My notes from AWSome Day Denver 2019

It seemed like a good idea to take the day off and learn something new. That is exactly what I ended up doing today. Here are my notes and thoughts from AWSome Day Denver 2019 that was hosted on April 16, 2019 at the Denver Convention Center. My notes are a mix of my thoughts and reactions to the things I heard throughout the day.

  • Local communities in Denver that do AWS
  • Large footprint 20 regions, 61 AZs, 166 pops
  • Lots of machine learning service growth in Denver (chatbots)
  • 10 minutes on what is the cloud… being elastic… acquire resources when you need them
  • Talked a bit about Iaas, PaaS, and SaaS (Infrastructure, Platform, and Software)
  • Cloud deployment models: private, hybrid, cloud (no multi cloud was mentioned)
  • Funny tshirt mention: “Friends don’t let friends build data centers…”
  • Every region will have two availability zones (most have 3 or more). Each zone increases the availability…
  • Spent a few minutes on Amazon virtual private clouds. Isolated from all networks…
  • People seem very excited about EC2. Most of the talking points centered on being able to change hardware or configurations and not being locked into our initial build
  • You always own the data. The data is yours was a central message that kept getting anchored within the presentation
  • Containers vs. virtual machines (more people are using containers), talked about orchestration platforms and how they fit into the puzzle. Talked about AmazonEKS and Kubernetes.
  • They did a live demo of how to setup a box…
  • Talked about S3 and how storage solutions work and are using in practice
  • Reviewed the tools of auto scaling and how to build or manage elastic elements

Day 2 TensorFlow voter data project environment setup

Things are moving along. Right now I have 23 days left to submit my current project to the ⚡#PoweredByTF 2.0 Challenge!. That should not be a problem, but you never know what is going to happen. Right now I am fully registered and I setup a new GitHub project just for this effort.

  • My environment setup is going to be twofold for this project. My primary efforts will occur on the Google Cloud Platform and my secondary effort will occur on Colaboratory. If you have not heard of Colaboratory, then you are missing out on something awesome. It is a very easy to use free Jupyter notebook environment run by Google.
  • My initial build out included the following efforts on GCP:
    • GCP –> Artificial Intelligence –>  AI Platform –> Notebooks –> TensorFlow –> with GPU (us-west1-b, 4 vCPUs, 15 GB RAM, 1 NVIDIA Tesla K80, 100 GB Disk)
    • That yielded a strange error,  “Quota ‘GPUS_ALL_REGIONS’ exceeded. Limit: 0.0”.
    • The solution was to head out to the IAM & admin section of GCP and look up the quotas for my GPUS_ALL_REGIONS and request access to another GPU
    • I found the right global quota to change: GLOBAL Attribute | GPUS_ALL_REGIONS and asked for a quote increase using the handy dandy edit quotas button at the top of the IAM & admin –> Quotas screen
    • I got help from Julia over at Google support in the matter of a couple hours and then went back and made the notebook environment setup request again
    • Keep in mind that using this setup requires the commitment of funds to work on the project, but I wanted a dedicated GPU all to myself for the stretch run and it seemed like something that would bring me joy
      • The alternative here would be to use Colaboratory instead of paying for a dedicated GPU on GCP
    • Everything is now setup to run TensorFlow in a notebook on my own VM with a sweet NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPU
    • You can grab the instructions I used to true it up to 2.0.0-alpha0 here
  • Setting up on Colaboratory took a matter of seconds
    • Go check out
    • I’m going to be running a parallel set of notebooks throughout the whole process. My primary development will occur over on GCP and I’ll test every one of the notebooks on Colaboratory and use the export to GitHub from that environment to save the project off for submission

Day 1 TensorFlow voter data project research

Today I started the process of conducting some literature searches and began digging into what work exists related to people using TensorFlow on voter data. The following observations are my notes entered in real-time for later review. Before I used EndNote to capture all my citations, but this time around I thought it might be better to just write it all down during this first pass at digging into what exists publicly.

Taking a two hour exam wore me out today

Taking the day off was a great idea. Every now and again having a Wednesday off is great. Part of the day was devoted to taking the AWS certified machine learning specialty beta exam. The whole process took about two hours and was very interesting. The PSI system took a little bit to setup and get running. The actual exam part took about 90 minutes. It has been a bit since my last adventure to a testing facility. It was pretty much exactly the way I remember it being.

Falling asleep during an epic studying session

It has been some time since I last fell asleep during an epic studying session. It was probably back in graduate school. Those days were fun, but they seem like forever ago. Let me set the state for you a little bit for a moment. My Dell ultra wide monitor was playing some AWS videos on one side and a document was open on the other half of the monitor. My entire focus was on what the presenter was saying then all of a sudden my hands hit the keyboard and my attention jerked back into focus. It had happened all of a sudden. Sure enough for a minute or two I had fallen asleep during some AWS training videos on my day off in the middle of the day. Maybe the right way to look at it is to assume my cup was full and it was time for a nap. Perhaps it was an unplanned power nap. It was most definitely not part of my machine learning and artificial intelligence learning plan for the day. Today was a day that was entirely devoted to learning and studying. That was what made it such an interesting day. It was full of possibility. Oddly enough, it also was a day that that included an impromptu nap.