Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing solution is indeed a powerful and relevant option for businesses. However, does this mean it’s the perfect choice for every business? Let’s look at some of the technology that Amazon’s cloud solution uses and what they mean for your business. We’ll also look at some of the alternatives for those who are still undecided.
Cloud computing is a popular subject these days. Although most of us have a basic understanding of what it is, there are several flavors of cloud computing that offer different levels of flexibility and options to users. It’s important to clearly understand what you’re paying for and what you should expect from each service.
A public cloud solution is a scalable system based on hardware that is shared between many clients. It’s usually cheaper to setup and start using since the hardware is already in place and ready to be used. You’ll be sharing drive space, CPU and RAM with other clients in the system and only pay for what you use.
A public cloud computing solution takes many technical details out of your control. While this can be a relief to the less-technical, it means you have little control over important details like how often backups are created, where systems are located and what kind of redundancy is in place to prevent outages. Recent outage of Amazon’s cloud system and other providers shows the uncertainty that can come from using a public cloud.
Cloud computing is not a magical solution to all of a company’s hosting and server challenges. Most payment plans for public cloud systems have limits in place on usage and bandwidth. If you pass these limits, you risk incurring fees for usage. This can make it plan for spikes in usage and popularity that could have a negative effect on a businesses financial situation.
Amazon’s EC2 Solution is easy to setup and start using. However, if business owners don’t plan things carefully, they can end up racking up huge bill if their site suddenly receives a large amount of unexpected traffic. Unexpected traffic is a good thing for most businesses, but a huge server usage bill from a public cloud system can absorb any financial gains that new popularity might have produced.
There are also very little in the way of service level agreements when using a public cloud. Since these solutions depend on massive integrated pieces of hardware, a failure in one component can lead to long downtimes. Amazon recently suffered a two-day outage that effected some of the largest websites on the Internet. While some businesses can weather a two-day outage with little impact, technology-based companies that rely on this technology to run their business may find such a possibility to be unacceptable.
Many companies are building more flexible systems that include contingencies for sudden spikes in traffic. These solutions can more properly align costs with business needs. These solutions are combining the dynamic quality of cloud computing with the reliability of dedicated hosting solutions. Many of these companies offer clearly defined service level agreements and better monitoring tools.
Many companies simply elect to go with Amazon since they’re a name they trust. Amazon’s EC2 solution is indeed perfect for many small businesses. However, technology-heavy businesses might find that they need a bit more control and reliability over their server solution.
Finding the right service starts with clearly understanding the requirements for hosting. Many sites have usage patterns that can be predicted. However, contingencies should also be considered for dealing with spikes in bandwidth or other events that could drastically change the level of usage, even temporarily.
Some of these companies can provide far more than hosting over the same infrastructure. The best way to find a solution that’s perfect for your company is to clearly define your goals and needs from hosting and talk to a consultant. Making quick decisions or going with the easiest to implement system might seem attractive right now, but the repercussions of a quick decision in this aspect of your business can be severe. Take time to examine your needs and talk to a professional to make sure you pick the best option for your business. We work with several cloud experts that have a thorough understanding of each carrier's different cloud computing solution. Get in touch with us, we are more than discuss your potential cloud needs with us and compare cloud solutions with you.