Cloud // Platform as a Service
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8/16/2013
11:11 AM
Bernard Golden
Bernard Golden
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Amazon Web Services: What's It Good For?

A lot, even if it still gets damned with faint praise for its enterprise cloud services.

VMware Vs. Microsoft: 8 Cloud Battle Lines
VMware Vs. Microsoft: 8 Cloud Battle Lines
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There's an ongoing debate about Amazon Web Services and its place in cloud computing. While much of the initial skepticism has died off -- one rarely hears, "What does a bookseller know about computing?" anymore (other than from VWware executives) -- Amazon still gets damned with faint praise.

We still hear: "You've got to hand it to Amazon for having put together a great offering. Of course, for production applications, IT organizations require enterprise characteristics." And: "AWS is a fantastic resource that's used a lot for test and dev." The clear implication is that only developers find AWS's value proposition compelling, and when it comes time for serious computing, those applications will be hosted internally or placed with a different type of hosting provider.

The relegation of AWS to the developer ghetto is by no means a given. The perception that AWS serves as a provider of inexpensive, unreliable computing power lags the market reality -- many organizations run production applications in AWS, attracted by its easy access and pay-as-you-go pricing.

[ iPads were made for the cloud. Read 8 Cool Cloud Tools For iPad. ]

The adoption of AWS for production applications might also be a testament to the difficulty application groups are having as they attempt to move workloads out of the development process and into production. Motivating many application groups to bypass the IT organization and deploy on AWS is the friction they encounter within IT: higher-priority needs, lengthy purchasing timeframes for capital needs and IT disinterest in supporting what it views as "unimportant" applications. There’s even a term for this state of affairs: Shadow IT.

The debate about how much and why companies use AWS for production applications misses a critical point, however. They are increasingly using AWS to deploy applications designed and built for its characteristics.

So what is AWS good for? Application groups are leveraging AWS's unique characteristics to deploy applications unimaginable for traditional IT infrastructures and processes. These applications run on hundreds or thousands of virtual machines, are associated with the addition and subtraction of large amounts of server resources dynamically, and are predicated on opex rather than capex expenditures. This setup lets them scale to much larger user populations, support freemium economic models and respond to highly erratic workloads -- all unsupportable in traditional IT infrastructure settings.

Join me in Chicago at the second annual Cloud Connect, where we'll tackle these and other questions in the AWS & Eucalyptus track and half-day Amazon Web Services Boot Camp.

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eddiemayan
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eddiemayan,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/2/2013 | 9:23:32 AM
re: Amazon Web Services: What's It Good For?
Amazon best for IaaS AND PaaS Cloud Service as they rank at 1st position on the almost review site like CloudReviews.com. They Provide their own Database as a Service which shows their productivity performance better compare to others.
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
8/21/2013 | 10:34:36 PM
re: Amazon Web Services: What's It Good For?
Amazon has established the viability of general purpose, mass market compute cycles delivered over the network and charged for by the hour. No one is more responsible for showing this can be done and is a viable market than Amazon. Along with general purpose servers, it's tried to establish enough server instances that they will appeal to many types of customers. This latter is a factor that limits AWS's advancement. There's a lot of complexity to figuring out which server type you're going to use and every customer can think of a type that he wants that isn't there. Will there be more flexible server configuration someday?
Noam Shendar
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Noam Shendar,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/21/2013 | 7:47:40 PM
re: Amazon Web Services: What's It Good For?
AWS has certainly changed the IT world, and the cloud offers all new possibilities for IT processes and applications. One of the great things about AWS is that it has a fantastic ecosystem that extends the possibilities far beyond AWS's already impressive suite of native services. One such product is our own Zadara Storage Virtual Private Storage Arrays (VPSA), that lets businesses and enterprises run existing apps in the cloud with NFS and iSCSI protocols, just like they do in traditional, on-premise NAS and SAN arrays. This combination allows everything from demanding legacy and mission-critical applications to repository and secondary storage to run in AWS today, with all the benefits you mentioned, e.g., elasticity and a focus on OpEx. In addition to our customers who are deploying made-for-the-cloud applications, we see more and more customers bringing existing apps to the cloud, as the skepticism you mention is diminishing. Exciting times.
cloudhosting14
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cloudhosting14,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/20/2013 | 12:00:28 PM
re: Amazon Web Services: What's It Good For?
Nice Article, Thinking to experience move your site on cloud? Get amazon cloud hosting from Cloudways with automated backups and 24/7 cloud support.
cbabcock
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cbabcock,
User Rank: Strategist
8/19/2013 | 5:52:55 PM
re: Amazon Web Services: What's It Good For?
Bernard makes a good point. There's a big difference between legacy applications and applications designed to run in the cloud. Companies with experience on Amazon understand the benefits of the latter: an ability to scale up or down at short notice; an ability to run a big job on many servers, getting it done in a fraction of the time it would take in-house; designing compute jobs that you wouldn't necessarily have thought of before, due to the availabiltiy of large scale but short term computing as a by-the-hour op ex expense. Charlie
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
8/19/2013 | 2:35:26 PM
re: Amazon Web Services: What's It Good For?
That opex vs. capex expenditures issue has been significant for several years. Is there better understanding now on the business side, readers?
Google in the Enterprise Survey
Google in the Enterprise Survey
There's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity ­products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent ­mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers ­distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
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