Join us for an interactive, six-part series to get hands-on cloud computing experience in the fun, fictitious startup world of Unicorn.Rentals!

unicorn rentals

The Scenario
Congratulations on your new position at Unicorn.Rentals! After just a few short years as a company, Unicorn.Rentals continues to dominate in the Legendary Animal Rental Market (LARM). Time and again we continue to fulfill the needs of parents who have caved to their children’s demands of temporary use of a unicorn. As part of our continued market dominance, we are continuously expanding, and investing in training programs for our growing team of developers.

To hit the ground running, make sure to have a web browser, the AWS Command Line Tools (AWS CLI), and an SSH client pre-installed on your machine. An AWS account is not required, but you’ll have a lot more fun if you have one.

  • Episode 1: Recon

    Episode 1: Recon

    Episode 1: Recon
    Aired on July 25th at 2:30 PM ET / 11:30 AM PT

    When you jump into an AWS account, it’s common to have existing resources in that account, and GameDay is no exception. Finding out what you have is essential to be successful in the game. We’ll talk about how to identify your inventory and assess your configuration. You’ll get some background on logging services, such as Cloudtrail and Cloudwatch. Bring your browser, your questions and your love for unicorns; it’s going to be a blast!

  • Episode 2: Scaling

    Episode 2: Scaling

    Episode 2: Scaling
    Aired on August 1 at 2:30 PM ET / 11:30 AM PT

    Scaling your application infrastructure is a critical component to being successful in Gameday. It starts with autoscaling groups, but it doesn’t end there. We learn about various scaling techniques, where it makes sense to use them and how to implement with running infrastructure. Of course, we’ll have a few surprises for you. Don’t miss it!

  • Episode 3: Changes

    Episode 3: Changes

    Episode 3: Changes
    Aired on August 8th at 2:30 PM ET / 11:30 AM PT

    Just like in real life™, your Gameday is not static, you’ll have to deal with change; whether that’s more users or new code. We’ll dive into team dynamics, which is a key component to success, as well as show you how to use native AWS security and deployment tools to track and manage change.

  • Episode 4: Decoupling

    Episode 4: Decoupling

    Episode 4: Decoupling
    Aired on August 15th 2:30 PM ET / 11:30 AM PT

    Tightly coupled systems live together and die together. We’ll explore how loosely coupled systems operate, and when something goes wrong, how to diagnose the failures. A plan for failure outplays a failure to plan every time, so tune in to get the answers you need to win.

  • Episode 5: Security is Job Zero

    Episode 5: Security is Job Zero

    Episode 5: Security is Job Zero
    Aired on August 22nd 2:30 PM ET / 11:30 AM PT

    Security- At AWS, security is job zero, and it should be for you, too. An advantage of the AWS cloud is that you can scale and innovate, all the while maintaining a secure environment. In GameDay, paying attention to security can be the difference between winning and losing. We’ll look at access methods, how to securely access services and unscramble the topic of encryption. As always, there will be fun facts, audience polls and lot of surprises.

  • Episode 6: Optimizing for Cost

    Episode 5: Security is Job Zero

    Episode 6: Optimizing for Cost
    Aired on August 29th 2:30 PM ET / 11:30 AM PT

    Cost Optimization- Frugality is one of our core principles at Amazon, and in GameDay, it’s literally part of the scoring equation. Making smart choices to optimize cost is your key to climbing the scoreboard and taking home the prize. We’ll look at instance optimization, explore cost management tools built-in to your account and share plenty of tips and tricks along the way. You’re sure to learn new skills that you can take to any AWS environment and be a hero.


David Potes is a Manager, Solutions Architecture with Amazon Web Services. He provides technical guidance, design advice and thought leadership to some of the most successful AWS software partners on the planet. His deepest expertise spans big data, security, storage and SaaS business applications. Over the last 15 years, he’s brought an intense customer focus to challenging and deeply technical roles in multiple industries. He holds both a world record and has a number of patents.


Scott Ward is a solutions architect with Amazon Web Services (AWS). Based out of Seattle, WA, Scott is part of a team that supports AWS's global network of technology and consulting partners. For AWS partners, Scott’s focus is on existing AWS architecture validation and improvements, planning new architectures for workloads on AWS, providing guidance on how to use new AWS services, and providing general technical enablement. Scott has a deep background in supporting, enhancing, and building global financial solutions to meet the needs of large companies, including many, years supporting the global financial systems for

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