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Can We Improve How CorpInfo handled IoT Events in 2017?

In late 2017, CorpInfo did an AWS “This is My Architecture” video. The video walks through how they handled a massive amount of events coming from various IoT devices they had deployed. Remember, this was before any of the AWS IoT-specific services!

Now, a few years later, I react to that video and see what’s stood the test of time, what could be done simpler given today’s technology, and generally critique the design against the AWS Well-Architected Framework.

The AWS Well-Architected Framework

The AWS Well-Architected Framework is designed to help you and your team make informed trade offs while building in the AWS Cloud. It’s built on five pillars;

  • Operational Excellence
  • Security
  • Cost Optimization
  • Reliability
  • Performance Efficiency

There pillars cover the primary concerns of building and running any solution. And as much as we’d all love to have everything, that’s just not possible.

…enter the framework.

It’ll help you strike the right balance for your goals to make sure that your build is the best it can be now and moving forward.

Why Architecture?

I often get asked why I talk about building in the cloud and architectural choices so often…aren’t I a security person?

Yes, I do focus on security and architecture is a critical part of that.

There’s really two types of security design work. The first is when you’re handed something and need to make sure the risks of that technology matches the risk appetite of the users.

The second type is when you’re building the technology. This is where making choices informed by security early in the process can have profound effects. You’re no longer bolting security on but building it in by design.

That’s why I talk about architecture and building so much. It’s where we all can have the largest possible security impact!

This video—and the ones that will come after—looks at a specific set of design decisions and how they balance the concerns of the AWS Well-Architected Framework…where security is one of the five pillars.

CorpInfo’s Design

CorpInfo deployed a lot of IoT devices for their solution. This presented some unique problems in 2017. Remember, this was well before the AWS IoT services!

Their design leverage a couple of AWS Lambda-based pipelines in order to process the various types of events these devices generated. Remember there are control plane events (device registration, updates, status, etc.) and data plane events (in this case video files) that need to be processed.

These events have very different use cases and CorpInfo created two semi-autonomous pipelines to handle them. It’s an interesting solution that optimized a number of the services available at the time.

Btw, I’ve updated my course, “Mastering The AWS Well-Architected Framework” on A Cloud Guru. If you want a solid walk through of the ideas behind the framework and how to apply it to your work in the AWS Cloud, check it out!