Serverless Data Warehousing in AWS: A Deep Dive for Advanced Users

Data warehouses have an older design, which becomes stifling in a world where information and data escalate at an exponential pace. Just try to picture hundreds of hours dedicated to managing infrastructure, fine-tuning the clusters to address the workload variance, and dealing with significant upfront costs before you get a chance to analyze the data.

Unfortunately, this is the best that one can expect out of traditional data warehousing methodologies. For data architects, engineers, and scientists, these burdens become a thorn in their side, reducing innovation by 30% and slowing the process of gaining insights from increasingly large data sets by up to 50%.

Serverless Data Warehousing: A Revolution for the Modern Data Master

But what if there was a better way? Serverless data warehousing is a new concept, and it provides a revolutionary solution away from the chaining constraints that come with managing complex infrastructure.  Think about the future, where servers are self-provisioning and can scale up or down based on the load. A world where one pays only for the resources consumed or needed, excluding hefty charges and data investments.

Serverless data warehousing opens up this very possibility. By leveraging the power of the cloud, data engineers or scientists can focus on what truly matters: turning collected information into insights from which organizations can make relevant decisions and gain benefits.

Building a B2B Serverless Data Warehouse on AWS: Recommended Design Patterns

As data architects and engineers, we need to see the importance of proper data pipelines for solid B2B analytics and insights. In this case, serverless data warehousing on AWS remains a suitable solution due to its flexibility and affordability. Now, let us explore the proposed design patterns for creating your B2B serverless data warehousing architecture.

Data Ingestion Pipeline

The building block is to create a proper data ingestion process that feeds into the ‘real-time’ layer. Here, the AWS Kinesis Firehose stands out. It is a fully managed service that can integrate streaming data in real-time from B2B sources like your CRM or ERP system. Firehose consumes the data and directs it to storage layer S3, which is a low-cost storage layer for storing raw and processed data.

Data Transformation and Orchestration

In most cases, transformations are made when extracting value from raw data. Enter AWS Glue as the serverless ETL (extract, transform, load) solution. Glue allows you to fulfill data transformations with Python scripts and, at the same time, manage all the stages of data ingestion. This helps in the proper flow of data from B2B sources to the data warehouse without any hitches.

Data Storage and Catalog

Amazon S3 can be considered the foundation of your data store or data lake. This fast-scaled-out object storage service is an economical solution to store all the B2B data, both in its raw and transformed forms. Also, manage and use the AWS Glue Data Catalog effectively. This centralized metadata repository reduces the problem of finding your data by making data search easy by presenting a list of the data stored in S3 in a catalog.

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The Top Five Software Engineering Certification Programs of 2024!

The digitized world relies heavily on computer-driven processes, and the demand for innovative software products and solutions is all-time high. Organizations and institutions are constantly reshaping their digital structure by investing in software tools and programs to enhance their productivity, streamline business operations, and ensure seamless communication. Therefore, the need to understand the countless opportunities this field can provide will be a major career for software developers. However, to add more credibility to the profession, software engineer certifications are needed that will help you get skilled, grow your knowledge, attain a higher salary, and advance your career.

In today’s exclusive AITech Park, we will explore the top five best software engineering certifications of 2024 that software developers can pursue to gain knowledge about the current trends in software development and also brush up their skills.

Amazon Web Services Certified Developer Associate

The first software engineering certification course on our list is from Amazon Web Services (AWS). The AWS Certified Developer Associate (AWS CDA) certification is used to teach software engineers how to create and deploy cloud-based web apps. Candidates who enroll in this program are required to know how to write applications using an API, AWS, command-line interface (CLI), and software development kits (SDK). The software engineers need to have at least two years of experience working with apps built on AWS before they take this course.

Certified Software Development Professional (CSDP)

The CSDP offered by the famous IEEE Computer Society focuses on upskilling experienced software developers with new technologies. The course validates a candidate’s proficiency in software engineering principles and practices that surround the entire software development lifecycle. Through this course, candidates need to display their knowledge of software requirements, configuration management, engineering management, engineering processes, and tools. The CSDP aims for professionals with a minimum of two years of experience and a postgraduate degree to get this certification.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert (ASAE)

The ASAE certification validates software engineers’s expertise in designing, testing, and building cloud applications and services for the Microsoft Azure website. This course is customized for candidates with at least one year of experience as a software engineer, as this certification requires expertness in Azure SDKs, data storage options, data connections, APIs, app authentication and authorization, debugging, performance tuning, and monitoring.

Choosing the right certification course as a software developer is a strategic step that can signify enhancing your skills and market values. Therefore, before selecting any certification course, you need to think about a professional development plan that will guide you in the right direction.

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Holiday IoT Defense: Essential Tips

As the festive season approaches, customers desire to deck their offices and homes beyond traditional ornaments and twinkling lights, as people are becoming more tech-savvy and opening the doors to allure in the world of smart devices. While smart devices, like voice-activating speakers, smart thermostats, smartwatches, self-locking doors, and many more, promise to add more convenience and comfort, lurking within this interconnected ecosystem lies a potential vulnerability: security.  

In this article, we’ll go over the best IoT security research and procedures buyers should conduct before purchasing gadgets this holiday season.

Four Best IoT Security Research and Practices

An IoT attack surface, at its most basic, is the total number of entry points for unauthorized system access since it extends beyond entrance points and encompasses all potential security flaws for IoT devices, linked software, and network connections.

With an understanding of the landscape, here are the 7 best IoT security research and practices buyers must do before buying devices this holiday season:

Research Before Buying Smart Devices

You should not be attracted by shiny advertisements; rather, dedicate time to researching different brands, their security measures, and customer reviews. Look for devices that prioritize your needs and have standard security features like secure boot sequences, regular firmware updates, and data encryption. For instance, instead of opting for a flashy smartwatch, research brands known for their robust security measures like two factors—authentication and secure data storage practices—also look for security audits and certifications like common criteria or ISO certification for added assurance.

Strong Passwords, Stronger Foundations

Passwords are the first line of defense; thus, avoid pre-configured generic passwords and opt for complex, unique combinations for each smart device. Enabling two-factor authentication whenever applicable adds an extra layer of security; for example, for your smart lighting system, enabling two-factor authentication via phone is an add-on security to prevent other users from controlling your system remotely.

Update Firmware Regularly

Outdated firmware can be riddled with vulnerabilities; thus, you should make it a habit to regularly check for and apply available patch updates on all your IoT devices. You can also set up automatic updates for your smart TV to ensure it is also up and running with the latest firmware patch, which helps prevent vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to exploit your viewing habits. However, some devices offer automatic updates, which is a bonus for convenient security.

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Co- Founder and CTOof Soracom, Kenta Yasukawa – AITech Interview

Soracom Relay allows customers to use existing RTSP/RTP-compatible cameras for audio and video data transmission. Can you discuss how this feature enhances IoT deployments, especially in terms of computer vision and video analytics?

There are many cameras available today that claim to be “connected to the cloud,” but most of them are tightly integrated into their vendors’ vertical cloud applications and require wholesale replacement of existing hardware to take advantage of these capabilities.

RTSP is a standard protocol already widely used in various IP camera products, making them easy to integrate within a tech stack but typically only in single building on-site CCTV deployments. The ability to securely connect RTSP cameras securely to the cloud opens the door to advanced monitoring and analysis capabilities without needing to change your entire set of cameras to shift to cloud-based video processing.

Soracom Relay enables a complete new set of potential opportunities to create value from existing view/record/replay cameras over to new architectures that connect those same video streams to cloud-based processing. Single-site installations typically use disk-based recorders that implement RTSP/RTP connections so that video streams can be viewed locally, sometimes with additional proprietary cloud features for simple remote-view functionality.

With Relay connecting cameras to Amazon Kinesis Video Streams, we encapsulate the overhead of implementing the RSTP/RTP protocol into the camera’s Soracom connection and let the customer shift to an AWS cloud compute architecture to process and create valuable business-centric insights.

Security is a significant concern when dealing with data transmission, especially in IoT. How does Soracom ensure the security of audio and video data transmitted through Soracom Relay?

The security and privacy of customer data is the highest priority in the Soracom platform. We have multiple layers of security implemented in our platform and also offer services for our customers to build a secure infrastructure that supports the needs of  their particular IoT fleet.

Soracom Relay is an ideal match for the secure architecture at the heart of the Soracom IoT Platform. When we saw this use case we immediately knew that we could mitigate risks and concerns associated with RTSP/RTP connected cameras while opening up new revenue possibilities for customers  by linking cameras that traditionally only have a LAN connection directly to AWS’s video streaming services.

RTP video streams are not encrypted and can be dismissed as a source of IoT data despite the very large numbers of devices deployed in LAN environments. Similarly, the RTSP servers these cameras use have often been implemented with poor administration account credentials.

When IoT devices use Soracom connectivity they benefit from a fully encrypted link for all traffic between the devices and our connectivity platform. In the case of RTSP/RTP cameras, that means that the account login process is completely locked down to the Soracom account and moved out of reach from bad actors. The valuable video streams become tamper free, ensuring both that the stream is trustable and at the same time unavailable for others to access.

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AITech Interview with Kenta Yasukawa, Co- Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Soracom

Kenta, it would be greatly appreciated if you could provide us with insights into your professional trajectory and background that culminated in your position as the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Soracom.

In 2010, I was a researcher at Ericsson working on Connected Home, Connected Car and similar early-days IoT projects. I was drawing diagrams with fluffy clouds in the middle saying all the intelligent decisions would be made and things would get smart and collaborate with each other once they are connected to this new cloud. But back then the only available technologies for that purpose were rule-based engines, inference based on ontology, which did not have enough potential to be the intelligence to achieve a true Internet of Things vision.  

I felt there was potential in cloud technologies, but I didn’t fully know yet what the cloud could offer. So, I joined AWS as a solutions architect to find out. I worked with various customers to architect systems in the cloud and apply AWS best practices. That made me think, that by applying cloud technologies and best practices, any system can be made more reliable, scalable and available. It should be possible to build telecom infrastructure on top of cloud and it should enable a highly scalable connectivity platform.

I shared the idea with Ken Tamagawa, my CEO and Cofounder. He believed in the idea and we started to seek a way to execute and along the way met Dan Funato, my COO and Cofounder. We founded Soracom and I led the reinvention of telecom infrastructure on top of AWS cloud.

Leveraging the cloud-native telecom infrastructure, we have started a smart connectivity platform that can offload customers’ undifferentiated common heavy liftings in their IoT journeys and accelerate their time to market so we can achieve a truly connected world together.

The recent announcement  introduces Soracom’s new services that leverage Generative AI (GenAI) for IoT connectivity. Could you explain how Generative AI fits into the IoT ecosystem and what advantages it brings to IoT deployments?

GenAI has tremendous potential in IoT deployments. Besides adding natural language interfaces to IoT applications, GenAI applications using a Large Language Model (LLM) in particular has potential to be used for data analytics and decision making.

For example, we have tested ChatGPT to analyze time series data received from IoT sensors and trackers and confirmed it can provide insight about data as if you have a data scientist dedicated to you. By providing data and asking questions such as “What does this data mean?” and “What trend or outliers do you see in the data?”, an AI can answer in a natural language that you speak. We realized the potential and integrated GenAI to our time series data storage service, Soracom Harvest. The feature is called Soracom Harvest Intelligence and available to anyone as a public beta. An AI based data analytics is just one-click away. As in the example, GenAI can be a glue between people and data, and help them understand data. This can help people look deeper into a particular time period, detect an event and take action. If it has to be done by humans, it’d be cost prohibitive and not be scalable, but with GenAI, things can be automated and scalable.

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