Bart Lorang

Amazon Web Services: It Keeps Amazin’ Me

by Bart Lorang
Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Over the past few months, I have given a few presentations for small business owners and management types – one for the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and another for the Denver Office of Economic Development.

During both of these presentations I discussed and presented some of Amazon’s technology offerings.  Audience members were shocked and amazed at the breadth of Amazon’s offerings in the Cloud Computing space.  Quite frankly, so am I.  I continue to be impressed with Amazon’s pace of innovation in this area.

Since CloudCenter’s inception we have used the following Amazon Web Services (AWS)

  • EC2 (Elastic Cloud Computing)
    • Windows Servers
    • LInux Servers
    • Elastic IP Addresses
    • Elastic Load Balancers
    • Virtual Private Cloud
    • Security Groups (Virtual Firewalls)
    • Amazon Machine Images (Customized Images of our Applications)
  • S3 (Simple Storage Service)
    • File Storage
    • Backup Storage
  • RDS (Relational Database Service)
    • High-Availability MySQL Instances
  • SQS (Simple Queuing Service)
    • Replacement for JMS and ActiveMQ
  • CloudWatch (Monitoring)
  • Mechanical Turk (Human Beings on Demand, Ready to do Work)

We have made the strategic decision to deploy our first CloudCenter App, Rainmaker, on AWS.  Occasionally, this requires a paradigm shift in our development processes but we feel that Rainmaker will easily scale vertically and horizontally as our user base grows.

As a guy who has spent countless hours in noisey, air-conditioned data centers racking up firewalls, routers and servers, it is incredible to deploy virtual servers in the U.S. West Coast & East Coast, Europe and Asia with a flew clicks.   With AWS, you can get a server up and running in a few seconds. Better yet, you can  deploy load balancers, firewalls and other “hardware” items with similar ease.

The best thing about AWS?  The Pricing Model. The pricing model is highly variable.  It is a true utility.  WIth AWS, we only pay for what we use. We don’t have to worry about CapEx, fixed depreciation schedules or wasted capacity.

Over the coming weeks, I will be posting about CloudCenter’s experiences with each of the AWS components and our experiences.  Stay tuned.

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