Mobile consumed much of the media's attention in 2012, with Apple duking it out in court and in the market with Android. But it was Amazon, perhaps more than any other company, that spent 2012 redefining how we think about technology. In late 2011 I called out Amazon as "the Microsoft of the cloud", pointing to its emerging role …
That didn't take long
Mentioning Apple in the first sentence. I hope they pay you for product placement.
"provide us the vendor independence"
You know those bank accounts that offer you a good interest rate then drop it after a year? At least you can move your money without too much trouble and have it in multiple banks for added peace of mind because electronic money all basically a 'commodity'.
How do you deal with a cloud provider, once established, changing the rules?
In a nutshell that is one of the biggest issues. Sure there are others like data sovereignty / jurisdiction and so on, but unless you can easily migrate your data and process from vendor to vendor you are simply putting your balls in a big vice and inviting them to turn the screws later...
We looked at outsourcing part of our IT infrastructure to a cloud, but none of the providers could provide us the vendor independence, fexibility, speed to and off the market, long term cost savings, security, up and down scalability for our needs, and we could not maintain a medium term continued business justification. The advertisement of all cloud prividers was very well polished, but after close examination we found it was more a lock in to spend piles of cash over a long period of time for a solution which could not satisfy our business requirements.
We subsequently looked at building our own private cloud, result was a private application, storage, and server cloud in one, with a flexibility that outgunned everything that was on the market at that time. Cheaper as well: 1GB of high availability storage space did not cost $1 per day, but 0.013 cent!
Exactly what I found.
Somehow Amazon has got the message out that Cloud is everything to everyman - cheaper, more reliable and easy to manage.. but to put it bluntly, it pure bollocks!
I span up a few VMs with an exact spec I was looking for and left them running for a month.. these were just standard storage etc, I took this cost and times it by 12 to give me the annual cost. In the end I brought 5 very high spec servers, Flash based SAN, switching, firewalls and load balancers and hosted it in my local data center, and it came in about 25%...
On top of that, I also know if something goes wrong, I can get immediate answers...
we are about to release something and we were looking into Amazon. What wee need would cost us about $170,000.00 per year. We decided it is cheaper to do it ourself. It will cost us about $12,000 to $24,000 per year. Adios Amazon.
You need to architect for AWS
Reducing costs by hosting on AWS is not just about re-provisioning existing systems with AWS instances, you have to architect apps to take advantage of the way AWS works. This requires an understanding off all AWS services and figuring out how to map those to your needs.
I spent the last 5 months doing this with a client's application and we reduced hosting costs to roughly 10% of what they were compared to traditional hosting.... Of course we spent about 3 months re-engineering parts of the application, but in the end that work also made it more robust and scalable.
Also, if you have an app with spiky demand that needs to scale rapidly (e.g. customer facing) then AWS is a great solution - see http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/30/inside_pinterest_virtual_data_center/ for Pinterest experience in doing this and keeping their hosting costs to $35-$52/hr.
Hah, I read this and thought what a dreadfully biased article, then I got to the bit where it said it's by Matt, and the penny dropped.
Also, am I reading this correctly, or does that chart really say that it's based off the responses of just 106 respondents? A HUNDRED?? Hardly enough for a meaningful and accurate opinion. Also, if those HUNDRED developers are independents/freelancers/whatever, of course Amazon and Google and the other end-user friendly platforms are going to rate highly.
If I'm a freelance developer, I'm not going to approach the likes of IBM or Oracle and spend the thousands of $$ required just to get a login. However, if I'm a corporation moving my business critical apps to the cloud, I'm going to look at the traditional big players too.
Crappy FTP services
As an ftp server/download service Amazon is 100% crap with ultra low download speeds (I guess it depends of the sla with the client) and it does not support download restart, which in 2012 is not acceptable.
I have limited knowledge of AWS but as an end user my experiences with downloading updates in the 100MB-2GB size has been quite bad.
Re: Crappy FTP services
Their FTP service is worse than that: it doesn't even exist in the first place! The only way to get FTP there is to set up a server and install an FTP daemon yourself (or pay to use somebody else's), at which point it's not really much of an Amazon service any more than any other colo/VPS provider.
Are you thinking of S3 as an HTTP (as opposed to FTP) download host? If so, you're really supposed to front it with the CloudFront CDN for fast static downloads (though I do know a lot of people use S3 directly, because it's actually a fairly good service for that, rock-solid reliability, albeit not the fastest). Both S3 and CloudFront certainly *do* support download resumption (partial GET requests with a specified byte-range) - what they don't support, though, is FTP: it's HTTP(S) only.
Isn't this the same AWS....
That just shut down Netflix download service and several other smaller clients on Christmas Eve? I would think that will blunt AWS' appeal with anyone who really depends on the internet as a key part of their business.
Re: Isn't this the same AWS....
Yet my non-IT staff still ask when we will be moving to the "cloud".
Still seems like a good value for some applications?
My company is just staring to test our applications on EC2 and so far we are satisfied. While all of our development and business processes are in-house we have 'NO' in-house servers that expose our business services.
Our websites are hosted with a dedicated hosting provider and our applications are launched on EC2. We need periods of high computational and I/O bandwidth. While we can build or buy our own high computation servers, we can not match the I/O bandwidth of AWS at a cost effective price, at least not yet.
It is this ability to scale that makes AWS such a good fit for us...
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