AWS News Blog

Links for March 9th

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Catching up on a variety of interesting topics today. Some of these have been lingering in my inbox for quite a while — others are hot off the wire. In every case though, the result of innovation continues to amaze and impress!

Today I am writing about An Amazon S3 Publishing Plugin for Expression Encoder, a Benchmark Testing on EBS Performance in various configurations, Help Wanted: Programmer for Actionscript & Flash, and an update on Metropix–which I originally blogged about way back in 2007.

Amazon S3 Publishing Plugin for Expression Encoder

Tim Heuer over at Microsoft emailed me about this a while back. Apologies to Tim for not blogging sooner, but on the other hand he told me just before I got distracted by Maui :)

Quoting from Tim’s blog post

Ive been using Amazons S3 web services for a while and have really grown to like it a lot. One of the Live Writer extensions I spoke of earlier is a plugin for S3 for Live Writer that Aaron Lerch helped out with as well! I though I should extend Encoder so that Id have a one click publishing point to my S3 account instead of having to use S3Fox all the time (which is an awesome tool btw).

So after getting home from a user group I started cranking one out, figuring out the nuances and just coding something together. A few hours later I came up with what Im calling 1.0 beta of my plugin.

Its not a fancy UI, but it doesnt need to be, it serves a purpose: enable publishing of Encoder output directly to an Amazon S3 bucket in one click. Thats it. Encoding just media? No problem. Adding a template? Not a problem either. You simply need to enter your Amazon S3 account information and enter a bucket. If the bucket isnt there, it will attempt to create it. You can also list your current buckets if you forgot them.

The plugin can be downloaded from Codeplex by clicking here.

Benchmark Testing

AF Design wrote a blog post after they analyzed EC2 disk performance. This was a completely independent test that appeared on the Net without any advance contact between the author and Amazon Web Services — at least, not as far as I am aware of.

I found it very interesting that testing was thorough, and not limited to just one or two tests. And the test experiments with quite a few RAID configurations, as you can see in the chart.

As you probably know, benchmarking is definitely a black art, and is made even more complex in a virtualized environment, so your results may vary. We generally advise prospective customers to do benchmarks using their own code and workloads.

From the post…


First I wanted to determine what the EBS devices would compare to in the physical world. I ran Bonnie against a few entry level boxes provided by a number of ISPs and found the performance roughly matched a locally attached SATA or SCSI drive when formatted with EXT3. I also found that JFS, XFS and ReiserFS performed slightly better than EXT3 in most tests except block writes.

Help Wanted: Programmer for Actionscript & Flash emailed me to ask if there is anyone able to help out with some development work. “To complete the audio functionality of our online editor, we are in need of a programmer who is familiar with Actionscript 3, Flash and Flash Media Server (Wowza preferably). It would be advantageous if they are also familiar with Ruby on Rails and Amazon Web Services (EC2, S3, SQS).”

You can email them from their website.

Metropix Update

Way back in 2007 I blogged about Metropix, which makes 3D models automatically from floor plans using Amazon AWS.

Max Christian emailed me a while ago with an update…

I thought I’d write to let you know that Metropix has just been acquired by the Daily Mail and General Trust, which is a $2bn publishing company based over here in London. (The same company owns Primelocation and FindaProperty which are major real estate property portals.)

It’s only four years since we started the business on the not-so grand sum of 16,000, so this is a really exciting moment for us! Without AWS, we simply wouldn’t have been able to do what we did without taking on external investors. In fact, I just checked our accounts and unbelievably the total we’ve spent on AWS since launch is just 1826.37, which is absolutely astounding value for money given the pivotal role AWS has played in our rapid expansion. We’re working hard now on taking advantage of EC2’s new Windows support ready for further expansion as part of a bigger group.

That’s it for this post. Enjoy!!

— Mike

Modified 6/2/2022 – In an effort to ensure a great experience, non-working links and images in this post have been updated or removed from the original post.
Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr is Chief Evangelist for AWS. He started this blog in 2004 and has been writing posts just about non-stop ever since.