our customers, partners, and our team that I’ve been looking forward to sharing with you.

Why Turbonomic? Simply put, they are the experts in our space. Launched in 2009, Turbonomic is one of the fastest-growing technology companies in the virtualization and cloud management space. Thousands of high-profile, technology-forward enterprises – including PWC, Expedia, and J.P. Morgan – use the platform to maximize the value of their IT investments. If you want smart analytics for optimization, there’s nowhere better to go than Turbonomic (Just look at the PhD count on the team!) The Turbonomic platform provides customers with hybrid cloud elasticity through top-down application resource management, which is absolutely essential for the twin goals of hybrid cloud: performance and efficiency.

Why ParkMyCloud? Since day 1, we at ParkMyCloud have been optimizing costs for public cloud customers through automation. Like Turbonomic, we share a passion for analytics-driven automation, which our platform applies by helping cloud customers to reduce costs by 65%, improve governance, and save time by eliminating manual tasks — all while being easy to use and adopt. Our two organizations have these goals in common for cloud users, and by bringing ParkMyCloud onboard, Turbonomic has validated our mission and is enabling us to do even more for our customers.

What will change for our customers? Actually, not much! You’ll get to keep using the same ParkMyCloud platform you use today. The boon for you is that with Turbonomic backing our team, we’ll be able to innovate and iterate on the platform more quickly, to continually provide you with a better experience, a broader feature set, and of course, more savings.

An optimized future. Together with Turbonomic, we look forward to continuing to provide the best in multi-cloud optimization and analytics-driven automation for our customers, no matter where you are on your cloud journey.

One thing our Turbo colleagues have already taught us is that the correct answer to the question “what’s your favorite color?” is “green”. That seems fitting in a number of ways: applications running, everything working, money saved.

Most of all, green means “go” – let’s do it.