System administration is a complicated topic that requires practitioners to be
familiar with an ever-expanding range of applications and services. In some
ways, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is just another tool to add to your toolkit,
yet it can also be considered a discipline in and of itself. Successfully building
and deploying infrastructure on AWS involves a thorough understanding of the
underlying operating system concerns, software architecture, and delivery
practices, as well as the myriad components that make up Amazon Web
Mike runs a DevOps consultancy, helping startups and small businesses reap
the benefits of tools and processes that were previously available only to
organizations with large teams of systems administrators. Many of these
businesses do not have a dedicated systems administrator, and the development
team is responsible for deploying and maintaining the architecture.
In working with these clients, Mike noticed patterns in how people were
working with AWS. Those who came from a pure development background,
without any sysadmin experience, would often build an infrastructure that left
out many of the things sysadmins would take for granted, such as monitoring
and logging. The lack of monitoring and logging would then make it difficult to
track down issues, leading to more downtime than necessary.