Amazon Web Services (AWS)

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As a Certified AWS Consulting Partner we are big fans of AWS.  From cost optimizations to whiz-bang features we have drunk the AWS cloud Kool-Aid.  Learn more about the latest and greatest from AWS by reading these articles. Enjoy!

  • Media Supply Chain + Cloud

    Media Supply Chain + Cloud

    In this interview, I chat with Erik Åhlin about media supply chains, how M&E companies can leverage the power of the cloud, and what he sees for the future of the industry. 

  • DJI Park

    Live Stream From Drone To AWS With S3 Backup

    Drones are awesome, and a lot of fun. But what happens if your drone gets lost along with all its footage? Or, what if you want other people around the world to be able to tune in to what the drone sees — in real time — as  it sees it?

  • Drone Flying

    Remote live streaming to AWS Media Services from a DJI Spark drone

    I’m Vaughn Hawk, a Cloud Engineer for Metal Toad for over 3 years.

  • cloud downloading into an ipad

    How Cloud became the most important buzzword in business

    Cloud is not the first (and probably not the last) disruptor to business via software.  Over the past 50 years or so there have been four major epochs of software, with Cloud being the latest. SaaS software is dying and the Cloud is coming for all of us.

  • cool tech graphics

    Lambda: javascript vs python

    For this hackathon we created a product, YouToad, using Amplify (S3, React, Lambda) and AWS Elemental MediaConvert

  • Bill Martin Editorial

    Cloud + Live Events

    As CIO at sports and music entertainment giant AEG, Bill Martin drives the convergence of business and technology to deliver innovative success. Bill and I got together to talk about how businesses are actualizing the promise of the...

  • Carmen Editorial

    Cloud + Higher Education

    Carmen Lidz is the Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer at Los Angeles Community College District, where she shapes the technology vision and implements strategies, infrastructure, and enterprise systems and services to support the entire...

  • Machine Learning Banner Image

    AWS re:Invent Insights—The Future of Machine Learning

    After being immersed in hundreds of announcements and innovations and inspiring presentations at AWS re:Invent, the key insight I came away with was this: machine learning has so radically evolved that it will change the future of every industry smart enough take advantage of it.

  • AWS Personalize - AWS reInvent Insights

    AWS Personalize - AWS reInvent Insights

    AWS Personalize, part of Amazon's suite of machine learning services, allows for creating highly curated experiences is a major differentiator for enterprises that seize the possibilities.

  • Bridget Editorial Photo

    Cloud + Healthcare

    Bridget Barnes has spent over 15 years leading strategic information system architecture at Oregon Health Science University (OHSU)—one of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals and a vibrant hub of groundbreaking...

  • cloud in a pill

    The Cloud May Be ITs Antidote for COVID-19

    These are unprecedented times where it's hard to get anyone to pay attention to anything other than the COVID-19 epidemic sweeping the globe.  But what is the answer for IT if we are looking at a prolonged period of distributed work?

  • Jim editorial

    Cloud + Manufacturing

    In this interview, Jim gives his take on the future of cloud, the building blocks of evaluating enterprise tech solutions, and his advice for other execs navigating the ever-changing cloud landscape.

  • What Is Cloud Computing

    What Is Cloud Computing?

    Cloud computing is: the delivery of services, on a pay-as-you go basis. It’s the availability of offsite computer system resources that offers strength and flexibility

  • NYC Banner-Postponed

    AWS Media Symposium—New York 2020 (Postponed)

    Excited about the future of media and entertainment? Join us at the AWS Media Symposium in New York this year (March 11, 2020). We’re excited to be sponsors at what promises to be an illuminating day of ...

  • HPA Tech Retreat Banner

    HPA Tech Retreat 2020

    Exhilarating, overwhelming, and immensely inspiring—the HPA Tech Retreat (February 17–20 in Palm Springs, CA) is one of our favorite events of the year.

  • AWS Media Symposium—Miami 2020 Banner

    AWS Media Symposium—Miami 2020

    We’re excited about the AWS Media Symposium in Miami this year (February 13, 2020). It will be a full day for AWS partners, experts, technologists, and leaders in the M&E industry to learn and connect. 

  • AWS logo

    AWS Partner Requirements Expand Metal Toad's Knowledge

    Early last year, AWS drastically increased the requirements for becoming certified as  a partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN).

  • How to Choose the Right Cloud Provider

    How to Choose the Right Cloud Provider

    The promise of cloud technology has spawned tremendous innovation by some of the biggest, most powerful companies in the world.

  • AWS Header Image

    What is AWS Cloud?

    Taken literally AWS is an acronym for Amazon Web Services, but that doesn't really help to clarify what it AWS is.  Summarized, AWS is Amazon's offering for selling computer time in the cloud.

  • rubix cube

    ReactJS Amplify App Pt II - Storage

    The banner and food feed have placeholder images that are ready to accept an avatar image. Now on to storing and retrieving an avatar in an s3 bucket using Amplify Storage, and displaying it using Amplify React S3Image!

  • taking a picture of a dish

    ReactJS Amplify App Part I - Overview and Auth

    This is a three part post about our experience using AWS Amplify to develop a food logging app for the Metal Toad hackathon. Here in part one we cover the initial project overview/setup and our experience implementing Amplify Auth. Part two will cover Amplify Storage, with part three covering Amplify AppSync and PubSub.

  • VIP Event Banner

    2019 State of Video+Cloud for M&E VIP Luncheon: AWS Elemental

    The cloud is transforming everything, and the Media & Entertainment industry is feeling this shift acutely. Being on top of the latest innovations—and knowing what’s coming over the horizon—is mission critical for executives in the video space.

  • Half opened Laptop in dark

    Building a AWS Headless CMS

    Over the past several years, Metal Toad has launched several successful cloud-first web and mobile applications, often with hardware components. With each release, I'm noticing how product management, UX, and engineering are frequently able to produce the same features of a CMS faster and cheaper than using Drupal, Wordpress, Salesforce, and Adobe.

  • Inside of Machine

    Predictive Maintenance with Machine Learning and IoT

    Maintenance of machinery is vital in all industries.  Not only does maintenance cost time and money, but improper maintenance could lead to inefficient performance or potentially be a safety hazard depending upon the purpose of the machinery.

  • Los Angeles City skyline with palm trees

    The Battle for Cloud dominance in Los Angeles

    Los Angeles is a massive metropolis.  While only #18 by population - with a mere 18.7 million people - Los Angeles is 3rd in the world in GDP with over a trillion of dollars produced annually.

  • Portland at sunset

    The Battle for Cloud Marketshare in Oregon

    Oregon has always been well known for its timber industry.  Indeed at one point in the 1970s fully 12% of the States GDP was produced by timber.  While timber's former dominance is not a surprise, many p

  • cloud boxing

    Saas vs. Cloud

    I talk a lot about the Cloud. And while, "the cloud" is certainly a candidate for buzzword bingo, unlike some other buzzwords, I really do believe this one lives up to the hype.

  • AWS logo

    How to win with the AWS Well Architected Framework

    Over the years, we've perfected our own internal AWS standards regarding product management, scrum management, code quality, peer review, continuous deployments, and others.

  • Cloud computing competition image

    The Cloud War: Battlefront IBC (1 of 4)

    At IBC2019, the biggest international conference for the Media & Entertainment industry, there were some major themes:

  • User holding phone

    The Value of Android, iOS, and React to the Cloud

    As an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, Metal Toad helps our clients identify their cloud solutions.  However, one question I frequently hear is, “If we are building cloud solutions, then why is there a need for engineers in Android, iOS, and React specialties?”.

  • Man jumping in clouds

    Why the Cloud Movement Is the Future of All Business

    Cloud computing is quickly becoming not just another tech innovation, but a fundamental shift in the way businesses function. Learn the top 6 advantages of moving to cloud and the ONLY 3 ways to accomplish innovation.

  • 5 Signs You Need Cloud Migration Consulting

    5 Signs You Need AWS Cloud Migration Consulting

    At some point in the last decade, you’ve probably bought a new computer. And at first, it’s great: performance is zippy, but after a few years, things start slowing down. Even though you upgrade your OS things seem wonky.

  • Devops cycle

    5 Signs You Need Better AWS DevOps

    Imagine this scenario: you want to build a new house, so you hire two people: an architect to design the structure and all the plumbing and wiring and the like, and an interior designer to come up with the various features of the rooms, the lighting, the colors, the decor.

  • whispering

    Your Serverless Function has a Secret

    Your Serverless function has a secret... maybe it's a password for a remote API, a private key, or signing certificate. These secrets have to be stored somewhere, and in the old days that usually meant just a plaintext config file on your server.

  • AWS Snowflake

    AWS Snowflake Data Warehousing

    Learn about AWS Snowflake Architecture, data handling and connecting to Snowflake, how to set up a Snowflake DB, and load Data from the pros at Metal Toad.

  • AWS Lambda

    AWS Lambda and Infrastructure as Code

    AWS Lambda, for those not familiar with it, is an event driven serverless platform for compute resources.

  • Iot Data Pipeline

    Building an Expandable IoT Data Pipeline - Part 1

    Background and problem description In late 2016 we were approached with an opportunity to build a data pipeline for one of our large clients.

  • lambda

    Servers...yay or nay?

    Recently the term "serverless" has been thrown a lot in reference to provisioned, on demand functions invoked by a cloud provider, as a service. Obviously we're not going to call them ODFIBACPaaS, so most of the web has decided to...

  • AWS WAF & Shield

    Origin Protection with AWS WAF & Shield

    Amazon has been steadily improving their CloudFront CDN offering with WAF (Web Application Firewall) capabilities. This is a great feature, however it's ineffective if origin servers can be attacked directly, bypassing CloudFront. With a little extra work, access to the origin can be restricted. The solution is to add a secret header value at the edge, and configure the load balancer to block requests that are missing this secret. This is necessary because CloudFront distributions are not associated with security groups, nor are fixed IPs available (unlike higher-priced competitors like Kona Site Shield).

  • Women Engineer Kicking Ass

    Using Serverless Config to Deploy an AWS CloudWatch Dashboard

    My team’s most recent project has been really interesting - it’s a JavaScript project that includes using the Serverless Framework to deploy a variety of AWS Lambda Functions (e.g. uploading to S3 buckets and making requests to the API that we built)...

  • clouds and security

    Best Practices For a Secure Cloud Part 1

    Whether you’re running on premise datacenter, using a private or public IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) hosting platform, security is extremely important. We’ve all seen the horror stories in the news when companies experience data security breaches.

  • Capistrano Logo

    Using Capistrano with Dynamic Virtual Environments

    The Problem At Metal Toad we use Capistrano to facilitate deploying projects. It allows us to support different environments, pulling and pushing databases and files, for all sorts of products.

  • AWS Logo

    NFS Performance on AWS

    Last year, I wrote a blog about the performance of various NFS Solutions in AWS. Earlier this year, Amazon announced its own NFS Solution called Elastic File System, “EFS”.

  • AWS CloudFront Logo

    Amazon CloudFront with Drupal 8

    Since I wrote my first review of CloudFront, Amazon has added support for three essential features...

  • AWS logo

    AWS Cross-Account Roles and Consolidated Billing

    Amazon Web Service recently introduced support for cross-account roles. What this now means, is that you can use one IAM account to access multiple AWS accounts.

  • AWS CloudFormation

    Cloud Architecture: AWS CloudFormation

    In my previous blog series, Evolution of a Custom Cloud, I went over how our base design for a custom cloud has improved and how we setup our current VPC network architecture.

  • AWS logo

    Capistrano Deploy to dynamic AWS EC2

    At Metal Toad we use Capistrano to deploy our projects to their respective servers. Normally this is done with a configuration file for each stage (Dev, Staging, QA, and Production) that contains a list of servers. Below is an example of one of those files.

  • Cool cloud photo

    Evolution of the Custom Cloud: Part 1 "Architecting the Cloud"

    Last year Metal Toad launched its Custom Cloud Service. Since then, our Custom Cloud Architecture has evolved to handle the increased complexity and security requirements of our clients cloud applications.

  • cool tech graphics

    AWS NAS Test Part 2

    Shortly after I wrote AWS NAS Test I was contacted by Zadara Storage. They had some concerns about the data I reported from my test.

  • cool tech graphics

    AWS NAS Test

    As part of Metal Toad’s Managed Services Team, I have worked extensively in custom cloud based solutions. There is no doubt Amazon Web Services (AWS) leads the pack in Cloud hosting, but when it comes to a Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution, I have found a shortfall...a fast solution.

  • cool tech graphics

    The 2013 Emmys Leverage AWS

    When preparing for a big event, it is our job to make sure the general public sees exactly what is expected, and with the help of Amazon Web Service (AWS) we did! All planning comes with a few standard issue assessments/steps: Identify need, identify options, and begin to build!

  • cool tech graphics

    Bucket policy for friendly file exchange on Amazon S3

    We sometimes need to exchange huge files with our customers and partners (too big to fit within the typical storage limits of Basecamp, or the free tier on Google Drive, Dropbox, etc). There are now many user-friendly client apps for Amazon S3. I like Cyberduck. Combined with AWS's flexible policy system, setting up a transfer bucket is a snap.

  • cool tech graphics

    Using Amazon Cloudfront with Drupal

    We like to use our own site to experiment with different technologies. CDN's are nothing new, and Metal Toad has projects running on competing systems including Akamai and Level 3. Still, I think Amazon Cloudfront is an interesting offering and I wanted to give it a spin. Here's my review of the service after setting it up with Drupal:

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