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VINE VOICEon September 4, 2011
Before you get your hands into the Amazon Cloud, this book is a must read. This should be a required manual (or sorts) especially if you're thinking about skipping the free documentation available on the Amazon Web Services site.

Even before you buy this book, you can be sure that the author, Jurg van Vliet, knows AWS concepts very thoroughly because this author has also developed an iPhone and an Android app for AWS, called "Decaf". Decaf uses native AWS API calls to interact with your AWS account. Search for this author on YouTube and you'll find an interview describing this book.

This book may be slightly outdated now as the cloud space is constantly changing (read: improving). However, the core concepts around the EC2 that are covered in this book are still the same. This book gives you a great start into the core EC2 (and AWS) concepts that you must understand before you get started with EC2. For example, this book explains the differences between EBS-backed and S3-backed instances in such detail that I could not find in the EC2 documentation. This book also provides you details instructions on how to get the command-line tools set up.

A prerequisite for this book should be that you do need to have some basic understanding of programming and/or scripting. For this book (and for EC2 in general), you should also have some system administration experience (Linux or Windows). This book will not show you how to host your site on AWS but it will show you how to get started toward that goal. AWS is much more than a hosting solution so if you're only looking to host website, you may be disappointed by the contents of this book.

Currently this is the only book that covers AWS (and EC2 in particular) in this much depth. I have also read Jeff Barr's Host Your Web Site In The Cloud and if I had to pick one book out of the two, I would pick this Jurg van Vliet's book because it focuses more on EC2 and provides more in-depth coverage of topics that someone using the EC2 as utility computing will need.

The title of this book is slightly misleading because the book doesn't just cover EC2 exclusively. It goes into many of the other AWS services such as RDS, S3, CloudFront, Auto Scale, SQS, SimpleDB and SNS. I would have titled the book "Programming Amazon Web Services" because it doesn't just talk about EC2 which is just one of the many services within the AWS offering.
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on December 24, 2011
I'm starting to read a little bit more about Amazon Web Services. It all seems pretty great. I'm surprised that it's new to me as it's been around since 2002. I've been reading Programming Amazon EC2 by Jurg van Vliet which is a pretty informative book. I've been learning about all of what AWS has to offer, which from what I've understood so far is practically invaluable, whether it be the infinite storage that Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) offers, or Amazon SimpleDB as a NoSQL option, their Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) which I think is also an amazing service thats offered... and their Auto Scaling ... and Cloud Front CDN. I can't believe all of this is new to me. Boggling my mind. Anywho... It's yet another step to move into the distributed server technology world. This is an extremely informative read and it's actually very nice to have on my Kindle app on my Android and iPad because it allows me to highlight and go back to specific things on a whim. For a mere $27, I'd recommend purchasing this.
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on May 5, 2011
Great book for getting started developing on amazon ec2. It's a fast-read, giving a nice overview of all the different products amazon has to offer and how or when to use them. It also provides examples with code snippets on how automate some more complex tasks like scaling and making snapshots. Although this book is a very quick start for new Amazon ec2 users, I'm afraid it might get outdated quite fast since amazon continuously adds more features and new products to the mix and makes things easier.
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on June 22, 2015
Thank you.
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on November 17, 2014
Not detailed enough in how to actually migrate applications to AWS...too general.
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on June 17, 2011
The authors do an excellent job on walking us through EC2. Highly recommended book, not too technical and not too simple either. It fills a needed gap in the market.
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on April 30, 2011
Because this is a short book, I'll write a short review. Programming Amazon EC2 (PAE) explains how to use certain elements of Amazon Web Services to deploy applications in Amazon's cloud infrastructure. The discussion centers on the authors' experiences deploying live, production Web sites (like Kulitzer) using AWS. I found this approach refreshing and novel, because it reads like a playbook for recreating similar infrastructure for the reader's own purposes.

PAE regularly explains how to accomplish tasks using the AWS Web interface, but crucially (for me anyways) the book also generally shows the same processes using command line tools on Linux. Because I find it easier to read CLI instructions than follow screenshots of Web sites, I appreciated the text-based approach. PAE also helps the reader understand the reasoning behind Amazon's release of various AWS offerings. It's clearer now the problems Amazon was solving internally, which drove the delivery of new capabilities to customers.

My main problem with PAE is the almost total lack of security considerations. I say "almost" because the word "secure" does appear on p 87: "One advantage of SimpleDB here is that it's ready to use right away. There is no setup or administration hassle, the data is secure..." Sure it is! The authors also mention using Access Control Lists to permit Internet users to use Web applications, but otherwise there is no discussion of the risks of relying on cloud infrastructure. Reading recent news should be enough to remind the reader of these issues.

Overall, you will like PAE if you're looking to see how another small company jumpstarted their business by deploying applications in AWS. For future editions I would like to see discussions of security plus comparisons to other cloud offerings.
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on August 4, 2015
This book is ancient for the pace of AWS. It's also misleading. For starters the title has EC2 in it. Yet EC2 is just one part of the book and many other AWS services are covered such as s3, RDS, and SQS. Yes, EC2 is kid of the heart of AWS, but it's only one piece and a book with EC2 in the title implies that it will focus on EC2 throughout.

What this book should be called is a Tour de Force of AWS's major components at time of publishing. Which is currently 2011. The gap between 2011 and today (mid 2015) is enormous. Huge services are completely left out. AWS is by far one of the fastest growing things... ever. The four plus years of outdated material given the state of things is really quite large. For that reason over any other this book is not work more than $2 to me. If you find a cheap used copy, pick it up and skim it. But do not buy this book new thinking it will be a complete overview of AWS. You will be disappointed. Even modules in sample code the book uses are no longer maintained. No much to see here... move along.
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on March 14, 2011
Programming Amazon EC2Programming Amazon EC2 is a hands-on guide to use of Amazon's cloud platform, with a focus on showing the reader how to approach the various components of the EC2 ecosystem. The authors state early on that the goal is to give the reader "a sense of all AWS functionality", so you will not find any one area explored in extreme detail.

The text generally achieves its goals. After a brief history of EC2 at Amazon, it moves quickly into establishing the necessary tools environment and then connecting to a new machine instance. This is not a cookbook, and some mundane yet critical details (e.g., setting permissions on your key files to 400 when running on Linux) are skipped; these are not fatal omissions, but they may hamper your experience if you are not seasoned on your platform of choice. Also, most examples are geared toward the Linux (Ubuntu) environment, so you will need to be able to translate those commands and concepts to your chosen environment. Once the machine image has booted, this text will assume that you are fully competent to administer the operating system of that image, including package installation, editing configuration files, etc.

Overall, good breadth of information in a relatively quick read, although you will need to follow along and try the examples with your chosen image/environment/application to really see a return on time invested.

Disclaimer, I was provided access by O'Reilly Publishing to an electronic copy of this book for review purposes.
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on March 27, 2017
well the book is more like and paid advertisement info comercial

just do not get too much information
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