AWS Simple Storage Service Reached the 10-Year Mark

It has been 10 years since Amazon Web Services Inc.’s Simple Storage Service (S3) was launched. This marked the beginning of a new era for enterprise IT.
The S3 launch on March 14th 2006 was a landmark in cloud computing. Few IT professionals could have anticipated the change in computing that was coming. AWS argued that storage and compute should not be limited in terms of capacity or scalability and should be available at lower prices. “Amazon S3 is built on the idea of quality Internet-based storage should not be taken for granted,” Andy Jassy (AWS vice president) stated in the press release announcing S3’s general availability.
AWS claims that S3 has hosted trillions of objects over the past decade and processes millions of requests per second at peak times. When AWS launched S3, storage costs $0.15 per GB and $0.20 per data transfer. S3 storage now costs $0.03 per GB per monthly, which is 80 percent lower than AWS’ Glacier Archival Storage, which costs less than a penny per per month.
AWS celebrates S3’s 10-year anniversary with highlights such as the AWS Elastic Compute Cloud offering (EC2) in January 2009, AWS Management Console in Jan 2009, and later the Relational Database Service(RDS) in April 2012. These milestones allowed for the purchase preconfigured tools and apps through the AWS Marketplace in May 2012. The AWS Marketplace currently has 35 categories, with over 2,500 software offerings from more than 800 ISVs.
Amazon announced the earnings and revenues for AWS last April for the first time. It claimed that it was a $5B business. While there are many cloud providers around the globe offering services of all kinds and scopes, AWS is still the largest and most prominent cloud provider. Microsoft Azure is No. 2 and Google, the only other players that can offer the same infrastructure as the others — are at No. 3.
AWS has maintained its edge and S3 is a key component of that. Michael Fauscette (chief research officer at G2 Crowd), a market research firm, stated that S3 is the most widely used service at this point.
G2 recently conducted a survey and found that S3 received a higher customer satisfaction rating than Azure, AWS’ closest competitor among enterprise customers. According to the survey, S3’s customer satisfaction was 96 percent while EC2 scored 91 percent. Azure, however, scored 83 percent.
According to the report, S3 reviewers stated that the main reasons they used the service were its price and availability. Respondents stated that S3 is used primarily for hosting static Web pages, backing up data, and sharing data across multiple locations. The primary benefits of Azure were, according to those who preferred it (the whole service, not just the storage), compatibility with Microsoft software, scalability and availability of support as well as the ease of configuration.
According to the report, AWS customers ranked S3 highest in terms of availability, scalability, and overall data storage architecture. However, the report found that users have the most issues with configuration management, user management, and logging. Customers gave Azure the highest scores for high availability, scalability, and integration with Microsoft Visual Studio development platform. However, the most common complaints were about user and configuration management, and Docker integration.
Fauscette acknowledged that there are differences in how customers purchase cloud services from both companies. “When you use AWS, you make a decision about a specific offering such as storage. But with Microsoft, you may not have to make that decision.

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AWS Shield Expands DDoS Monitoring

Amazon Web Services (AWS), is offering Shield users more visibility into distributed denial of service (DDoS), attacks across its platform.
The company announced this week that it has added a “global threats environment dashboard” to its Advanced Shield security service. Shield, which was launched at reInvent late last year, is designed to protect users of AWS’ Route 53 and Elastic Load Balancing services against application-level DDoS attacks.
There are two types of Shield service. All AWS customers can use the Standard edition for free, without any minimum term requirements. The Advanced edition is more feature-rich and requires a minimum of a one year subscription. It starts at $3,000 per monthly. It includes all of the features of the Standard edition as well as protections against more sophisticated DDoS attacks, integration with AWS Web application firewall (WAF), and integration with AWS Web application firewall.
The Advanced edition previously alerted users about DDoS attacks via CloudWatch metrics or the AWS Management console. The enhanced dashboard provides AWS customers with a more real-time overview of all security anomalies AWS is monitoring in its cloud.
It includes information about attack frequencies, top attack vectors, and the attack scale. You can also view historical attack data for a set time period.
According to AWS the goal is to provide users with advance warning of potential security vulnerabilities so they can adjust their security protections accordingly.
Ritwik Manan (AWS senior product manager), wrote Wednesday that this information could help you understand the DDoS target profiles of the AWS services that you use. It can also help you create a more resilient, distributed architecture for your application.
You can find more information about the AWS Shield service here.

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Global Knowledge

Check out the quality gurus/programs on which key PMP concepts were based
Quality as we know it today is a combination of many concepts that create a holistic approach to quality. The views of quality as described in A Guide To the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK[r] Guide) and tested on PMP(r] Exam, are primarily focused on the work of W. Edwards Deming and Joseph M. Juran. As a Global Knowledge PMP Exam Prep Boot Camp instructor I continue to receive feedback from students who took the PMP exam. Often, they are surprised at how many quality-related questions were asked. Although the PMBOK(r), study guides and other study guides provide much of the knowledge required to pass the PMP exam, it is helpful to have a primer about the quality gurus and programs that underpin these key concepts. Let’s take a closer look at these legends.
W. Edwards Deming
Many consider Deming to be the father of quality. His contributions to quality management are so influential that he is an internationally acclaimed expert. The Deming Cycle, his 14 points, and the Seven Deadly Diseases are his most well-known offerings. The Deming Cycle is as follows:
Plan: Conduct consumer research to help you plan the product.
Do: Execute the product plan.
Check: Make sure the product was delivered according to the plan.
Market the product.
Analyze: Examine how the product is received on the market in terms of cost, quality, and other criteria.
Deming’s 14 points
Deming’s Fourteen Points was another contribution. It summarized his views about what a company should do to make a positive change from business as usual into world-class quality. These are Deming’s 14 points:
To improve products and services, create consistency in purpose. This will help you to be competitive, stay in business, provide jobs, and keep your company in the black.
Adopt the new philosophy. This is a new economic era. Management must recognize this fact, face the challenge, and learn their responsibilities to lead change.
Quality is not achieved by relying on inspection. Quality starts at the beginning.
Stop rewarding low bidders for contracts.
To improve continuously and permanently the system of production, service, and quality to increase productivity and quality, and reduce costs.
Start job training.
Leadership is essential. Leadership should help people and technology work together.
Fear can be overcome so that everyone can work effectively.
To promote teamwork, it is important to break down the barriers between departments.
Eliminate exhortations, slogans, and targets for employees. They can lead to adversarial relationships.
Eliminate quotas. Manage by objectives. Substitute for leadership
Eliminate barriers that deprive employees of their pride in their expertise.
Start a vigorous program for education and self-improvement.
Make the transformation and subsequent maintenance a team effort.
Deming’s Seven Deadly Diseases
Deming’s Seven Deadly Diseases outlines the factors that he believes are preventing the Fourteen Points from transforming. These are the Seven Deadly Diseases.
Relying on a lackluster sense of purpose to plan products or services that have enough market to sustain the company and create jobs.
Short-term profit is tied to short-term thinking driven both by fear of unfriendly takeover attempts, and pressure from shareholders to produce dividends.

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PMP Exam Changes – Why you should take the exam now

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
The PMP(r), exam will be changing on January 2, 2021. Here’s your Public Service Announcement.
You have plenty of time to become a PMP certified before the exam changes.
It takes between 8-12 weeks to prepare for the exam comfortably. If you are dedicated and ready to put in the effort, you can squeeze in the exam.
Why bother?
Because the changes to exam content outline are more radical that we’ve ever seen. It’s almost like a completely new set of standards. It will be possible to be assessed against 3 domains, instead of the 10 knowledge areas currently in place. And that’s just the beginning.
It’s better. It’s a more holistic approach to managing projects. But it’s very, very different. There aren’t many training companies that offer exam prep materials for this course.
This is also a huge one…
I believe that learning under the new scheme is going to be more expensive.
Official PMP training providers won’t be able provide on-demand PMP prep courses. video learning. All of it will be instructor-led online classes.
(If you’re wondering how I know this, I spend a lot time researching stuff for you. You can look at the R.E.P. You’ll find the same information on the PMI website.
It’s easy to see that live classes are more expensive than video courses, which allow you to sell the same materials repeatedly once they are created. This is because I teach live classes as well as have video courses available for sale (not PMP prep stuff but other classes and the economic principles are the exact same).
My assumptions are:
It will be more difficult to fit PMP exam prep courses into your daily life, as you will have to attend classes live.

They will be more expensive as they will be run in real-time with’real instructors’.

They will also be more applicable to managing a project in real life, so it is not all bad news.
You can now decide if you want to take the PMP exam.
I get asked a lot about my preferred PMP training courses, so I’ll tell them I’m an affiliate for The PM PrepCast. This is a comprehensive PMP exam prep video on demand self-study option. It’s very affordable and the exam simulator has some the best reviews in industry.
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Pin for later reading

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PMI launches Agile Certification

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
PMI(r), which recognizes the importance of agile techniques for project managers and organizations they serve, has not been blind to it. It was well-publicized at the Global Congress in Washington, D.C. last January that Agile was embraced by the PMI and that they have issued a qualification.
PMI isn’t trailblazing: The APM Group launched their Agile project management certification scheme using the Atern(r).
PMI will likely have more candidates for its Agile certification that APMG because PMI has a strong, if not completely grassroots, Agile movement.
PMI’s press officer stated that by adding an Agile certification to their offering, PMI allows practitioners to demonstrate their professionalism in Agile practices and show that they can lead basic Agile teams. The certification is more credible than existing entry level, training or exam-only offerings. The official announcement continues:
PMI research has shown that Agile practices have doubled in project management in the past two years. The Agile certification validates project practitioners who are using Agile methods in their work. This new offering brought together top thought leaders who use Agile techniques in project management. They advised PMI on how to best offer the certification and help project practitioners and their organizations.
This will ensure that the new certification is based upon actual practice and that the syllabus remains solid. The pilot certification, which will be used to verify that the examination is well-designed, will begin in May 2011. You can apply for this certification if you are interested in it in May 2011. Exams will begin later in the year.
Mark A. Langley, president of PMI, stated that project managers who use Agile practices in their projects can increase their influence and impact in the organizations they work for and boost their career prospects with the Agile certification. This is especially true for PMP holders. “Using these practices in project managing is more common than ever, and this certification is a natural extension to our commitment to our members and credential holders as well as our stakeholders around the world.”
Jesse Fewell, PMP founder of the PMI Agile Communities of Practice, stated that although organizations have offered Agile certifications for some time, they now have the largest project management organisation in the world.
Jesse has been a tireless champion of Agile at PMI Congress. He even dragged me along to one the Agile focus sessions and made it difficult for me not to go to the session I wanted to see.
Agile seems to be here to stay, even though it took project managers a while to realize that.
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Roundup of the PMI EMEA Congress

808 people came from 54 countries to see the Molly Malone statue at DublinPMI Global Congress EMEA. The United States sent the most delegate (which is unusual for a European event but someone I spoke with said it was a great networking opportunity), the U.K. and Ireland. I also met people from the U.A.E, Nigeria, Kuwait, as well as Romania.
According to Beth Partleton (the Chair of PMI’s Board), 35% of PMI members live outside North America today. However, you don’t need to be a PMI Member to attend Congress.
As many others have done, I’ve been writing about my experiences since returning from Dublin. Here’s a summary of what you might have missed.
Video diary
My video diary for Day 1 with my first impressions. My video diary for Day 2 including the Irish folk band. My video diary for Day 3 including my sightseeing tour around Dublin
I also produced a video diary from the EMEA Leadership Institute Meeting, which was held prior to Congress. I gave a presentation on using social media to connect members.
These are some articles that are based on Congress presentations.
How to manage up: How to help your manager
Talking in the office: How your words can impact your projects
The work of PMIEF in Philanthropic Projects and the second part that describes two case studies on school project management.
Complex projects: Early warning signs and the second part about using project reviews as a way to spot early warning signs are both available on The Money Files blog at Gantthead.
Luis Seabra Coelho summarized all the presentations he saw on Ah-Ha Moments.
Thomas Juli shared his presentation about collaboration for success on his blog.
To view all tweets related to the event, search #pmidublin on Twitter.
There may be other articles. Let me know in the comment section if you have any!

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Launch of the PMI’s New Media Council

PMI decided that it needed a New Media Council. I am one of seven “influential voice” (yes, they actually called us that!) They have brought together experts in online project management. It is encouraging to see that a professional organization is beginning to embrace Web 2.0 and new media. PMI recently appointed an Online Strategy & Content manager to oversee as well as the online direction of PMI. In the old days, Webmasters were required for companies. It seems that this role is changing.
PMI is actually very forward-looking. As far as I know, the Association for Project Management does not have anyone who is interested in this. Their website is also quite dire. The British Computer Society also recently appointed a Social Media Executive. He is a very nice guy who has started to send me some useful information. Professional bodies are realizing the need to reach potential members through other media than their printed newsletters. This is one of the goals of the New Media Council.
The council’s main purpose is to make it easier for PMI to communicate with people who are interested in learning more about project management via the internet. We also have access to information about PMI, its initiatives, and can share that information with our readers. I believe that the Value of Project Management study will be the biggest push for PMI at the moment. I’m sure that that will feature heavily. If I had spent so many years researching, I would want to make sure I spoke about it often.
The council consisted of seven members who met virtually with PMI people yesterday via a conference call that covered every time zone in the US and my own on both sides of the pond. We will be able to meet in person at the PMI Global Congress in Denver on Saturday.
Yep – Denver. It’s been a while since I was in the States. Well, January. I’m looking forward to Hershey’s Kisses and Victoria’s Secret, the bookshops and Reese’s peanut Butter cups. I also look forward to the chance to discuss serious topics in project management and to hear the keynote speakers at PMI Congress. Yes.
If you’re going to the event, please stop by and say hello. I’ll be the one with the British accent and wearing the wrong clothes for the weather. What is Denver’s weather like this time of the year? I’ll make it a priority to find out about this before packing my suitcase.

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Philanthropic projects: The PMI Educational Foundation

The Project Management Institute is a place you will likely have come across if you’ve been involved in projects for any length. You may have even heard of PMIEF, the PMI Educational Foundation. But what is it actually doing?
It was sponsored research I assumed, but it turned out that I was wrong. John Rickards, the Chair of PMIEF, presented at PMI’s Leadership Institute Meeting last month in Dublin and described exactly what the Foundation does.
PMIEF was established in 1990. It has a wider scope than PMI. It is about using project management to benefit society. John stated that the Education Foundation actively seeks to establish bridges into project management. “We also work with private sector school teachers, disaster aid and other non-profit organizations.”
The three areas in which PMIEF focuses its efforts are:
For future success, we must build a society that is better prepared
Building a workforce that is better prepared
Build a better response to times of need

Project-centered education
PMIEF works with PMI Chapters to improve the skills of educators. They believe project management is an essential skill for administrators and teachers, as well as students. Volunteers are involved in community projects. Project-centered education is believed to result in better school achievement, greater pupil engagement, and better attendance. However, we were not directed to any independent research to support that belief. We did hear two case studies about education from PMI Chapters.
PMIEF developed the PM Toolkit for Youth. It is available for download for non-commercial purposes. Schools can also use it. It is a modular course that teaches basic project management skills, helping students organize their school projects and make sound decision making.
During the creation of the Toolkit, they realized that students didn’t have sufficient presentation skills to present the results of their projects. So they added a module on presentation skills.
Project management is a professional skill
PMIEF supports project management as a career choice and professional skill. It offers academic scholarships, awards and grants for curriculum development. It also offers training courses for the unemployed or underemployed.
John stated that project management is one of few fields that can produce people who can lead work and others.
Project management is about results and employers want them. Training and research can help improve job prospects and companies’ ability to execute on their strategic plans.
Dealing with disaster
NGO’s are there to help after a natural or humanitarian disaster. Project management techniques can help them be more efficient and make better use of donor dollars. This is the basis for PMD Pro, a certification program that targets non-profits. It was launched last year.
PMIEF also offers a training program called Skills For Life, which is available in English or Spanish. It is a short course in project management that can be taught in just a few hours. John explained that the course has been taught 150 times in 33 different countries. Half of the participants have been PMI members, and the other half are not.
PMIEF’s work in disaster relief organizations also includes training materials and tools, methodologies, staff training, grants, and training volunteers.
John stated, “Through the Educational Foundation, we’re hoping the next generation will be able to do a better job than us.” Although I don’t believe the first generation of professional project managers did a bad job, it is a positive thing if they can do better.
Visit their website to learn more about PMIEF. In about a week, I’ll tell ya about

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Simple Project Management Communications Plan

You cannot skip the project communications plan. Why? It doesn’t seem to be important. We all know how communication works. There are also traditional ways that organizations use by default.
I get it.
I’ve been there. But, I did it once I had the time and effort to complete a project communication plan. I created strategy. I created metrics to measure performance. I kept track of communications.
It was a real eye-opener.
Communications before it was a complete mess.
As always, I followed general guidelines when starting a new project. All communications were done via email. Our daily correspondence was read by many people.
I assumed that email suits our clients well by default.
I can’t claim that there was anything wrong with the way we interacted. It was just that I wanted to take the “correct” approach.
To start, I asked you one question: “How would your communications in email be described?”
Guess what the client said?
It is a constant stress for us. He said that it was inefficient. “We have a small staff here. We are so used solving all problems in life conversations …”
This is how you can determine the true state and efficiency of communication.
In the beginning, I planned to write an in-depth article about Communication Management. I will explain the processes of decoding and encoding messages, as well as formulas for communication channels.
It is your first communication management plan, however. I want you actually to write one.
Here’s the deal.
Here are only two aspects:
Communication understanding is broader.
You can create a project management communications plan using this action plan.
Pin it to your Project Management Board. Accept Communications with a Broader Meaning
You will miss the point if you limit your project communication plan to the preferred media and scheduled meetings.
Information exchange takes place on many levels.
Written words
Spoken words
Choice of words
Meaning between the lines
Here’s where I want to take you:
To create a successful Communications Strategy, you must consider the details of each stakeholder at different levels.
Take, for example.
Your client is not very good at writing specifications. She can communicate features and requirements with a lot of emotion and gestures. She is an expert at drawing everything on a whiteboard.
Would you limit her access to email because it is a prescribed method of communicating?
One more important aspect:
Context of the Shared Information
We had to take a serious risk on one project. It had a negative impact on our requirements. We had to alter the scope and timeline of the project.
Together with clients, we tracked and managed the risk. They were informed, prepared, and cooperative.
In the weekly report, I mentioned the risk.
I didn’t realize that one of the senior officers was currently on a long vacation.
She was completely unaware of the progress of the project. All communication with the client regarding the risk was done in live sessions. The email did not provide a clear picture.
(Yeap. That was also a failure on my part).
It seemed that the risk had occurred unexpectedly from her side and we don’t know what to do.
She escalated the issue.
It was 12:01 a.m. before everyone got on board with the situation.
You get the point.
You must control what people know. An information piece taken out of context will undoubtedly be misinterpreted. It is important that key stakeholders have a clear line of sight to the context of the project.
Keep them informed.
Here’s the One Big Thing I Want You To Take Away
Spend more time thinking about the details and requirements of project communication. Do not waste time trying to figure out how to put it into a Project Management Communications Plan.
The end

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TeamGantt – Simple Mobile Access

We have just released a new way to view your task lists and track your progress from your mobile device. It’s simple and does what we believe is most important: 1) Seeing which tasks are currently in progress 2) Being able to update the % complete
Here are some more screenshots:
Rotate your phone to the left to view landscape view start and end dates.
Rotate your phone to view resource names in landscape view.
You can also view additional information and add comments.
We hope you like it! It is not intended to replace a desktop/laptop. It is intended to improve functionality and make it easier to access information while on the move. We would love to hear your feedback.
You can either log in as you would normally from a phone, or go directly to this
The easiest way to create a project plan
In just 10 minutes, you can create a beautiful project plan. You can switch between gantt and calendar views with a single click.
Get your free plan

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