The Results Are In! Find Out Who Won the AWS Insider Tips Competition

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Our panel of AWS experts judged hundreds of submissions from cloud ninjas nationwide, and hand-picked the best tips. Read on to discover who won!

In honor of AWS re:Invent 2016, we invited AWS users from across the country to send us their best tips for getting the most out of the leading cloud services platform.

We received contributions from executives to developers at companies like IBM, Time Warner, Capital One, Deutsche Bank, Sony, and more.

The tips spanned a wide range of categories, including app development, automation and scaling, cost optimization, migration, monitoring, operations, and security.

The winning insights are among the top 55 AWS tips that were published in The 2017 Insider’s Guide to AWS.

Download Free AWS Insider’s Guide

Without further ado, here are our winners:

The Winners

1st Place: Eric Cady, Senior Systems Engineer at Decision Resources Group
Tip: “You can encrypt the root volume of your EC2 instance by doing a snapshot and copying to an encrypted snapshot. Then create a new, encrypted volume and replace the original volume. This is a good way to have all volumes encrypted, not just secondary volumes.”
Prize: 24-hour free rental of a Ferrari at re:Invent in Las Vegas

UPDATE: Click here to watch Eric talk about his wining tip and drive off in his Ferrari!

Runner-Up: Scott Haglund, Enterprise Architect at Time Warner
Tip: “Use individual AWS accounts to provide account isolation, with the ability to grant independent administrative groups with different levels of administrative control. This limits visibility of workloads unless an administrator of the account enables access. It minimizes the blast radius of a critical event such as security breaches, and account unavailability or suspensions. It supports strong isolation for businesses that have regulatory or specialized auditing requirements. It also enables better tracking of spend by line of business or project.”
Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card

Runner-Up: Jarrod Pooler, DevOps Engineer at Homesite Insurance
Tip: “Treat your infrastructure as code. Leverage CloudFormation Tools to aid in this. I find it useful to destroy/rebuild VPCs/Stacks frequently to help avoid manual changes “sneaking” in. Manual changes get forgotten; code in source control is forever!”
Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card

Runner-Up: Andrey Budzar, Principal Software Architect at Agero
Tip: “In order to reduce EC2 costs, you can use Lambda to schedule power off and power on of these instances, e.g. 8am – 6pm. You can also provide consumers the ability to power them off and on by placing the same function behind the API gateway and allow users to invoke them via Slack integration (bot or slash command). We were able to cut our EC2 costs by 40% by placing anything non-production and business apps on a shutdown schedule.”
Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card

Going to re:Invent? Check Out These Tips From Jeff Barr!

While on the hunt for AWS scoop, we also got our hands on some insider tips from AWS Chief Evangelist Jeff Barr. Here is what Jeff recommends for anyone attending re:Invent 2016:

Tip #1: Wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking 7 to 10 miles per day.

Tip #2: Plan for travel time between events. The venue is large and it can take a meaningful amount of time to walk from one location to another. You may want to study venue maps ahead of time in order to situate yourself.

Tip #3: Take this opportunity to make good contacts with the AWS partners and the AWS team. Attend sessions, strike up conversations, and make friends.

Tip #4: Balance your time on social media with this once-per-year opportunity to make meaningful human connections.

Whether you’re headed to Vegas for re:Invent 2016 or not, get your free copy of The 2017 Insider’s Guide to AWS: 55 Top AWS Tips!