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How To Save Up To 40% On Azure Bill Without Buying Any Cost Management Software

I have seen many projects get shut down because of the Azure usage cost. Being a senior developer, I was asked to look over the azure usage and optimize the usage to reduce cost. In this article, we will discuss various ways for effective Azure cloud architecture cost optimization that can easily save up to 40% on Azure cost without purchasing any Cost Management Software. I'll also share some deep insights, which IT Managers doesn't care about, and which has a huge impact on Azure Bill.Different cost management system:1.CloudynCloudyn is an Azure cost management software that provides features like Report on cost and usage, Categorize by resource tags, Create and manage cost and usage budgets, Create alerts on cost and usage budgets, Eliminate idle cloud resources, Right-size cloud resources, Chargeback features including cost markup, redistribution, and custom charges, Customize recommendation thresholds and Categorize costs with custom meta-tags2. ProXcioProXcio contains features like cost analytics, usage analytics, filtered table views, exec dashboards, best practice reports, tag-based analytics, tag-based budgeting, budget analytics, aggregated reporting, limits data stored, limit range for analytics, CSV data import, EA Account drill down, multi-users support, no credit card required, support, cost forecasting, e-mail alerts, data export, Reports scheduling, API access, azure list price invoicing3. RackNapRackNap contains features like White-Label Marketplace, Subscription Billing, Support Helpdesk, Customer Self-service Portal, CRM, Sales and Marketing, Business Intelligence, Own Catalog Management, Partner Management, Inventory Management, Core Customizations, 3rd Party Integrations, Online Training, Admin Users, Deployment Countries, Deployment Model, Services for Launch.4. Azure CostsAll Azure Plans (incl. EA), Unlimited data retention Includes all Professional Features, Multi-Contract & User Support, Team & Enterprise Support, Subscription Based Permissions, Branding & Customizable Widgets, Azure Active Directory Support, Data Access via RESTful APIPrice Comparison:The table below compares the prices of different Azure cost management software available:Review Azure usage and costsCost Analysis Vs Cost AllocationDrill into various data segments itemized from the billing file using Cost Analysis Reports. The reports enable granular cost navigation across Azure raw billing data.After you create a cost model, Cost Allocation reports are available. It matches the data to the usage and tag data of the Azure Account.Cost Over Time:Cost Over Time report displays spends over time to allow you to observe trends and detect irregularities in your deployment. It includes main cost contributors such including ongoing costs and one-time RI fees are being spent during a selected time frame.Use Actual Cost Over Time to see cost trends over time and find irregularities in costAmortized Cost:Amortized cost is that accumulated portion of the recorded cost of a fixed asset that has been charged to expense through either depreciation or amortization. Amortized Cost Reports shows non-usage-based service fees or one-time payable costs and spread their cost over time evenly during their lifespan. For example, one-time fees might include:Reserved Instances purchase feesAzure Marketplace itemsAnnual security component feesThis report displays the main cost contributors within a specified time range and includes ongoing usage costs and one-time RI fees, amortized over the term of the asset or reservation.Custom Charges:Enterprise and CSP often provide additional services to their customers along with their own cloud consumption. You can define these customs charges for added service and additional discounts if any. The list of customs charges doesn't show the different rates that you may be charging.5 things to consider saving to save costIf you are using a public cloud like Azure, it is crucial to know the ways to save cost as your bill is based on consumption. Below are the 5 tips explained to lower Azure pricing and optimize hosting costs:1. Select Azure Reserved VM instancesWhat is RI (Reserved Instance)?An Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instance (RI) is a virtual machine (VM) on the Microsoft Azure public cloud that has been reserved for dedicated use on a one- or three-year basis.RIs require a one-time, upfront payment and offer customers a discount of up to 72% when compared to Microsoft's standard on-demand, pay-per-use VM pricing model.Azure shows 3 options for Discount -Pay as you go -  You only need to pay for how much you will use.1 year reserved (~29% savings) – 29% discount will be given for reserving VMs for 1-year use.3 years reserved (~43% savings) --43% discount will be given for reserving VMs for 1-year use.2. Compare cost before choosing datacenter regionThe different VM pricing tiers do vary in price from region to region.It combines the pricing data for all VM instance sizes across all Azure regions.Estimate your expected monthly bill using our Pricing Calculator and track your actual account usage and bill at any time using the billing portal. Set up automatic email billing alerts to be notified if your spend goes above an amount you configure.3. Make use of Azure Hybrid BenefitThe most cost-effective cloud for your Windows Server or SQL Server migration which helps you-Save up to 80% on Windows Server with Azure Hybrid Benefit and Reserved InstancesSave up to 55%1 on migrations to Azure SQL Database2 with Azure Hybrid BenefitGo at your own pace - move a few workloads or entire data centers)Maximise your investment in Microsoft Server SoftwareNow is the time to move to Azure and reap the rewards of cloud technology, including the ability to scale up or down quickly, pay only for what you use and save on compute power. Whether you are deploying new virtual machines, moving a few workloads or migrating your data centers as part of your hybrid cloud strategy, the Azure Hybrid Benefit provides big savings as you move to the cloud.4.  Use different load calculator to identify the required loadThere are few additional Database resources whose price cannot be calculated based on days and storage. It needs to specify throughput, DTU, and many additional add-ons.Two types of calculators for databases-1) SQL Database Calculatorhttps://dtucalculator.azurewebsites.net/If you are a developer using SQL Server, you've probably heard of Azure SQL Database and you've probably been thinking about migrating your on-premise or VM-based SQL Server database(s) to Azure SQL Database. If so, you've probably asked yourself, "which service tier and performance level should I use and how many database throughput units (DTUs) am I using now?" This calculator will help you determine the number of DTUs for your existing SQL Server database(s) as well as a recommendation of the minimum performance level and service tier that you need before you migrate to Azure SQL Database. Knowing the minimum service tier will allow you to get the performance you need while minimizing your costs.2) Cosmos Db CalculatorTo help customers fine-tune their Azure Cosmos DB throughput estimations, there is a web-based tool to help estimate the request unit requirements for typical operations, including document creates, reads, and deletes.5. Make use of BYOL (Bring Your Own License)What is BYOLBYOL, or “bring your own license,” is the process you can use to deploy software that you already have a license. When you BYOL, you are responsible for managing your own licenses. You are responsible for managing true-ups and renewals as required under your Volume Licensing agreement. In addition, you must submit a new verification form when you renew your agreement and when you deploy any previously unverified products.How to go for BYOL?As a customer using License Mobility through Software Assurance, you must complete a license verification process. Microsoft will verify the eligible license with active Software Assurance and send a confirmation once the verification process is completed.Azure now have to Bring Your Own License (BYOL) images of Windows Server and Windows 10 directly in the marketplace.This is what you needed to do before:Install Windows 10 or Windows Server on an On-Premise machineSysprep the installationUpload the vhd to a storage accountCreate a VM (by template or script) using the custom imageThis is what you need to do now to achieve the same thing:Create a VM (by template or script) using the new marketplace BYOL imageHope you found this article helpful to reduce and optimize your Azure costs. Understand and manage your Azure spend effectively with the help of above 5 cost optimization strategies for Azure bill.Hoping that the blog has helped you gain a clear understanding of How To Save Up To 40% On Azure Bill Without Buying Any Cost Management Software?To gain more knowledge on what Azure has to offer, take a look at other blogs as well as the certifications that KnowledgeHut has to offer or enrol yourself for the Azure Certification Training course by KnowledgeHut.

How To Save Up To 40% On Azure Bill Without Buying Any Cost Management Software

1K
  • by Raju Kumar
  • 06th Sep, 2018
  • Last updated on 11th Mar, 2021
  • 4 mins read
How To Save Up To 40% On Azure Bill Without Buying Any Cost Management Software

I have seen many projects get shut down because of the Azure usage cost. Being a senior developer, I was asked to look over the azure usage and optimize the usage to reduce cost. In this article, we will discuss various ways for effective Azure cloud architecture cost optimization that can easily save up to 40% on Azure cost without purchasing any Cost Management Software. I'll also share some deep insights, which IT Managers doesn't care about, and which has a huge impact on Azure Bill.

Different cost management system:

1.Cloudyn

Cloudyn is an Azure cost management software that provides features like Report on cost and usage, Categorize by resource tags, Create and manage cost and usage budgets, Create alerts on cost and usage budgets, Eliminate idle cloud resources, Right-size cloud resources, Chargeback features including cost markup, redistribution, and custom charges, Customize recommendation thresholds and Categorize costs with custom meta-tags
Cloudyn2. ProXcio

ProXcio contains features like cost analytics, usage analytics, filtered table views, exec dashboards, best practice reports, tag-based analytics, tag-based budgeting, budget analytics, aggregated reporting, limits data stored, limit range for analytics, CSV data import, EA Account drill down, multi-users support, no credit card required, support, cost forecasting, e-mail alerts, data export, Reports scheduling, API access, azure list price invoicing
ProXcio3. RackNap

RackNap contains features like White-Label Marketplace, Subscription Billing, Support Helpdesk, Customer Self-service Portal, CRM, Sales and Marketing, Business Intelligence, Own Catalog Management, Partner Management, Inventory Management, Core Customizations, 3rd Party Integrations, Online Training, Admin Users, Deployment Countries, Deployment Model, Services for Launch.
RackNap4. Azure Costs

All Azure Plans (incl. EA), Unlimited data retention Includes all Professional Features, Multi-Contract & User Support, Team & Enterprise Support, Subscription Based Permissions, Branding & Customizable Widgets, Azure Active Directory Support, Data Access via RESTful API
Azure CostsPrice Comparison:

The table below compares the prices of different Azure cost management software available:
Price Comparison:Review Azure usage and costs

Cost Analysis Vs Cost Allocation

Drill into various data segments itemized from the billing file using Cost Analysis Reports. The reports enable granular cost navigation across Azure raw billing data.

After you create a cost model, Cost Allocation reports are available. It matches the data to the usage and tag data of the Azure Account.

Cost Over Time:

Cost Over Time report displays spends over time to allow you to observe trends and detect irregularities in your deployment. It includes main cost contributors such including ongoing costs and one-time RI fees are being spent during a selected time frame.

Use Actual Cost Over Time to see cost trends over time and find irregularities in cost

Amortized Cost:

Amortized cost is that accumulated portion of the recorded cost of a fixed asset that has been charged to expense through either depreciation or amortization.
 
Amortized Cost Reports shows non-usage-based service fees or one-time payable costs and spread their cost over time evenly during their lifespan. For example, one-time fees might include:

  • Reserved Instances purchase fees
  • Azure Marketplace items
  • Annual security component fees

This report displays the main cost contributors within a specified time range and includes ongoing usage costs and one-time RI fees, amortized over the term of the asset or reservation.

Custom Charges:

Enterprise and CSP often provide additional services to their customers along with their own cloud consumption. You can define these customs charges for added service and additional discounts if any. The list of customs charges doesn't show the different rates that you may be charging.

5 things to consider saving to save cost


If you are using a public cloud like Azure, it is crucial to know the ways to save cost as your bill is based on consumption. Below are the 5 tips explained to lower Azure pricing and optimize hosting costs:
tips1. Select Azure Reserved VM instances

What is RI (Reserved Instance)?

An Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instance (RI) is a virtual machine (VM) on the Microsoft Azure public cloud that has been reserved for dedicated use on a one- or three-year basis.

RIs require a one-time, upfront payment and offer customers a discount of up to 72% when compared to Microsoft's standard on-demand, pay-per-use VM pricing model.

Azure shows 3 options for Discount -
Pay as you go -  You only need to pay for how much you will use.

  • 1 year reserved (~29% savings) – 29% discount will be given for reserving VMs for 1-year use.
  • 3 years reserved (~43% savings) --43% discount will be given for reserving VMs for 1-year use.

2. Compare cost before choosing datacenter region

The different VM pricing tiers do vary in price from region to region.

It combines the pricing data for all VM instance sizes across all Azure regions.

Estimate your expected monthly bill using our Pricing Calculator and track your actual account usage and bill at any time using the billing portal. Set up automatic email billing alerts to be notified if your spend goes above an amount you configure.

3. Make use of Azure Hybrid Benefit

The most cost-effective cloud for your Windows Server or SQL Server migration which helps you-

  • Save up to 80% on Windows Server with Azure Hybrid Benefit and Reserved Instances
  • Save up to 55%1 on migrations to Azure SQL Database2 with Azure Hybrid Benefit
  • Go at your own pace - move a few workloads or entire data centers)
  • Maximise your investment in Microsoft Server Software

Now is the time to move to Azure and reap the rewards of cloud technology, including the ability to scale up or down quickly, pay only for what you use and save on compute power. Whether you are deploying new virtual machines, moving a few workloads or migrating your data centers as part of your hybrid cloud strategy, the Azure Hybrid Benefit provides big savings as you move to the cloud.

4.  Use different load calculator to identify the required load

There are few additional Database resources whose price cannot be calculated based on days and storage. It needs to specify throughput, DTU, and many additional add-ons.

Two types of calculators for databases-

1) SQL Database Calculator

https://dtucalculator.azurewebsites.net/

If you are a developer using SQL Server, you've probably heard of Azure SQL Database and you've probably been thinking about migrating your on-premise or VM-based SQL Server database(s) to Azure SQL Database. If so, you've probably asked yourself, "which service tier and performance level should I use and how many database throughput units (DTUs) am I using now?" This calculator will help you determine the number of DTUs for your existing SQL Server database(s) as well as a recommendation of the minimum performance level and service tier that you need before you migrate to Azure SQL Database. Knowing the minimum service tier will allow you to get the performance you need while minimizing your costs.

2) Cosmos Db Calculator

To help customers fine-tune their Azure Cosmos DB throughput estimations, there is a web-based tool to help estimate the request unit requirements for typical operations, including document creates, reads, and deletes.

5. Make use of BYOL (Bring Your Own License)

What is BYOL

BYOL, or “bring your own license,” is the process you can use to deploy software that you already have a license. When you BYOL, you are responsible for managing your own licenses. You are responsible for managing true-ups and renewals as required under your Volume Licensing agreement. In addition, you must submit a new verification form when you renew your agreement and when you deploy any previously unverified products.

How to go for BYOL?

As a customer using License Mobility through Software Assurance, you must complete a license verification process. Microsoft will verify the eligible license with active Software Assurance and send a confirmation once the verification process is completed.
Azure now have to Bring Your Own License (BYOL) images of Windows Server and Windows 10 directly in the marketplace.
This is what you needed to do before:

  • Install Windows 10 or Windows Server on an On-Premise machine
  • Sysprep the installation
  • Upload the vhd to a storage account
  • Create a VM (by template or script) using the custom image

This is what you need to do now to achieve the same thing:

  • Create a VM (by template or script) using the new marketplace BYOL image

Hope you found this article helpful to reduce and optimize your Azure costs. Understand and manage your Azure spend effectively with the help of above 5 cost optimization strategies for Azure bill.

Hoping that the blog has helped you gain a clear understanding of How To Save Up To 40% On Azure Bill Without Buying Any Cost Management Software?

To gain more knowledge on what Azure has to offer, take a look at other blogs as well as the certifications that KnowledgeHut has to offer or enrol yourself for the Azure Certification Training course by KnowledgeHut.

Raju

Raju Kumar

Blog Author

Certified Azure Solution Architect and MCT, also specialized in AWS & Google Cloud Platform.

Having 6+ Years of Enterprise Product Development, worked in 4 MNC's across global teams.
I am a regular contributor at various technical conferences, Meetups & Community events to help the community to spread cloud awareness.
Things I do: Training, Consulting and Product Development. Let's Connect for a discussion !!

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How to Pass the AWS Cloud Practitioner Exam?

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This includes security, lifecycle management, and architectural design patterns for containerized applications deployed on the AWS.Blue/Green Deployments on AWS – This whitepaper covers the Blue/Green deployment technique that shifts traffic between identical environments of application’s different versions to release application.4. AWS Certified SysOps Administrator -  AssociateCreated for system administrators,  AWS SysOps Administrator certification requires knowledge in operational as well as technical aspects of AWS. You must know how to deploy applications on the AWS platform, transfer data between data centers and the AWS, select the right AWS service, secure and manage the system. You can try the following whitepapers to get a better grasp of these concepts:Architecting for the Cloud – Made for developers and solutions architects, this whitepaper includes concepts on how to build solutions that can be deployed on the AWS platform. You will be learning about the benefits of attributes specific to cloud computing like infrastructure automation and elasticity.Amazon Web Services: Overview of Security Processes – This whitepaper covers the operational security and physical processes that are used for describing the server and network architecture of the AWS platform. You will be learning how to ensure the security of the data and application deployed on the AWS platform.Development and Test on Amazon Web Services – In this whitepaper, you will learn how AWS adds value to the different aspects of the software development cycle. For development, it will cover how to manage version control, project management tools, AWS environment, build process, and the best practices used on the AWS platform. For the test, it includes managing testing environment, running tests like fault tolerance testing, acceptance testing, load testing, etc. Studying this whitepaper will help you select the right scenario for your project. This whitepaper is meant for project managers, system architects, developers, and testers.Backup, Archive and Restore approaches on AWS – This whitepaper deals with solutions used for backing up your data on the cloud. There are discussions on the best practices used for protecting data on the AWS platform. You will learn about backing up, archiving, and restoring data. This whitepaper is meant for IT administrators, backup architects, and solutions architects that are working in the field of securing data in the IT environment.Amazon Virtual Private Cloud Connectivity Options – Created for Amazon VPC administrators, corporate network engineers, and architects, this whitepaper reviews the connectivity options available on the AWS. You will get an overview of all the options that can be used for facilitating network connectivity.5. AWS Certified Solutions Architect – ProfessionalFor  AWS Solutions Architect – Professional certification, a candidate must know best practices used for implementing AWS-based applications and cost-optimization. Also, they must have the skills required for migrating complex applications to the AWS platform and must be able to make architectural recommendations. Go through the following whitepapers to prepare for this certification exam:Encrypting Data at Rest – This whitepaper covers all the government or industry regulations, organizational policies involved in encryption at rest for protecting the data. You will learn about the different options that you can use for data encryption at rest available today.Web Application Hosting in the AWS Cloud – Meant for System architects and IT managers working to use the cloud for achieving scalability for meeting their computing needs, this whitepaper covers methods for achieving scalable and highly available web hosting. Migrating AWS resources to a new AWS Region - This whitepaper is created for customers of AWS who want to transfer their existing resources to a new region of AWS. It is not a definitive guide containing steps for the migrating process. However, it contains different methods and options that you can use for migrating different services to a new region.6. AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – ProfessionalThis certification demonstrates your skills of provisioning, managing, and operating applications on the AWS platform. It focuses on the fundamentals of using the DevOps movement required for automating processes and continuous delivery. You must know about implementing different methodologies used for automating the production operations. Here is a list of whitepapers you need to study to ace  AWS DevOps Engineer – Professional certification:Microservices on AWS – In this whitepaper, you will learn how to use microservices as an organizational and architectural approach for development. All the characteristics of microservices are summarized in this whitepaper including the challenges faced while building microservices. You will also learn how you can leverage the AWS as a product team to overcome these challenges.Running Containerized Microservices on AWS – In this whitepaper, there are discussions about the best architectural practices used for adopting containers on AWS. You will learn about leveraging the Microservices’ principles of Martin Fowler and mapping them to real-life considerations and twelve-factor app pattern. With this whitepaper, you will be able to use the best software design patterns and practices to build microservices.Infrastructure as Code – This whitepaper covers the Infrastructure as Code, the best practice used for automating the provision of infrastructure services. It covers the advantages of using Infrastructure as Code and leveraging the AWS’s capabilities for supporting the DevOps initiatives. This practice acts as a catalyst to attain a velocity that is more responsive to customer’s needs.7. AWS Certified Big Data – SpecialtyAWS Big Data – Specialty certification is for professionals working in the field of data analysis with experience in designing and architecting big data solutions. You must have the skills in using the AWS tools for automating the process of data analysis, security practices, architectural practices, designing and maintaining big data, etc. Following is a list of whitepapers that will help you prepare for this certification exam:Streaming Data Solutions on AWS with Amazon Kinesis – This whitepaper is created for data analysts, data engineers, and big data developers who want to shift from batch to real-time analytics. It covers the analytics’ evolution and how AWS services like Amazon Kinesis Analytics, Amazon Kinesis Firehose, and Amazon Kinesis Streams can be used for implementing real-time applications.Big Data Analytics Options on AWS – It covers big data analytics services offered by the AWS cloud. Created for data scientists, architects, and developers, this whitepaper ends with scenarios showcasing the different analytics options in working.AWS Database Migration Service Best practices – This paper gives an overview of all the best practices used for AWS DMS. This service allows the organization to minimize their associated downtime while changing database engines and migrating the database workloads to the AWS platform.Migrating Applications to AWS – In this whitepaper, you will learn how to use AWS Data Migration Service and AWS Schema Conversion Tool for transferring the on-premise database to the Amazon Relational Database Service. It covers all the features and benefits of using these tools and a step-by-step guide for migrating the database to the Amazon RDS. There are discussions on data migration and schema processes irrespective of the target database.8. AWS Certified Advanced Networking -  SpecialtyTo ace  AWS Advanced Networking -  Specialty certification, you must know how to use the AWS platform for performing complex networking tasks using the hybrid IT networking architecture. You should know how to architect and implement network solutions using AWS services. Also, you must be an expert in implementing compliance, automating tasks, optimizing the network, troubleshooting, etc. The following list of whitepapers will help you prepare for this exam:AWS Best Practices for DDoS Resiliency – This whitepaper will help you improve the application's resiliency against the Distributed Denial of Service attacks. You will be learning about the attacks, the capabilities of AWS, DDoS-resilient reference architecture, and migration techniques. This paper is created for security engineers and IT decision-makers working in the field of security, networking, and AWS.An Introduction to High-Performance Computing on AWS – In this paper, you will cover the benefits of using HPC workloads for computing on AWS. You will learn about how cloud services are used by organizations for gaining access to the most advanced computing capabilities.Integrating AWS with Multiprotocol Label Switching - This whitepaper covers the best high-availability architectural practices used for integrating the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud to the Multiprotocol Label Switching network.9. AWS Certified Security – SpecialtyTo prepare for  AWS Security – Specialty certification, you must know the basics of security and the security services offered on the AWS platform like data encryption, identity, and access management, monitoring, incident response, logging, data protection, etc. Here is a list of whitepapers that will help you get a clear understanding of the above-mentioned concepts:AWS Key Management Service Best Practices – This whitepaper covers the usage of AWS KMS, the difference between different customer master keys, auditing the use of keys, ensuring least privilege using AWS KMS key policies, etc.AWS Security Best Practices – In this whitepaper, you will get an overview of topics like identifying, protecting, and categorizing assets of AWS and managing the AWS resources’ accessing details. You will also learn how you can secure data, application, operating system and the infrastructure.Security at Scale: Governance in AWS -  This whitepaper will help you learn how to use the resources of AWS to achieve high-level governance. You will go through the features and governance related to the services of AWS. Using the AWS platform for building your integrated environment is also covered in this whitepaper.Security at Scale: Logging in AWS – This whitepaper covers all the logging requirements of common compliance. You will also learn about all the features of AWS CloudTrail and how it satisfies the logging requirement.AWS Security Best Practices – This whitepaper provides an overview of security topics like identification, categorization, and protection of assets on AWS, management of access to AWS resources, and discussions on different ways used for securing data, operating system, application, and the overall infrastructure.Security at Scale: Governance in AWS -  This paper covers methods of achieving high-level governance using the AWS resources. With the help of this paper, you will be able to understand the features of security and governance incorporated in the AWS services and how you can build your integrated environment on the AWS platform.Security at Scale: Logging in AWS – With this whitepaper, you will get a complete overview of the requirements of common compliance in relation to logging. Apart from this, you will also learn about the different features of AWS CloudTrail and how it can be used for satisfying the logging requirements.10. AWS Certified Machine Learning – SpecialtyThis  AWS Machine Learning – Specialty certification is for professionals who know how to create, implement, and maintain Machine Learning solutions. The exam validates your skills to design secure, reliable, cost-optimized, and scalable solutions for machine learning problems. You should also know how to identify the right AWS service. The following whitepapers will help you ace this certification:Machine Learning Foundations – This paper will help create a foundation of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence and how technicians and researchers can use AWS services for deploying machine learning solutions.Managing Machine Learning Projects – This whitepaper covers the best practices used to manage machine learning projects. You will learn to manage and mitigate the risks involved in the deliverance of the complex machine learning systems. It is intended for software development engineers, data scientists, managers, and business stakeholders.Power Machine Learning at Scale – It includes the best practices used for the execution of machine learning workflows. You will learn about the recommended solutions, challenges, and end-to-end considerations as well as execution of parallelized modeling at scale thorough high-performance computing on AWS.These whitepapers will aid in expanding the knowledge of the AWS cloud. The technical content of these whitepapers including the guides, reference material, and reference architecture diagrams is written by the AWS community.
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What Is the Recommended List of AWS Whitepapers?

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What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of AWS Certified Solutions Architect?

A solution architect is an AWS solutions Architect Certification holder, who is usually a part of the solution development team, has the responsibility of designing one or more services or applications within an organization. The solution architect is required to have both business and technical skills in the right balance. He or she will often have to work with an enterprise architect for strategic direction. The focus is mainly on the technical decisions regarding the solution and the impact they have on business outcomes. The information is used by the development team for implementation of a solution.Solution architects require process as well as people skills. More often than not, they are required to explain complex problems to management in the simplest possible terms. They need to explain the same thing in a different manner, depending on their audience. Of course, they would have to understand the processes of the business well for creating a cohesive product vision.What does a Solutions Architect do?The position of a solution architect is one of the most sought-after positions among developers. They are responsible for building and integration of computer systems and information for meeting specific needs. Typically, this involves the integration of hardware and software for meeting the customer-defined purpose. Examination of current systems and architecture is also one of their responsibilities. They work with technical and business staff for recommending solutions for more effective systems. The project involvement of the solution architect starts when the requirements are being developed by the computer systems analyst. Thereafter, their involvement continues throughout the rest of the project. The task of development is organized by them, motivating and guiding the development time during the systems development life cycle. Ultimately, their main responsibility is regarding the vision underlying the solution and how to execute that vision. A solution architect may also have to look after programming, testing, and integration of software systems and devices. They use processes that usually involve the selection of technology that is suitable for a problem. They also need to maintain a balance between enterprise concerns and architectural concerns. Most of the solution architects have years of experience in software development, which equips them with tools that can help them be more productive and effective. The main focus of a solution architect is on:The use of technology for finding a solution to business problemsWhich platform, framework or tech-stack should be used for the creation of a solution? The appearance of the application, what modules to use and the interaction between those modules. Scaling for future and its maintenanceDetermining the risk associated with third-party platforms or frameworksFinding solutions to business problemsThe difference between an enterprise architect, a solution architect and a technical architectEnterprise architects are responsible for building complex enterprise ecosystems and solving high-level strategic problems. The strategic directions of business architecture are defined by enterprise architecture. It provides an understanding of the technical facilities that are needed for supporting the architecture. The gap between technology solutions and business problems are bridged by solution architecture. The entire process is quite complex and it includes several sub-processes. It includes:Finding which tech solution is the best for the solution of current business problemsDescription of the characteristics, structure, behavior and other such software aspects to stakeholders of the projectDefinition of the features, requirements, and phases of solutionProvision of specifications for defining, managing and delivering the solution. Technical architects, on the other hand, are primarily responsible for software architecture and engineering problems. A solution architect describes the use of different components of technology, information and business architecture for a specific solution. They address business problems by focusing on details and solution technologies. Hence, solution architecture serves as a channel between technical architecture and enterprise architecture. All these have to be combined effectively by companies for ideal solutions. Primary Processes Covered by Solution ArchitectureWith a solution architecture that is well-built, teams can develop products within the required time and budget constraints. It also ensures the solution of the problem is exactly what it needs to be. The tasks carried out by solution architects include:Envisioning solutions according to the corporate environment: Generally, companies already have an information context, integration requirements, and operating systems. The solution architect has to make sure the new system fits the environment that already exists in the system. To do this, they need to understand how different parts of a business model work together, including operating systems, application architecture and processes. Through an understanding of these processes, they will be able to design a solution best fit for the environment.Meeting stakeholders’ requirements: A particularly challenging aspect of software product development is to meet the requirements of stakeholders. A product usually has many technical and non-technical stakeholders. The aim of a solution architecture is to make sure all their requirements are taken into consideration. Stakeholders need to be informed about the processes, budgeting, and costs of product development on a regular basis. A solution architect performs this task by translating the technical details of the project into a language that non-technical stakeholders and management can understand.Taking project constraints into account: There are always certain limitations or constraints associated with a project, including:technologyscoperisks cost timequality    resourcesFor example, the technologies used for building a product should suit the requirements of its modules. The software documentation defines the scope of a project, which includes its goals, features, functions, and tasks. There is also a budget allocated for every project.Aspects like these are project constraints and they have their own limitations. A solution architect needs to understand all the constraints and compare them for making managerial and technological decisions as per the project goals.Selecting the technology stack for the project: A vital task performed by solutions architect is to select the right technologies for the development of products. The strategy of technical architecture depends directly on the technology stack that is chosen. Several different practices exist with regards to platforms, tools and programming languages. The function of a solution architect is finding which of these practices are most suitable for the project. It is a complicated task that requires assessing and comparing technology.Complying to the non-functional requirements: There are non-functional requirements as well that a software project has to meet. These requirements describing the system characteristics are called quality attributes. Non-functional requirements can differ according to the complexity of the product. The common requirements include security, maintainability, performance, usability, reliability, and scalability of a product. All these non-functional requirements are analyzed by the solution architect for ensuring product engineering meets these requirements. Main Roles and Duties of a Solution ArchitectConducting architectural evaluation, analysis, and design of enterprise-wide systemsStimulating appropriate design discipline and design tools like IBM RationalEnsuring delivery of robust system solutions by the application architecture team to the architect businessDeveloping, enhancing and maintaining established process and procedure of service design for assuring appropriate and robust service designWork with the enterprise architect for making sure the architecture and strategic blueprints are complied withForming part of a high-performance solution architecture team that supports the developmental effort of a business-oriented projectPlanning, designing and executing complex company level solution configurationPreparation and presentation of a test plan, lab reports, technical presentations and analyst briefings for covering different solution areasBe responsible for the best current practices and suggestionsCollaboration with the IT development team for ensuring suitable translation of architectural solution into robust and effective implementationMaking sure configuration management continues the way it shouldIdentification of customer requirements, analysis of alternatives and conducting product recommendations associated with platform, software and network configurationsWork with sales department for performing demonstration and conversing requirementsInitiate contact with the client to provide a complete team effortPrimary responsibilities:Understanding the needs of the company for defining system specificationsPlanning and designing the technology solution structureCommunication system requirements to the software development teamEvaluation and choosing suitable hardware or software and suggesting methods for integrationOverseeing assigned programs and guiding the team membersProviding assistance when technical problems ariseMaking sure the agreed infrastructure and architecture are implementedAddressing the technical concerns, suggestions, and ideasMonitoring systems to make sure they meet business goals as well as user requirementsSkills Required to become a Solution ArchitectThe role of a solution architect is a technical one and involves the translation of functional requirements into robust solutions. Individuals looking to get a job as a solution architect must possess AWS solutions architect certification and have a relevant degree along with certain skills, including:Technical literacy: A high level of technical literacy is required to become a solution architect. It allows them to figure out how a particular solution fits with the current structure of the organization. They also need to assist the development of requirements and specificationsAnalytical assessment: Solution architects are required to examine the current system of the client, which involves extreme analysis. They also need to analyze to determine the overall scope and requirements of the projectManaging schedule: Right time management skills are required for determining milestones and schedules for development and ensuring timely completion of deliverablesLeading the team: Solution architects need to know how to motivate and lead since they directly oversee development teams throughout the development lifecycles of projectsCommunication skills: Excellent verbal and written communication skills are also required since the role involves communication with clients, external vendors and team membersSolving problems: The system limitations or client specification can change during development. Solution architects need to use their problem-solving skills for changing directions quickly as per the updated limitations or specifications.When is Solution Architecture Needed by a Company?Technology consulting organizations can introduce solution architecture to the corporate structure if the integration process of the software system is not systematic. A solution architect is not required for all the projects. Solution architecture won’t be required if a single proven tech module is being implemented. However, it is advisable to consider solution architecture services when the projects grow to be more complicated, entailing different risks and processes. A solution architect is needed when:It is unknown which solution is the best fit for the company ecosystem: It is important that there exists a link between a particular project and enterprise architecture. Solution architectures make sure company environment standards are met by the solutionA digital transformation project is being run: Projects involving digital transformation requires businesses to reevaluate what they deliver to customers or how they deliver it. It cannot be done without linking business and technological tasks, which is what a solution architect doesThere are a lot of risks involved: In projects that involve different technological risks, uncertain requirements, implementation of multiple products or unapproved underlying technologies, it is necessary to have a solution architectA future product has to be presented to investors: In this case, solution architects help suggest suitable technologies for matching production requirements. They also communicate in clear and understandable business termsCommunications between engineers and stakeholders have to be set up: There can be a communication gap between a non-technical and technical specialist. Solution architects help bridge that gapThe project involves multiple teams: Larger projects require someone for managing the designers, business or technical architect teams for producing quality outcomes. To sum it all up, solution architecture forms the underpinning of all IT projects, regardless of whether the company actually adopts this practice or not. Deliberate introduction of solution architecture allows the building of the framework that aligns with skills, resources, and technology of defined business goals. Conventionally, mid-size and small companies do not practice solution architecture. The problems related to solution architecture are delegated across different roles with the product and development team. It is a good option for small projects that have predictable outcomes. However, a specialist will definitely be required if the enterprise architecture itself is complex with multiple software products being introduced into the ecosystem. A solution architect is a specialist for such needs.
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What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of AWS Cer...

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