I’ve just attended Amazon’s “Architecting for AWS” three day course and have walked away full of awe and wonderment at the possibilities that such a platform presents.
For those who don’t known AWS (Amazon Web Services) are a collection of services hosted around the world offering very reliable and dynamic resources in the Cloud. At its simplest AWS allows you to establish a simple server with storage for hosting a simple application. But that’s not what AWS is really about the key word here is dynamic or in AWS speak Elastic.
A number of the AWS are termed Elastic. This means that as demand increases on a particular service that your customers are using, that service’s resources dynamically grow to accommodate the increase in demand. As demand reduces the service dynamically reduces the resources it’s allocated and as AWS only charges you for the resource you use this can save you a lot of money over traditional tin deployments.
For example, imagine you offer live and catch-up streaming TV services for a new TV show about to go to air soon. Initial demand is small, you don’t need a lot of resource, enough to develop, test and deployment. As the show goes to air, the site’s URL is splashed about and demand on the site dramatically increases. The elastic services spawn new web servers and load balances expand to service the increase in requests. Over the following days as demand drops, servers are shut down and the load balances contract, money saved. You win.
By disconnecting your organisation from the reliance on tin and embracing the cloud you can save yourself a lot of money, while creating a dynamic, reliable platform.
Amazon offer a large number of their services on their “free tier” allowing you in effect to try before you buy. You can set up a small server platform running LAMP or similar in minutes by utilising the Amazon Machine Images. Give it a go.
More on AWS next time, Jonathan.