Story of the Month – our CTO, Dominik Fries

Story of the Month – our CTO, Dominik Fries

Story Time

Meet Dominik, CTO and Partner of Thinkport GmbH.

He is been with Thinkport since its beginnings and has helped to build it the way we know today.

His team colleagues do not describe him as a typical CTO. Besides from being visionary and creative, they portray him as a down-to-earth guy who is relaxing to work with, applaudable both at human and technical level and a person which always puts emphasis on problem-solving and team dynamics. Dominik himself describes his journey with Thinkport as inspiring, thrilling and also challenging at times. The biggest learning is sticking to your plan, daring to take on great challenges, helping others succeed, as well as taking ownership of problems.

What many of you do not know about him? He is a devoted mountain biker, has practised different martial arts, loves metal music and likes to spend most of his free time in the forest or up in the mountains.

We are glad to have such a person in our company
Dominik Fries! We thank you for the great journey so far and look forward to further achieving success and growing, together!

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Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) is a managed service that makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud. It provides cost-efficient and resizable capacity, while managing time-consuming database administration tasks, freeing you up to focus on your applications and business.

Amazon RDS gives you access to the capabilities of a familiar MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle, SQL Server, or PostgreSQL database. This means that the code, applications, and tools you already use today with your existing databases should work seamlessly with Amazon RDS. Amazon RDS can automatically backup your database and keep your database software up to date with the latest version. You benefit from the flexibility of being able to easily scale the compute resources or storage capacity associated with your relational database instance. In addition, Amazon RDS makes it easy to use replication to enhance database availability, improve data durability, or scale beyond the capacity constraints of a single database instance for read-heavy database workloads. As with all Amazon Web Services, there are no up-front investments required, and you pay only for the resources you use.


When to use

Amazon RDS manages the work involved in setting up a relational database: from provisioning the infrastructure capacity you request to installing the database software. Once your database is up and running, Amazon RDS automates common administrative tasks such as performing backups and patching the software that powers your database. With optional Multi-AZ deployments, Amazon RDS also manages synchronous data replication across Availability Zones with automatic failover.

Since Amazon RDS provides native database access, you interact with the relational database software as you normally would. This means you’re still responsible for managing the database settings that are specific to your application. You’ll need to build the relational schema that best fits your use case and are responsible for any performance tuning to optimize your database for your application’s workflow.

Amazon Web Services provides a number of database alternatives for developers. Amazon RDS enables you to run a fully featured relational database while offloading database administration. Using one of our many relational database AMIs on Amazon EC2 allows you to manage your own relational database in the cloud.



  • Enhanced Monitoring: Amazon RDS provides multiple ways to manage automation of many DBA activities and has many different capabilities to do detailed performance analysis of the overall system.

  • AWS Database Migration Service (DMS): DMS can help in migrating to cloud in virtually no downtime so you can take advantage of the scale, operational efficiency, and the multitude of data storage options available

  • Multi-Availability Zone (Multi-AZ) RDS Deployments: AWS RDS will automatically switch from the primary instance to the available standby replica in the event of a failure, such as an Availability Zone outage, an internal hardware or network outage, a software failure; or in case of planned interruptions, such as software patching or changing the RDS instance type.

  • Amazon RDS Resources Encryption:With RDS encryption enabled, the data stored on the instance underlying storage, the automated backups, read replicas, and snapshots all become encrypted. The RDS encryption keys implement the AES-256 algorithm and are entirely managed and protected by the AWS key management infrastructure through AWS Key Management Service (AWS KMS).

  • Cross-Region Read Replicas for Amazon RDS:Amazon RDS Read Replicas provide enhanced performance and durability for database (DB) instances. Cross-region read replicas can yield tremendous performance benefits for read-only applications for users based out in multiple regions.




  • Availability: AWS RDS is a highly available relational database that offers a feature called Multi-AZ, which provides a SLA up-time of 99.95%.

  • Scalability: Database scalability can prove to be a real challenge if you try to scale your own, self-hosted database.

  • Vertical Scalability /Scaling Up: With RDS, Amazon enables push-button vertical scaling. This means that you can scale the size of an RDS instance [memory, CPU, PIOPS etc] or disk, either up or down, with the click of a button.

  • Horizontal Scalability /Scaling Out: Horizontal scalability is an approach that distributes the total database across many RDS instances that will work together.

  • Performance: AWS RDS offers PIOPS (Provisioned IOPS) in order to achieve fast, consistent and predictable Input/Output (I/O) performance.

  • Backup: AWS RDS provides two types of backup mechanisms which are both very easy to setup:

Automated backup – This functionality automatically performs a full daily snapshot of a database’s data (during a preferred window of time set up by the user). It also captures your transaction logs as well as any updates to your RDS database.

Point-in-Time snapshots – RDS database snapshots are user initiated. Unlike automated backup, which is performed once a day, point-in-time snapshots can be performed as many times as desired. Generally, they are useful to backup set database states, like before a major release or an application upgrade.


Getting Started

Tutorials on how to start with AWS RDS can be found below


Best Practices

The best practices and tips can be found in the below link



Amazon RDS is free to try. Pay only for what you use. There is no minimum fee. You can pay for Amazon RDS using On-Demand or Reserved Instances. Additional information can be found below.


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Identity and Access Management


AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) enables you to manage access to AWS services and resources securely. Using IAM, you can create and manage AWS users and groups, and use permissions to allow and deny their access to AWS resources. IAM enables customers to leverage the agility and efficiency of the cloud while maintaining secure control of their organization’s AWS infrastructure. IAM Administrators new to AWS can be sometimes overwhelmed by the options available as they face competing goals: securing the environment while quickly enabling new users to accomplish their jobs. Further complicating the task, the initial controls they implement must grow and adapt without disrupting productivity as the company navigates its path to the cloud.



AWS IAM allows you to:


  • Manage IAM users and their access – You can create users in IAM, assign them individual security credentials (in other words, access keys, passwords, and multi-factor authentication devices), or request temporary security credentials to provide users access to AWS services and resources. You can manage permissions in order to control which operations a user can perform.


  • Manage IAM roles and their permissions – You can create roles in IAM and manage permissions to control which operations can be performed by the entity, or AWS service, that assumes the role. You can also define which entity is allowed to assume the role. In addition, you can use service-linked roles to delegate permissions to AWS services that create and manage AWS resources on your behalf.


  • Manage federated users and their permissions – You can enable identity federation to allow existing identities (users, groups, and roles) in your enterprise to access the AWS Management Console, call AWS APIs, and access resources, without the need to create an IAM user for each identity. Use any identity management solution that supports SAML 2.0, or use one of our federation samples (AWS Console SSO or API federation).



  • Shared access to your AWS account: You can grant other people permission to administer and use resources in your AWS account without having to share your password or access key.


  • Granular permissions: You can grant different permissions to different people for different resources.


  • Secure access to AWS resources for applications that run on Amazon EC2: You can use IAM features to securely provide credentials for applications that run on EC2 instances


  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA): You can add two-factor authentication to your account and to individual users for extra security.


  • Identity federation: You can allow users who already have passwords elsewhere—for example, in your corporate network or with an internet identity provider—to get temporary access to your AWS account.


  • Identity information for assurance: If you use AWS CloudTrail, you receive log records that include information about those who made requests for resources in your account.


  • Integrated with many AWS services: For a list of AWS services that work with IAM, see AWS Services That Work with IAM.


  • Eventually Consistent: IAM, like many other AWS services, is eventually consistent. IAM achieves high availability by replicating data across multiple servers within Amazon’s data centers around the world.



  • Enhanced Security

  • Granular control

  • Temporary Credentials

  • Flexible security credential management

  • Leverage external identity systems

  • Seamlessly integrated into AWS services

Getting Started


You can find all the details on how to start with AWS IAM from the below link


Video tutorial

Best Practices


Once you are familiar with the basic understanding of IAM its good to follow the best practices which helps you utilize the IAM more efficiently. The below link provides information on the same.



AWS Identity and Access Management is a feature of your AWS account offered at no additional charge. You will be charged only for use of other AWS services by your Users.

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AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Elastic Beanstalk


Amazon Web Services (AWS) comprises over one hundred services, each of which exposes an area of functionality. While the variety of services offers flexibility for how you want to manage your AWS infrastructure, it can be challenging to figure out which services to use and how to provision them.

With Elastic Beanstalk, you can quickly deploy and manage applications in the AWS Cloud without worrying about the infrastructure that runs those applications. AWS Elastic Beanstalk reduces management complexity without restricting choice or control. You simply upload your application, and Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, scaling, and application health monitoring. Elastic Beanstalk uses highly reliable and scalable services that are available in the AWS Free Tier.



When to Use


To use Elastic Beanstalk, you create an application, upload an application version in the form of an application source bundle (for example, a Java .war file) to Elastic Beanstalk, and then provide some information about the application. Elastic Beanstalk automatically launches an environment and creates and configures the AWS resources needed to run your code. After your environment is launched, you can then manage your environment and deploy new application versions. The following diagram illustrates the workflow of Elastic Beanstalk.


After you create and deploy your application, information about the application—including metrics, events, and environment status—is available through the AWS Management Console, APIs, or Command Line Interfaces, including the unified AWS CLI.



  • Wide Selection of Application Platforms: AWS Elastic Beanstalk supports web applications written in many popular languages and frameworks.You can choose from variety of application platforms such as Java, .NET, Node.js, PHP, Ruby, Python, Go, and Docker to deploy your web applications.

  • Variety of Application Deployment Options: AWS Elastic Beanstalk allows you to deploy your code through the AWS Management Console, Elastic Beanstalk Command Line Interface,Visual Studio, and Eclipse.

  • Monitoring: AWS Elastic Beanstalk provides a unified user interface to monitor and manage the health of your applications.

  • Scaling: AWS Elastic Beanstalk leverages Elastic Load Balancing and Auto Scaling to automatically scale your application in and out based on your application’s specific needs.

  • Customization: With AWS Elastic Beanstalk, you have the freedom to select the AWS resources, such as Amazon EC2 instance type, that are optimal for your application.




  • Fast and simple to begin : Elastic Beanstalk is the fastest and simplest way to deploy your application on AWS.Within minutes, your application will be ready to use without any infrastructure or resource configuration work on your part.


  • Developer productivity: Elastic Beanstalk provisions and operates the infrastructure and manages the application stack for you, so you don’t have to spend the time or develop the expertise.


  • Impossible to outgrow: Elastic Beanstalk automatically scales your application up and down based on your application’s specific need using easily adjustable Auto Scaling settings.


  • Complete resource control: You have the freedom to select the AWS resources, such as Amazon EC2 instance type, that are optimal for your application.



Getting Started


The first of the many beginning steps to learn the Elastic Beanstalk can be found under the below link.


Video Tutorial



Best Practices


Some of the best practices can be found in the below links




There is no additional charge for AWS Elastic Beanstalk. You pay for AWS resources (e.g. EC2 instances or S3 buckets) you create to store and run your application. You only pay for what you use, as you use it; there are no minimum fees and no upfront commitments.

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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.

Amazon EC2’s simple web service interface allows you to obtain and configure capacity with minimal friction. It provides you with complete control of your computing resources and lets you run on Amazon’s proven computing environment. Amazon EC2 reduces the time required to obtain and boot new server instances to minutes, allowing you to quickly scale capacity, both up and down, as your computing requirements change. Amazon EC2 changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use. Amazon EC2 provides developers the tools to build failure resilient applications and isolate them from common failure scenarios.

When to USE


There are times when one is limited by the capabilities of a desktop or laptop. Suppose a data scientist has a large dataset that they would like to do some analysis on. The scientist proceeds to try and load the entire dataset into memory and an error like the one below occurs.




The error resulted because the available RAM was exhausted. The operating system couldn’t allocate another 500Mb of RAM. While there are many different solutions to this type of problem, one possible solution could be to upgrade the RAM of the computer. Besides having to make an investment in more RAM, there are limits to how far some computers can be upgraded. The potential solution explored in this tutorial is to use a virtual machine in the cloud (AWS) with more RAM and CPU.

Virtual machines on AWS EC2, also called instances, have many advantages. A few of the advantages include being highly scalable (one can choose instances with more RAM, CPU etc), they are easy to start and stop (outside the free tier, customers pay for what they use), and they allow for the selection of different platforms (operating systems). An important point thing to emphasize is that although this tutorial covers how to launch a Windows based virtual machine, there are many different types of virtual machines for many different purposes.




Amazon EC2 provides the following features:


  • Virtual computing environments, known as instances

  • Preconfigured templates for your instances, known as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), that package the bits you need for your server (including the operating system and additional software)

  • Various configurations of CPU, memory, storage, and networking capacity for your instances, known as instance types

  • Secure login information for your instances using key pairs (AWS stores the public key, and you store the private key in a secure place)

  • Storage volumes for temporary data that’s deleted when you stop or terminate your instance, known as instance store volumes

  • Persistent storage volumes for your data using Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS), known as Amazon EBS volumes

  • Multiple physical locations for your resources, such as instances and Amazon EBS volumes, known as regions and Availability Zones

  • A firewall that enables you to specify the protocols, ports, and source IP ranges that can reach your instances using security groups

  • Static IPv4 addresses for dynamic cloud computing, known as Elastic IP addresses

  • Metadata, known as tags, that you can create and assign to your Amazon EC2 resources

  • Virtual networks you can create that are logically isolated from the rest of the AWS cloud, and that you can optionally connect to your own network, known as virtual private clouds (VPCs)





Amazon EC2 enables you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days. You can commission one, hundreds, or even thousands of server instances simultaneously.



You have complete control of your instances including root access and the ability to interact with them as you would with any machine.



You have the choice of multiple instance types, operating systems, and software packages. Amazon EC2 allows you to select a configuration of memory, CPU, instance storage, and the boot partition size that is optimal for your choice of operating system and application.



Amazon EC2 is integrated with most AWS services such as Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) to provide a complete, secure solution for computing, query processing, and cloud storage across a wide range of applications.



Amazon EC2 offers a highly reliable environment where replacement instances can be rapidly and predictably commissioned.



Cloud security at AWS is the highest priority. As an AWS customer, you will benefit from a data center and network architecture built to meet the requirements of the most security-sensitive organizations.



Amazon EC2 passes on to you the financial benefits of Amazon’s scale. You pay a very low rate for the compute capacity you actually consume.

Getting Started


Basic tutorial on how to get started with ec2 can be found below.

Video tutorials

Best Practices


Once you are clear with the basic stuff, to know in depth about how to utilize ec2 completely you can refer to the best practices of ec2 under the following link.





Amazon EC2 is free to try. There are four ways to pay for Amazon EC2 instances: On-Demand, Reserved Instances, and Spot Instances. You can also pay for Dedicated Hosts which provide you with EC2 instance capacity on physical servers dedicated for your use.For more details follow the below link.


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