Empires are not built in a day (but they also do not last forever)

I am currently on vacation in Rome (my first time) and during this trip I came to a number of realizations that I would like to share with you.

I went to the Colosseum today - and I have to say I was in awe. The structure is magnificent (even if the remains are only part of of the original structure in all its glory). As I progressed throughout the day - I came to the following realizations.

(.. and of course how they tie into our tech world today)

Acquire vs. Train

Throughout ancient history - all the great empires (or what were once considered as such) were barbarians. They left legacies that remain to this day - but none of them were earned honestly. Most of the great wonders of the worlds - from the pyramids to the Colosseum to the great wall of China - these were all built with slave labor. The Romans conquered the world, enslaved almost every country they touched - used them to build an empire. I think it is safe to say this how the world used to work. Today, this would not be acceptable. Slavery and taking advantage of the other is not correct. 

The knowledge was there, the brains were there, but they needed working hands get the shit done. 
That is why people outsource development resources to places where labor is cheap (India for example) but leave the brains at home and only let the 'workers' churn out the hard stuff. 

There are several problems with this - and we are seeing this today in many walks of life. Some companies understand that even though the labor is cheaper, the quality and speed with which the work they wished to complete - is not what they expect. In the olden days would be able to terrorize your slaves into working to their deaths to provide what you want. This happened in ancient Egypt, in ancient Rome, pretty much everywhere. But that does not and cannot happen today. So we do one of two things. Instead of working the people to their death we provide incentives to produce more, be it higher salaries, better conditions, bonuses - hoping that this will encourage (or should I rather say force) people to work harder. The other option is - we compromise on quality - or on delivery times - which either pisses off our customers because we are late, or pisses them off - because the product is not as good as we promised.

It is obvious though - that the easiest way for us to produce - is not by training the talent from the ground up - but rather let someone else invest that time and effort - and when we have the opportunity, swoop in (in the olden days conquer) and reap the benefits of someone else's work. 

In today's world we see this with most big companies acquiring smaller ones. Growth by Acquisition. Cisco has built its empire over the years in this way. You can't build an amazing Wireless product - buy one. VMware the same. You can build a great Kubernetes offering - buy one

This is the way business works. Sometimes these mergers work and make the company better and sometimes they fail - dismally. Sometimes the talent gets incorporated but that is not always the case. 
It will all depend on how much you want to invest in the knowledge you acquired, and how much you become one with those people that bring that knowledge to the table.

True belief stays eternal

Religion is funny thing. I think I can say there is really only one religion that has stayed with us from the beginning and that is Judaism. Christianity became a well known religion - somewhere around the 4th century. Islam - somewhere in the 7th century. All the ancient kingdoms, rulers, empires, no matter how great they were, how much of the world they conquered (or tried to) - they no longer exist. The only true thing that people will cling to is an idea, a belief. Something that is emotional.

The Persians built an empire - it is no more.
The Egyptians , the Greeks, the Romans, the Ottoman empire, the list goes on and on and on - all gone. 

In our technological world today, it is hard to call anything eternal. Computers have only been around for less than 100 years. But even with its young age there are already religions forming around technology and it use..
  • vim vs emacs
  • Windows vs Mac
  • Windows vs Linux
  • Closed source vs open source
It is very hard to convert someone from one religion to another, sometimes with works some severe, and more severe, and sometimes less severe persuasion but there are cases where people will change their mind.

I am of the conviction that if what you believe in - is something that is connected to a deep emotion, something that is personal, it is something that will stay with you forever.

Technology - is still in its infancy - we might not realize it - and the rate at which things change is grower faster and faster as we go along.

I think I got a bit lost in the journey and lost sight of the end goal here - so let me get to the point.

Emotion, making it personal, and connecting with what you do - is something that will always stay with you. The technology you invest in, your day-to-day job, the tools you use - they will evolve and change - they are not eternal.

You are not a Java guy. You are not a kubernetes girl. You are not a X.

You are a person that learns, a person that adapts. Connect to your goal with emotion and this will allow you to succeed.

That is who you should be!

(Also published on Linkedin)


The Year 2018 in review

I don't always do these kind of posts but 2018 was a substantial year for me that warrants a short summary.

I released the AWS Powershell Container - gauging by the number of pulls - I guess that is was not that useful.. :)

I completed my 5th AWS Certification. The post was also translated into Hebrew as well.

I presented a session at the DevOps Israel conference

I left Cisco (NDS) after 13 years and started a new position at CyberArk.

I became a lot more involved in the Israel Cloud community (for example Encounters in the Cloud - Interview).

I went to re:Invent again this year - and it my posts Keeping Kosher at re:Invent 2018 and How I Get the Most Out of #AWS re:Invent 2018 (Hebrew version) were very useful not only to me - but from what I heard - to others as well.

I was a guest on the Datanauts podcast - Datanauts 143: Getting To Day 2 Cloud.  I found out - that this episode was the most popular episode of the year 2018 on the show. Respect!

I presented an Ignite (in Hebrew) at DevOpsDaysTLV

I also presented a session at the AWS Community Tel Aviv 2018

And last but not least - I released the AWS Visio Stencils

All in all - it was a good year.

One thing that I neglected (badly!!), was my writing the rest of The Cloud Walkabout - which is something that I will make the most effort to rectify this year.

Looking forward to 2019... Upward and onward!!


I was not expecting this at re:Invent

There was a lot to absorb during the jam packed week in Las Vegas but there were a number of things that I was truly surprised about during the conference..

It was clear that AWS is going after the Enterprise market and are accommodating the on-prem / legacy / old-school way of thinking. This is the first re:Invent that you could really feel the change.

Here are a few of them:

AWS Outposts

AWS Well Architected
Lake Formation

Security Hub

Control Tower


Next was containers or the lack of containers actually. There were no significant container announcements. ECS and EKS - were not mentioned once during the keynote. No new functionality, no new features. For the product that was probably the most demanded release that everyone wanted last year at re:Invent - this year - it was crickets all the way down. I was thinking that AWS was saving some glory and glitters for the Kubecon conference the week after - but all that really came out of there was the Containers Roadmap (which is actually amazing - because AWS never disclose what their roadmap is - at least not publicly. I suppose it is expected of them as their keeping up the image of Opensource contribution and championship).

And the last shocker was the fact that inbound traffic to S3 is now going to cost you money.. 

Wait, What? You are now charged for uploads to S3????
Well that is not entirely true. Traditionally - you do not pay for incoming traffic into S3 - it says that black on white.  

s3 Pricing

So no you are not charged for direct uploads to S3. But if you do it through another service that acts as a proxy to S3 - then that's different.

Storage Gateway was one such a service.

Storage Gateway

Here you are allowed 100GB for free each month and capped at a maximum of $125 / month. For a company that transfers hundreds and thousands of TB a month - the $125 is chump change which essentially makes it pretty much free.

And then came AWS Transfer for SFTP and the change that no-one really noticed.

SFTP Pricing
Whoa!! Not only are you being charged for 4x the amount of any other service,  you are not capped at a maximum monthly spend, and you get no free monthly uploads either.

You use it - you pay (and pay for it you will).

Next up was DataSync

Datasync Pricing

Again - same new price of $0.04/GB for transfer traffic into S3.

Pricing example

Their pricing example as well
If you were to do the exact same thing - but with regular S3 upload. 
If you perform a one-time migration of 50 TB of 16 MB files into Amazon S3 in US East (Ohio), it costs you the following to use S3 cli
(50 TB copied into S3 * 1024 GB * $0.00 / GB) + (1 S3 LIST request * $0.005 / 1000) + (50 TB / 16 MB S3 PUT requests * $0.005 / 1000)
= $0 + $0 + $16.38
= $16.38
That is one heck of a difference. Now I have not tested the difference in speed, or throughput you can get from Datasync - I am sure there is a difference in the data transfer speeds.

But for me this is troubling. The whole bloody world uses S3 (granted most of the traffic is going from S3 out of AWS). Are AWS planning a change in their pricing model? Even if it is $0.04/GB - this would be a huge channel of additional revenue for them. Something to ponder on.

The pricing model that is now attached to S3 uploads seems strange to me - especially if you are receiving the exact same thing through another route for free. If it would have been network traffic through the service - I would have easily been able to accept.
And last but not least, Werner Vogels finished his keynote on time this year. Well done and thank you for assisting in the effort of improving our experience at re:Invent this year.

Thoughts? Comments? 
Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@maishsk)