Reliable, Scalable, and Inexpensive computing

Made for

cost-effective cloud tools for business operations, high scalability and availability.

Not for

users seeking open-source, operating without internal management.

Features

Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2)

Amazon EC2 presents a virtual computing environment, allowing users to use web service interfaces to launch instances with a variety of operating systems, load them with custom application environment, manage network access permissions, and run images using as many or as few systems as needed.

Features

  • Elastic Computing
  • Controlled Instances
  • Integrated with the AWS platform

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Elastic Beanstalk

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a service for deploying and scaling web applications and services developed with Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker on servers such as Apache, Nginx, Passenger, and IIS. Users can simply upload code and Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment, from capacity provisioning, load balancing, and auto-scaling to application health monitoring. Users can also retain full control over the AWS resources powering applications and can access the underlying resources.

Features

  • Auto Scaling
  • Complete Resource Control
  • Fast Deployment

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Additional Computing Services

AWS Lambda
Auto Scaling
Elastic Load Balancing
Amazon WorkSpaces

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)

Amazon S3 provides developers and IT teams with scalable object storage. Amazon S3 is a pay-by-usage platform. Amazon S3 offers a range of storage classes designed for different use cases including Amazon S3 Standard for general-purpose storage of frequently accessed data and Amazon S3 Standard - Infrequent Access (Standard - IA) for long-lived, but less frequently accessed data. Amazon S3 also offers configurable lifecycle policies for managing data throughout its lifecycle. Once a policy is set, data will automatically migrate to the most appropriate storage class without any changes to applications.

Features

  • Storage Classes for different use cases
  • 99.999999999% Object Durability
  • Instant Scaling

Read Amazon S3 Reviews

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Amazon Glacier

Amazon Glacier is a secure and durable storage service for data archiving and long-term backup. Customers can store large or small amounts of data for as little as $0.007 per gigabyte per month. To keep costs low, Amazon Glacier is optimized for infrequently accessed data where a retrieval time of several hours is suitable.

Features

  • Integrated with Amazon S3
  • Unlimited, Scalable Platform
  • Storage Redundancy

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Additional Storage Services

CloudFront CDN
Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)
AWS Import/Export Snowball
AWS Storage Gateway

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

Amazon VPC lets users provision a logically isolated section of the AWS Cloud where they can launch AWS resources in a virtual network that are defined. Users have complete control over their virtual networking environment, including selection of the IP address range, creation of subnets, and configuration of route tables and network gateways.

Features

  • A variety of connectivity options (i.e. public/private subnets)
  • Instant Scaling
  • Amazon S3 Integration

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AWS Direct Connect

AWS Direct Connect offers users a way to create dedicated network connection from premises to AWS. Using AWS Direct Connect, users can establish private connectivity between AWS and datacenter, office, or colocation environment, which in some cases may reduce network costs, increase bandwidth throughput, and provide a more consistent network experience than Internet-based connections.

Features

  • Elastic Connection Scaling
  • Consistent Network Performance
  • Compatible with all AWS Services

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Additional Networking Services

Elastic Load Balancing
Amazon Route 53

 

Amazon CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring service for AWS cloud resources and the applications that run on AWS. Users can use Amazon CloudWatch to collect and track metrics, collect and monitor log files, set alarms, and automatically react to changes in your AWS resources. Amazon CloudWatch can monitor AWS resources such as Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon DynamoDB tables, and Amazon RDS DB instances, as well as custom metrics generated by applications and services, and any log files applications generate. Users can use Amazon CloudWatch to gain system-wide visibility into resource utilization, application performance, and operational health.

Features

  • Monitor Amazon EC2 Instances
  • Monitor Custom Metrics
  • Automated Actions and Alarms on Specified Metrics

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AWS CloudFormation

AWS CloudFormation gives developers and systems administrators a way to create and manage a collection of related AWS resources, provisioning and updating them in an orderly and predictable fashion. Users can use AWS CloudFormation’s sample templates or create their own templates to describe the AWS resources, and any associated dependencies or runtime parameters, required to run applications. CloudFormation takes care of the order for provisioning AWS services and the subtleties of making those dependencies work. After the AWS resources are deployed, users can modify and update them in a controlled and predictable way, in effect applying version control to the AWS infrastructure the same way that is done with software.

Features

  • Supports many AWS Resources
  • Customized via Parameters
  • Drag-and-Drop Interface

Visit Website

 

 

Additional Management Services

AWS CloudTrail
AWS Config
AWS OpsWorks
AWS Service Catalog

 

Security

Encryption:
  • In-Transit: SSL or Client-Side
  • At Rest: SSE (AES-256) or Client-Side
File Management:
  •  Role Based Access
  • Retention Time: User-defined
  • Data Destruction: Disk Wipe
Audits & Compliance:

Performance

Performance:
  •  Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • Guaranteed Uptime: 99.95%
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
Global Infrastructure:
  • Data Center Zones: 32
  • North America Locations: 13
  • Europe Locations: 5
  • Asia Locations: 7
Basic Support:
  •  Phone
  •  Chat
  •  Tutorials
  •  Premium Support Available

Pricing

AWS is billed based on monthly usage of services.

Reviews

Sort by
 
Client Interview
Nov 16 2016

First to Market with Everything Needed

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
IT Services
 
51-200 employees
 
Chicago, Illinois
Solution Architect, Switchfast Technologies
JD Smith
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

AWS [Amazon Web Services] met the needs of the user, and due to them being first to market, the tools offered by AWS were more advanced than competitors. They often recommend cloud migration for clients and set out long-term migration strategies. AWS has proven to be beneficial throughout multiple projects.

Background

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Switchfast Technologies is a Chicago-based managed services provider for clients across an area.

I am the solutions architect and professional services manager of the company. On the solutions side, I am responsible for putting together project plans and reviewing requests for new servers, applications, networks, or anything else related to changes in clients' environments. I gather requirements and ensure that there is a fit with the overall goal and direction of the client's technology infrastructure, and put together a plan and scope of work. On the professional services side, I handle the implementation piece, overseeing a couple of project engineers, and making sure that they will correctly implement the project, maintaining our timeline and goals, based on the scope we put together. 

Solution

What was the scope of their involvement?

AWS, for the most part. We've also looked briefly into Microsoft Azure, based on a few specific needs.

What business challenges do you typically address by using cloud technology?

The challenge is removing the ongoing cost which comes up every 5-7 years, depending on the client's replacement cycle: having to do a forklift removal of whatever on-premises hardware is in place, and putting in new hardware, applications, and operating systems. Shifting to the cloud at least removes the hardware aspect from the equation, and allows the client to focus on the OS and application levels, and how they can be migrated more often. On-premises hardware usually limits the shift to new environments and software versions. With cloud solutions, clients no longer need to hold off on doing these upgrades.

When looking at cloud technology implementations, what is your recommendation in terms of migration approach?

Most of our clients' environments are on the older side, so when the conversation about moving to the cloud comes up, they will already be within a refresh cycle. Most clients have 5-7-year cycles, which can be longer, depending on factors like warranty extensions. I don't have a lot of experience in doing quick migrations to the cloud, outside of Office 365 and email implementations.

Clients planning to migrate to AWS, for example, have all looked into longer-term migrations. We first look at core services like active directory environments. We will deploy the system to Amazon, and make sure that it's talking back to the on-premises environment. From there, we will move things over in phases, spinning up whatever application servers we need, and either move each piece at a time or in the cases where there is a backend and a front-end, both pieces are moved at once. We ensure that proper testing is done, that the performance level is acceptable, and that there aren't any issues in general. Once we've migrated an application to the cloud, the on-premises piece will be shut down.

Results

Do you find cloud technologies as being the more cost-effective option, or does it open the door for more IT spending?

I'm not usually involved in the Opex/Capex discussions. From simply specking out solutions and comparing an on-premises solution to a cloud one, the cost benefit, at least within the first year, tends to be in favor of using the cloud. There are zero or very little upfront licensing costs in using AWS or Azure within the first year, and we can be a bit more aggressive in turning down server capacity because we know we have the flexibility to do so. If we come in at a low tier, and performance isn't what we were expecting, we're not locked into anything; we can flip a couple of switches, reboot the system, and start running at a different tier, with more performance, more virtual CPUs, memory, and so on. With an on-prem solution, we'd have to encompass the worst-case scenario, in which we'd need to allocate more resources than anticipated. The cloud allows us to be a bit more aggressive, and come in at lower price points. We know that we have the necessary flexibility, and nothing's set in stone.

Is there a specific reason behind utilizing AWS?

Choosing to use AWS was a business decision. Amazon is still the leader when it comes to cloud computing and the environments that most of our clients are looking at. In the past, compared to what Google and Microsoft's offerings were, AWS was far ahead. That gap has closed somewhat at the moment. We weren't interested in anything like Rackspace, either. AWS was first-to-market, and they've offered everything we've needed so far, so there wasn't a need to go anywhere else. Because the other players have started adding the same features, Amazon is continuing to lower prices on storage, computing times, and everything else involved.

Features

Are there any special or unique offerings within AWS?

For us, the biggest change was making it easier to establish VPN panels between on-premises sites and the cloud. When we started using AWS, some advanced routing configurations were needed to accomplish this. Most small businesses won't have any advanced routing hardware for this purpose; they tend to be basic. AWS made this change 2 years ago, making it more feasible for us to tie-in the cloud to on-premises environments, and make migrations easier.

Another thing which caught our eye was Amazon WorkSpaces, or Virtual Desktops in the Cloud. For clients with all-cloud environments, one of the challenges remaining was that performance isn't necessarily on-par with using laptops and traditional desktops. Even with on-premises solutions, there was still some overhead from VPN tunnels to factor in, like latency, bandwidth, and other things which can't be changed. As such, it was nice to offer a full-blown desktop experience, not as a terminal server environment, but as more of a Windows 10 or 7 desktop environment, where all the computing is being done on Amazon's side; the only thing being passed back-and-forth is traffic with the client. Not only does this increase performance, but we're also factoring in the fact that the device itself doesn't really matter; it can be a laptop or desktop, as well as a phone or tablet. I could be in an airport, and access all of my data securely, without needing for it to leave the remote location. No documents are being stored on the actual tablets and phones, so concerns with the devices being lost or stolen are removed. If the user decides to quit the company, the process is simplified, because everything is self-contained, and access is locked-down from a security standpoint (but not to a point of hampering business and slowing things down). I'm very interested in seeing where this will go, and how it will continue to improve, as new options become available.

Are there any services which haven't performed up to your expectations, or is there any tool which you'd like to see implemented within AWS?

The on-premises file server where everything is stored is what drives most of our client's businesses. There are solutions like Dropbox or One Drive, but none of them mimic the same functionalities offered by a local file server. Everyone is used to certain mapped network drives, where everything lives. The challenge would be for Amazon or any of the other cloud providers to come up with a more robust file storage option, mimicking the same folder structures and sharing functionalities of local servers, while still having decent performance. A solution called ownCloud reproduced the setup of keeping data in-house while offering the benefit of files being in the cloud, and accessible from any device. We haven't seen a direct replacement for this from Amazon, Google, or anyone else.

Have you had interactions with their support team or support resources?

I remember contacting support in order to request additional resources, like Elastic IPs. Amazon's support staff has been very responsive, getting back to us within minutes or hours, usually. We were able to reach someone who knew exactly what we needed and didn't have to gather additional information, or transfer us to someone else. No one in our team has had a complaint about Amazon's support.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 5.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Online Review
Sep 13 2016

Scalability and Cost Efficiency with AWS

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
IT Services
 
51-200 employees
 
Santa Clara, California
Director of Growth, Intuz
Patrick R
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

Intuz utilizes a variety of cloud technologies with a focus on the suite of tools provided by AWS [Amazon Web Services]. By utilizing these resources, Intuz has been able to increase operational efficiency and decrease infrastructure costs. AWS is recommended to clients who have a need for on-demand scalability.

Background

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Intuz Group is a global custom mobile development and cloud solutions company. Intuz offers a wide range of IT Solutions such as mobile application development, cloud services, AWS solutions, UI/UX [user interface/user experience] design, app marketing, custom web applications, and custom software development. 

With over 12 years of experience in the field of Information Technology, Patrick is a techno-commercial leader heading Intuz as Director of Growth.

Solution

What business challenges have you been able to overcome by utilizing these technologies?

Cloud technologies can overcome multiple business challenges, some of which we have been experiencing with our clients.

One of our clients was experiencing increased traffic and was finding it difficult to scale resources instantaneously to meet the increasing demand. So by using AWS, we overcame this scalability issue by providing them prompt scalable resources and load balancing solutions.

Few of our clients needed rapid cloud deployment and focus more resources on product development. The AWS cloud provides very prompt setup and configuration of IT infrastructure, sometimes within minutes, and enables increased productivity for our clients.

Migrating and hosting to cloud providers like Rackspace and AWS has allowed us to reduce operational costs while increasing IT effectiveness.

We have developed several real-time products and solutions that needed seamless transfers and instant access across multiple nodes around the globe. AWS’s global presence with high-end cloud infrastructure at almost all prominent places vastly improved time to deployment and resource availability for businesses who wanted to expand geographically.

In scenarios where an on-prem data-center-wide disaster recovery system was too tedious of a job with expensive infrastructure and implementation, we were able to implement Cloud DR systems much more quickly and easily while allowing far better control over resources.

How do you implement cloud technologies?

We have a separate division of cloud solutions in our company with AWS certified architects, developers, and operational members who can implement AWS technologies for clients. Below is the list of the core AWS services that we are providing to clients:

  • Compute - EC2 - On demand /Reserve /Spot instances, Lambda, Container Services
  • Database - RDS-NoSql (MS SQL, Mysql, Arora, DynamoDB, mongoDB, postgresql, etc)
  • Networking - VPC, Direct Connect, Route53
  • Storage - S3, IAS3, Glacier, EBS, Storage Gateway, Cloud Front, Snowball
  • SES, SQS, SNS, IAM, WAF. Based on client requirements, if needed, we can concert with on-premise systems using DirectConnect or the other services of AWS.
Results

How to costs compare to other infrastructure options?

On-premise systems have high hardware costs, and along with it comes the high maintenance and upgrade costs as well. Technologies like visualization also allow efficient utilization of resources but lack the scalability and on-demand cost effectiveness of a true cloud solution. In cloud technology, you only pay for exactly what you use and how long you use it, so you don’t waste your money on buying extra resources. So, while an on-premise system can cost thousands of dollars, migrating to a cloud would only cost a few hundred every month depending on your requirements and commitments.

In comparing technologies, it’s a price tango between AWS and Azure, with the latter following the price drops and changes of the former, while the Google Cloud strives to get more users by making prices more competitive. Check how the 3 market leaders fare up to the costing structure.

What are your reasons for using these specific platforms?

These platforms are industry leaders in providing highly efficient cloud ecosystems. Our preference of AWS comes from the fact that it is effectively documented, has seamless integrations and has the most widespread tools and services available on a single platform.

Features

Were there any software features/tools that you were really impressed by?

  • Outsourced IT — The day-to-day administration, care, and feeding of supporting systems moves away from you to the service provider. This could free up internal IT resources for higher-value business support and allow you to put IT budget dollars toward efforts that advance your business.
  • Quick setup — Cloud setup and deployment is relatively quick and easy. Plus, servers, appliances, and software perpetual licenses go away when you use such a service.
  • Pay-as-you-go — An example could be found in Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications available today that allow the off-loading of basic IT requirements to cloud service providers. You pay for what you need and use, but you do not have to continue to invest in many of the products used to support the network and systems, such as spam/anti-virus, encryption, data archiving, email services, and off-site storage.
  • Scalability — By using the AWS cloud, you can also temporarily scale your IT capacity by off-loading high-demand computer requirements to an outside provider. As a result, as mentioned above, you pay for only what you need and use, only at the time when you need it. This also allows dynamic experimentation and prototyping.

Looking back, are there any areas of the platform that you feel could be added or improved upon?

By default, AWS does not allow you to take all the resources you need. Indeed, there are hard and soft limits that you should understand, before deploying to AWS. Root EBS volumes of Marketplace AMI [Amazon Machine Images] instances cannot be mounted on non-root devices. Also, sometimes individual resource price is higher than the other providers.

Have you had to interact with the platform’s support team or reference their support resources?

AWS web support resources are very insightful and helpful in building AWS ready systems as well as to perform all migration, deployment, and recovery activities on AWS. The AWS APN Portal allows knowledge up-gradation to AWS partners along with knowledge sharing, training, and allowing seamless 24/7 connectivity to AWS Partner Teams. Time to time, we have received excellent support from the AWS team to solve various issues during implementation, and they have helped us to understand the overall AWS ecosystem better. Coordination between the cloud providers, solution experts, and end-clients is always a key, and the support staff at these technology providers have been able to provide a seamless coordination. We also have a certified AWS Solution Architect and DevOps team in-house that enables instant support and intelligence for all cloud-related activities for our own team as well as to our clients. On one occasion, while migrating our client’s infrastructure to AWS, the email outgoing from the application ended abruptly and needed a solution immediately. Our DevOps team was able to identify the issue as a soft-limit by AWS on non-amazon mail servers. We contacted the support team, discussed our situation, and they were very prompt in removing the limits. This allowed a real smooth migration with continuous availability of all app features.

5.0
Overall Score AWS has been a great experience overall. With the amount of tools available through AWS and the lack of immediate competition, AWS is one of the best cloud providers right now in the market.
  • 5.0 Features
  • 5.0 Ease of Use
  • 5.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Aug 04 2016

Intermingled Services on AWS

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
3.5
Support: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
Information Technology and Services
 
11-50 employees
 
Greater New York City Area
Server Administrator at Liqui-Site
Kevin Considine
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The user has experience with various cloud services, including Amazon Web Services [AWS] and Rackspace. He uses cloud technologies due to the variety of services and the hands-on approach for development. AWS is utilized for its intermingled services and vast capabilities. AWS is recommended to users seeking a variety of functions and tools.

Background

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Liqui-Site is a custom web development and digital marketing agency. I am involved in server management, backend development, and some heavier frontend development.

Which cloud platform do you use most often at your company?

Right now, we're using Amazon Web Services most often. When I first arrived at the company, we were using Rackspace, and still are, but we've made the switch to AWS because they have more hands-on services and abilities for intertwining functionalities in the backend.

For the most part, we work with many WordPress sites and custom content management systems [CMS]. Most of them are on our production-level servers, while some are out on client-level servers. One of the things that we're trying to achieve is to have a simple WordPress workflow, which doesn't exist at this time. There's really no good or correct way to manage versions, databases, and user content from production. We are trying to build a workflow which utilizes Amazon EC2, keeping a certain amount of custom work in the WordPress system, while the core is separate. All production-level uploads from clients are stored in S3. Many people use Amazon Elastic Beanstalk, which allows spinning up new EC2 servers, or Docker for creating individual sites. This isn't really possible when working with 100 different WordPress sites, so we have a development server where all the different services are gathered. We can pull down a 1-to-1 copy of a working WordPress site on EC2 at any time, from any server. We have 10 EC2 instances and can call a site down from production, mixing it into a nice Git workflow, where we can make any changes with the latest database content available, make backups and push it out to production without losing any files. When working on a WordPress site, if there are updates being made during that time, the database will go out of sync, so we utilize the cloud as best we can to prevent this. It's almost impossible to do this using WordPress, but we're working it out.

Solution

What is the biggest business challenge that a company could overcome by utilizing cloud technologies?

Using cloud technologies has allowed us to shift from having a certified internal IT crowd, or outsourcing resources for maintaining a network infrastructure. AWS and Rackspace have made these granular services more hands-on for developers and even project managers. We can now spin-up a $100,000 infrastructure in an hour, putting together a fine-tuned system which is easy to manage and get rolling without the need for external resources.

What recommendation would you make to organizations that are either new to the cloud scene, or attempting to migrate from a legacy platform?

Everything comes down to the scale of the existing infrastructure, and the hands-on abilities of the team members. There are enough resources for getting started with a cloud platform, so that no matter what someone's level of knowledge is, they can get involved in the process. Amazon offers one year of free low-level servers, so that any organization can get involved for a relatively low cost and see the benefits of using the cloud. Rackspace has great resources for spinning up an infrastructure quickly. There are many different articles and summits which can be used for understanding how this field works. A person can look at it from a broad scale, without having any knowledge of the infrastructure, and quickly get a deep understanding of how the stuff works and how they can get going at a relatively low cost.

Results

Could you talk about the cost of utilizing cloud resources?

It all depends on how an organization utilizes these resources. It may be cheaper to have internal resources and a datacenter, depending on what the product is and what apps they're using. Most organizations can find savings in cost by outsourcing some of their workflow to the cloud, but they may also be losing money by putting too much on it. For example, in the case of a legacy video system for a network television, where terabytes upon terabytes of video content must be kept at hand, putting it in the cloud could end up costing a lot more than maintaining a few datacenters internally. It all depends on how the cloud is utilized across the workflow. In most cases, a company can't benefit from putting 100% of its workflow into the cloud, as it would result in higher costs across the board.

I used to work for a broadcasting network. Before switching to Amazon, we used to pay a lot of money each month for infrastructure management. After we started using AWS, we ended up paying 30% of the previous figure for an identical infrastructure including a load balancer and different services. If anything, we had too much power. Just going from a managed datacenter to a cloud infrastructure can bring enormous savings, if it's properly utilized.

What is you take on security with cloud technologies?

This is an instance where things can become granular. I couldn't answer all security-related questions even if I tried, but depending on how content on the cloud is used, it's availability can be more or less secure. In maintaining local datacenters, there are many certifications to keep up with and the staff needs to be properly trained. There's always a risk, no matter the case, especially with continuous development. There will be pitfalls in any application or workflow, but I think that outsourcing to the cloud, where the concern is handled on kernel and infrastructure levels, can be beneficial. In the case of AWS and Rackspace, we can refer to the specialists on their teams and audit our own systems, making sure that they're within security protocols. I'm a little biased in this regard, as I've spoken to some Amazon sales representatives during corporate meetings at previous positions, and I've also attended Amazon summits, where security was a big topic of discussion. I was very much sold on Amazon's attention to security, and I've also used Rackspace quite a bit. Their services are always hand-ds on with what's happening in this regard, which takes the load from us.

What is your reason for utilizing AWS primarily?

I like how their services work together and intermingle. We're trying to expand our use, but for the moment, we're mainly using the EC2 virtual servers, and S3 for cloud storage, along with some other database items. Controlling how we can use servers and services, and how they can be tied together into different individual networks across different regions, is very granular. I can utilize an S3 bucket across certain regions, tying into a load balancer. AWS enables developers with little backgrounds in infrastructure, networking, and virtual servers to get hands-on with infrastructure, using code to spin up an amazing infrastructure. We can go from having the equivalent of a $10,000 infrastructure, to a 2 million dollar one, with a few clicks of a button, over the course of a few hours.

Features

AWS continues to add more features and functions and tools that are new to the cloud space. Have you come across anything which has stood out?

Our team plans to attend the Amazon summit next week in order to catch up on their offerings. I went last year and was impressed with their innovations. At the time, I was working for TV broadcasting, and was impressed with Amazon's transcoding abilities. Our biggest internal resources were aimed at the video transcoding infrastructure. We generated huge files across the board, with a great cost. It would save us a lot of money and time to put transcoding into the cloud, and have the infrastructure taken out of the local facility.

Are there any services which haven't performed up to your expectations, or is there any tool which you'd like to see implemented within AWS?

I haven't built out an enormous infrastructure using AWS yet. Everything so far has amounted to different levels of dedicated servers, building infrastructure networks and data storage. I haven't delved deeply into all of their systems, so I have no complaints yet.

Have you had interactions with any of their support team or support resources?

Not yet, but my understanding is that AWS has great support resources. We haven't had to utilize them yet, given that we're shifting into using the infrastructure. For the most part, it's easy to go through an Amazon cloud or EC2 course.

I've used the support from Rackspace a few times. They were always very responsive. I always found Amazon to be more granular, especially given that I like to be very hands-on with our production-level servers. Rackspace is great for getting a server going quickly, and they have excellent customer support.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
    Everything that I would possibly want to use AWS for is already there. The control is extremely granular, and they're always coming up with new features, like the GameLift development system.
  • 3.5 Ease of Use
    Becoming very technical and getting into the Amazon console requires a lot of overhead. AWS has many incredible resources, but they need to be figured out. Logging in and getting a virtual server going is going to be a headache for someone new to it.
  • N/A Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Aug 03 2016

The Best Overall Cloud Provider

4.5

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
4.5
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
the reviewer
 
IT Services
 
51-200 employees
 
Lviv, Ukraine
CTO at TechMagic
Andrew Kyzmych
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The user utilizes AWS [Amazon Web Services] features and tools due to its advanced scaling and capabilities. Although the user is most familiar with startups building AWS infrastructure from scratch, they have noted that costs, compared to on-prem systems, can be reduced tenfold.

Background

Please describe your organization.

We provide outsourcing software development services, mostly for growing startups. Our typical customers are based in the US and UK. Our company was founded two and a half years ago. We have a team of 60 professionals with a technological focus on mobile development, specifically Android, as well as JavaScript stack web development. We use Node.JS on the backend, and Node JS and ReactJS for the frontend. We are trying to build one of the best development communities in Western Ukraine around these technologies.

We work with different customers, usually around high-load applications in different segments, like enterprise software, recording services, as well as healthcare and financial services. Our customers typically contact us during the ground level of investment for their companies. We build software aimed at making them successful.

As a cloud platform, we usually use AWS because of its large set of services and advanced scaling, management, and provisioning abilities. We also used Microsoft Azure in the past because of the BizSpark program aimed at startups, but when AWS launched services like Elastic Load Balancing, we came to see them as the only choice.

Solution

What is the biggest business challenge that a company is able to overcome by utilizing cloud computing?

Since we are mostly working with growing startup companies, our clients are sensitive to expenses. With cloud computing services, we are able to focus mainly on product development, worrying less about server configuration, provisioning, scaling, and monitoring. Cloud services like AWS, Azure, and others can provide this for the client, making the solution cheaper. At the moment, cloud services are a cost-effective option, given that clients can pay as they go, only using the necessary options for running an application. AWS is a very good platform-as-a-service, including Elastic Beanstalk and Lambda functions which can reduce the necessity of DevOps.

AWS Lambda is quite a new service. Together with the API Gateway that they provide, it can be a cost-effective API layer. For some customers, we were able to reduce monthly bills fivefold or even tenfold by using this. The most important thing that cloud computing offers is reduced expenses by eliminating DevOps requirements and allowing clients to pay as much as they need.

Results

What have you experienced in regard to implementation?

At the moment, we're mostly working with startups, so we will build solutions from scratch. We don't have a lot of experience migrating legacy on-prem systems to the cloud.

We have a few clients with legacy systems, but they usually come to us when there is a need for building something new. We have positioned ourselves as an AWS and JavaScript stack development expert.

What can a user expect in term of cost of utilizing AWS?

The big benefit of using a cloud system is the ability to create cost-effective solutions. Since AWS provides many platform-as-a-service solutions, like Elastic Beanstalk, clients can pay as they go, and not have to have an available server all of the time. If they don't need high bandwidth during the night, they will pay almost nothing for the service.

Concerning AWS Lambda functions, we made some calculations, determining that what clients are paying for on-prem solutions can be reduced by up to 10 times.

Features

Have you found AWS to be well-suited for specific industries, and are there any specific features which have helped you select AWS over other options?

Microsoft Azure also provides good services, especially regarding integration with other Microsoft services. Office 365, Microsoft Dynamic CRM and Microsoft BizTalk Server are some examples. Right now, Microsoft doesn't have good solutions for building a private cloud, compared to Amazon. AWS has a very good service called Virtual Private Cloud, allowing users to build their own cloud, which is very important for organizations with sensitive data, like banks. I'm not very familiar with Google Cloud, but I do know that they have some interesting features. Unfortunately, we haven't investigated how this can be utilized for our customers.

Companies like Netflix are using AWS, as well as many customers with quite sensitive information. Banks like JPMorgan Chase are moving their credit information to the cloud. AWS will continue to be the number-one service, but competitors like Google are also doing innovative things, so it will be interesting to see if they will be able to take some of AWS' market share.

Are there any tools which you'd like to see implemented within AWS?

There are a few items which AWS should have. AWS lacks login services for their platform-as-a-service, requiring us to work around this by using our own implementation. It would be nice to have an out-of-the-box functionality.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to control the cost of various services, so we'd appreciate a better management system for this. Also, there is a lack of support for non-SQL databases. For example, AWS doesn't have support for MongoDB because AWS has its own implementation called Amazon DynamoDB. They don't want to offer MongoDB integration even though it's more suitable for our customers, so we would like to have MongoDB support inside of AWS.

Have you had interactions with any of their support team or support resources?

We usually didn't have to request any support from AWS. The documentation and communities built around AWS are very good and have enabled us to find any information that we needed. AWS has very good support, in the sense that it's self-supporting.

4.5
Overall Score AWS is providing new features all the time and they're growing their market dominance. We consider AWS to be the number-one cloud provider in the world at the moment.
  • 4.0 Features
    The service could always be improved.
  • 4.5 Ease of Use
    AWS was challenging to work with in the past, in terms of finding what we needed. The usability of AWS' systems has improved, but it's still not perfect.
  • 5.0 Support
    AWS has a service for almost any type of project, including SMS push notifications, mail and CDM services, and so on.
  • 4.5 Willing to Refer
    AWS is the most suitable solution for most projects, but there are cases in which we need more integration with Microsoft services, or machine learning capabilities, so Azure could be better.
 
Client Interview
Jun 09 2016

The Most Features for Enterprises

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
IT Services
 
11-50 employees
 
New York, New York
VP of Product at CloudEndure
Leonid Feinberg
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The user is CloudEndure, a workload mobility company focusing on cloud systems. They utilize Amazon Web Services [AWS] along with the two other most popular platforms, Azure and Google Cloud Platform. According to CloudEndure, AWS is the most feature-rich platform, and greatly understands the needs of enterprises. The user recommends AWS to users seeking a feature-rich, functional cloud platform for business operations.

Background

Please describe your organization.

CloudEndure is a company specializing in workload mobility for any infrastructure and from any location. We focus mostly on cloud systems, including public, private, and hybrid ones. We can also offer workload mobility for on-premises environments or mixed ones. We mostly provide enterprise-grade disaster recovery, with zero RPO [recovery point objective] and RTO [recovery time objective] as well as live migration with a near-zero cutover window into the cloud.

What is your position?

I am the Vice President of Products in the company.

What is the business challenge a company faces that initiates the need for this platform?

There are two main benefits for migrating to the cloud. First of all, it’s the long-term total cost of ownership. When comparing the actual computer storage and network resources of public cloud solutions to their on-premises alternatives in terms of price, the cloud services could appear to be costlier. When looking at the total cost of ownership, including manpower, dealing with more functions, high availability, and so on, the cloud will equate to the most cost-effective solution for many workloads. The on-premises prices for commodity hardware have more-or-less remained the same over time, having already reached their lowest level. Cloud prices are dropping all the time, so looking forward, even the price for the resources themselves will probably come to be lower than what it is today, if the trend continues. TCO [total cost of ownership] is a very important factor when making the decision to migrate to the cloud.

The second reason connects to the first, even though not directly: the cloud allows users to do things which could have never been done before within an on-premises environment. This ties to the DevOps paradigm of doing everything automatically, without human interaction. The cloud allows for automation and a more-or-less infinite resource pool, giving users access to many more automated mechanisms than would have been available in a standard, on-premises environment.

We work mainly with enterprises and other large organizations. These are the two main reasons for them to migrate into the cloud.

Solution

What are you recommendations for integrating cloud technologies into an organization?

It's never an all-or-nothing type deal, especially for large companies that have many legacy infrastructures which cannot be migrated in a day or even a month or year. It's always a good idea to try the cloud out by migrating a number of less business-critical workloads. The cloud has its own quirks and behaviors which people who are unfamiliar with it would not naturally anticipate. Once they become more familiar with the cloud after migrating a set number of workloads, they can migrate many others. There will be workloads which most companies will want to maintain on-premises indefinitely, like security regulations and control systems. The majority of workloads are good candidates for migration, utilizing this simple strategy of moving slowly and surely.

How do the costs of cloud compare to legacy platforms?

I think that the cloud will eventually win in terms of cost in most cases because of the economy of scale. When every company manages its own infrastructure, it needs to spend a fixed number of resources on setting this infrastructure up, maintaining it, and refreshing software licenses and hardware every few years. The capital expenditure is substantial in this case. When moving to the cloud, much of that expenditure can be converted to operating expense, having a reduced waste of resources. Companies pay for what they consume, and don't have to employ a team of people who maintain the hardware, networking infrastructure, etc. This is all being taken care of by the cloud provider. Any workload that can be migrated to the cloud without any business implications, should be migrated. It will come with a reduction of cost.

Why do you prefer this platforms over others?

Our company goes in the same direction as the market. We are enablers for clients who migrate to the cloud, and the 3 main enterprises to which clients want to migrate to are AWS, Google, and Azure. AWS was the first of these platforms and it is gaining more and more features rapidly. They have a good understanding of the enterprise market. AWS has the most features for enterprises who need security, networking flexibility, certifications, and so on.

Results

Looking back, are there any areas of the platform that you feel could be added or improved upon?

Migrating to the cloud is still a difficult process. This is why we've developed our migration technology. For any company without the advantage of using CloudEndure, the migration process of legacy applications is tedious. If there is a large amount of workload, many migration projects actually fail. It's very difficult to achieve, there is a lot of human error, and the cutover windows are huge. I know of many migration projects which have failed due to a lack of proper tools. As we go forward, the public cloud will come to provide more functionality around this challenge. It's a gap which they all need to fill.

Have you had to interact with the platform’s support team or reference their support resources?

From my experience, the support is pretty good. They usually go above and beyond of what is required and are very professional as well. I know that development and product teams are usually in charge of support duties in order to ensure that they are closer to the customer and provide insights which a standard support person would not necessarily have.

Features

Were there any software features/tools that you were really impressed by?

There are many functionalities that target smaller, startup companies, allowing them to build workloads differently. AWS Lambda is one example. The server-less architecture is becoming more and more popular and has been adopted mainly by smaller companies. Larger enterprises aren't moving fast enough to be taking advantage of this kind of feature. In terms of functionality, AWS is the only public cloud which allows customers to run Windows 2003 workloads, which has been retired by Microsoft. Companies who are still in the process of upgrading, see AWS as the natural choice in terms of functionality. AWS has some nice security and networking features for enterprises, not offered by their competition. In terms of running machines, networking, and storage on the cloud, the functionalities of the 3 major cloud platforms are comparable to each other.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
    It's the most feature-rich of the 3. Both Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure provide everything needed in order to run the workload, but they don't excel in terms of the amount of features compared to AWS.
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
    There is complexity for any cloud platform. The more features there are, the more complex the system becomes... The user interface for each platform could be more intuitive than it is today. Other than that, they're all doing a good job.
  • 5.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
    They all have disadvantages, but I would recommend any one of them, depending on specific needs, to a customer wanting to run a workload on the public cloud.
 
Client Interview
May 06 2016

Start Small and Scale Up on AWS

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
Information Technology and Services
 
250 - 999 employees
 
Minsk, Belarus
Head of the Web and Enterprise Application Development at R-Style Lab
Vladislav Nikitin
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The user is R-Style Lab, a custom development agency. They utilize AWS [Amazon Web Services] with many of their clients who are new to AWS and cloud technologies. This platform allows clients to use limited resources at first, and instantly scale to meet demand when needed. The user recommends AWS to business users and states that it is the most mature platform available.

Background

Please describe your organization.

We are custom software development company focusing on full-cycle mobile and web solutions. We develop various software for large enterprises including SaaS, ETL, ECM, ERP, DMS, as well as work with SMEs (native and cross-platform mobile apps, web apps, e-commerce) and develop Apple TV apps, software and middleware for IoT devices.

What is your position?

I am the Head of the Web and Enterprise Application Development Department. We also handle the backend development of mobile applications.

 

Solution

What a common business challenge that is addressed by using AWS?

From our experience with small and medium startup companies, I've come to see that this type of organization will not have many users from the start. As such, they don't need many resources in the beginning. Being self-funded companies, they strive to optimize expenses and don't want to spend a lot of money for infrastructure they won't be utilizing. The aim is to start with the minimal amount of resources and scale up as they progress. Any kind of solution or platform which will allow doing that, will be desirable. In these cases, we suggest AWS as a scalable platform which can be ramped-up along the way. So, it is a good choice for companies that want to optimize their expenses at the start, but at the same time have plans for scaling up in the future.

Results

What does a typical implementation of AWS look like?

Most of our customers don't have a previous experience with AWS. They usually compare it to a typical VPS [virtual private server] hosting service, which is not completely correct.

You may use asi ngle EC2 [Elastic Compute Cloud] instance as VPS, and we often propose doing it, as they already familiar with this type of hosting. However, with AWS they can then scale up, consuming more services and servers, as needed.

A single EC2 instance can hold full infrastructures like application, database, files storage and all static resources. As clients businesses grow, they may start consuming more services: replace single EC2 instance by a cluster, move the database to RDS, files to S3, resources to CloudFront, etc. This allows evolving an infrastructure by taking small steps, in a very cost-efficient way.

What can users expect regarding cost when using AWS?

It can depend. A small company can start with micro instances which may cost nothing within the first year. This will be enough for low-performance environments like stagings or mobile backend applications. If a client needs a few more resources, which most likely will be the case, Amazon will cost more than a regular VPS host with comparable resources. I think that the difference between these two types of hosts needs to be understood. Typical VPS is just a Linux box for which the user has full setup and management responsibility.

Amazon is a platform which provides a variety of services which the user may or may not require. Any service that is not needed can simply not be used. The advantage is that it will remain available, and when it will become necessary, the client can switch to it without the need of performing a global reconfiguration of their system, as in the case of a VPS. The new service is set up in the administration console, configured within the private network and made available. Integration into the system is very easy.

What are the specific reasons for which you'd recommend AWS over other comparable platforms?

This is a very good question. These platforms are hard to compare. Each one provides similar services to the rest, so the answer is subjective. From my experience, most systems administrators and developers are more comfortable working with AWS rather than Azure or Google. This is probably because Amazon is the oldest and most mature platform.

Features

Are there any specific features or tools that you were impressed by?

It's difficult to say. Maybe it’s their administration panel, which covers most of routines, so you can do the most of maintenance even without login in to the servers.

Looking back, are there any areas of the platform that you feel could be added or improved upon?

I can't think of anything. They've continuously evolved, and at the moment, AWS provides all the services I need. Three or four years ago, they were lacking in some areas.

Have you had interactions with any of their support team or support resources?

Fortunately, no. All of our infrastructures have run smoothly.

5.0
Overall Score I am very satisfied with them.
  • 5.0 Features
  • 5.0 Ease of Use
    They provide us with a complete infrastructure management platform through a web interface. Even developers who are not familiar with Linux administration can set up a functional server.
  • N/A Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer
    It may be a bit expensive at the beginning.
 
Client Interview
Apr 05 2016

Disaster Recovery and Contingency Planning in the Cloud

4.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
3.0
the reviewer
 
Internet
 
11-50 employees
 
Columbia, Maryland
Director of Hosting and Client Services at Unleashed Technologies
Rachel Bair
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The user is Unleashed Technologies, an enterprise web services and hosting company. They utilize multiple cloud offerings for various IT and project uses, including their own cloud environment for hosting and management. They speak highly of Amazon Web Services [AWS] in regards to trustworthiness, ability to deliver, and disaster recovery. Amazon is not recommended for those users seeking personalized support, but does offer compelling features for business.

 

 

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

Unleashed Technologies is specialized in enterprise web services and hosting.

What is your position?

I am the Director of Hosting and Client Services.

What cloud platforms have you used within your operations?

We're familiar with the big players in the market: Amazon Web Services, GoDaddy, BlackMesh, Acquia, and so on. There are hundreds of hosting providers on the market, some specializing in hosting, while others are focused on the cloud entirely. I am more familiar with the bigger companies in the industry.

Additionally, we built our own cloud a few years ago, primarily to host and manage our own websites. We wanted to be able to control and configure aspects at the root levels of the servers, which is sometimes not achievable with other providers. It could become difficult to work as the developer of a site while not being its host as well. Clients would often retain their own hosting infrastructure, which would complicate trying to figure out problems between software and hardware. The benefits of launching our own cloud were that we could pick out our own data center, backup platforms, and our entire infrastructure. We could opt for a top-of-the-line solution. People have the misconception that, once data is in the cloud, it can never disappear or be corrupted. This is not the case. I could create a cloud system in my basement, without anyone ever knowing that they're hosting data on an unsecured, garbage server. We wanted to build something on which our clients could depend, with great service-level agreements. We're nowhere near Amazon's level, so I can't compete with their $0.03 per GB offer, but we can provide a service for our clients that is better than the more enterprise-oriented Amazons or GoDaddy’s.

CHALLENGE

What is the biggest business challenge for which cloud services may be useful?

Cloud is phenomenal within disaster recovery and contingency planning. This is the main reason for its existence. The second advantage is reducing the amount of IT staff required, as well as the expertise that comes with those specialists. Many more cloud servers can be managed with the same resources required for physical servers. Suppliers like Amazon, GoDaddy and Acquia have their own tech support, so this eliminates the need for a Chief Technology Officer or an internal helpdesk at times, depending on the specific reason for making the move to the cloud. It can be a reduction in staff, physical infrastructure, and cost. It's also a reduction in overall management of the infrastructure: hardware is not being replaced every five years.

How does your company implement cloud platforms?

We don't manage any internal operations through physical servers. Every part of our business lives in the cloud. We've built our own cloud, but we don't use any legacy resources on single, physical servers. I think that the majority of companies are moving in this direction. Some of the larger companies, for which it's not cost-efficient to move to AWS, Unleashed, or other big players in the market, tend to manage large servers which could be hosts to their own cloud infrastructure.

What should be expected in terms of cost when utilizing cloud platforms?

The first two or three years are always a toss-up, depending on the number of employees, the types of applications being moved, and how complicated they are. Over time, usually over five years, companies start seeing significant cost savings. Legacy systems which need to be moved every five years still need to be migrated every five years without fail, sometimes sooner. The cloud only requires moving data during the initial migration. Almost every company sees a return on investment as such, unless they're mega-giants with thousands of users. In these cases, a return on investment is seen by creating their own cloud.

FEATURES

What are the best features or tools of AWS?

Amazon offers a combination of a comprehensive service at a very good price. They are attractive to a variety of clients. Larger, enterprise companies trust the Amazon name, while the smaller developers can manage their own services and are thus spared from paying higher rates for tech services. Amazon has datacenters around the country, so clients can feel secure of the fact that, once putting their information on their cloud system, it will be safe. This covers the variety of services and uses available within the cloud, the security of that information, as well as the flexibility in managing as much or as little of your own infrastructure as desired. These three main bases represent the boxes to be checked when choosing a provider: are they trustworthy, good at what they do, is there disaster recovery in place, and how will it work? Amazon has a spot for everyone.

Looking back, are there any areas of the platform that you feel could be added or improved upon?

They're a huge company, so if the client needs any type of personalized service, Amazon is not the right choice. The smaller companies who typically need a lot of hand-holding and which don't understand a lot of the tech jargon will have a tough time finding answers through their support. Amazon is very hard to get a hold of on the phone and can tend to not be very helpful in regards to tech support.

Figuring out where the profit source of a company is will help in understanding their model. Amazon offers reduced tech support and they charge for bandwidth depending on traffic. Depending on the application in use, they can be either extremely expensive, or very cheap. Most people see low traffic costs and don't have an ability to translate that into what it would cost them to do business.

Have you had interactions with any of their support team or support resources?

We have our own cloud system in place, so we haven't interacted internally with Amazon or any other service provider.

OVERVIEW

We have five additional questions. For each of these, we ask that you rate AWS on a scale of one to five, with five being the best score.

How would you rate AWS for its functionality and available features?

Five.

How would you rate AWS for ease of use and ease of implementation?

Four.

How likely are you to recommend AWS to a friend or colleague, out of five?

Three.

How would you rate AWS for overall satisfaction with the platform?

Four.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • N/A Support
  • 3.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Mar 25 2016

Server Scalability and Security with AWS

4.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
4.0
Support: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
4.0
the reviewer
 
Internet
 
51-200 employees
 
India
Director at NMG Technologies
Rohit Maheshwari
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

The user is NMG Technologies, an offshore development company specializing in custom application development. They utilize the Amazon Web Services [AWS] platform for running their main servers, and continue to implement it for their mid-market clients with running applications. They have plans to extend their usage of the AWS platform to include deployment. NMG Technologies recommends the AWS platform to mid-market clients, specifically those seeking a scalable platform able to handle unpredictable traffic spikes.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

NMG technologies is an offshore software development company, primarily working on custom web and mobile applications. We work within three sectors, the first one being startup companies which are either self-funded or operate through venture capital. These are tech startup clients who are looking for development, design, and strategic resources for production. The second market in which we operate is comprised of mid-market and small enterprises, for which we offer software development services primarily for process automation, e-commerce implementation, and digital marketing services. The third type of client we have are enterprises to which we provide services on a yearly contractual basis.

What is your position?

I am the Director of the company.

CHALLENGE

Why did you select Amazon Web Services? What is the business challenge a company faces that initiates the need for this platform?

The AWS platform, compared to the traditional server model, offers the benefit of scalability and security. We have typically implemented this solution for mid-market clients. Server maintenance and security are a challenge for them. Scalability is our main concern because, in a traditional server environment, it is much harder to implement. We first deployed an AWS project around four years ago mainly to address demand spikes which the client had.

FEATURES

How does your company implement this platform?

Right now, our main servers are run on AWS. It allows us to switch resources on and off based on demand. We can have reserved instances that can be assigned either to general usage or to specific company purposes. We plan to start implementing AWS Elastic Beanstalk for more optimized deployments. We use Amazon Simple Email Service and MySQL Relational Database Service for our internal staff. Our entire environment is AWS-compliant. We use it within all our internal operations.

What are your costs for utilizing Amazon Web Services?

The exact pricing fluctuates based on demand. The average pricing for our internal use is $3,000 - $4,000 per year, but our major relationship with AWS is implementing it for our clients.

Why do you recommend that platform over other platforms?

Many of the projects on which we work are related to media streaming and most of our clients look for a cost effective, scalable, stable and secure solution. Our customers generally host a lot of content and their usage spikes are unpredictable. This is the main situation for which we'd recommend cloud services. If usage can be predicted, we might recommend alternative solutions. We focus on video streaming and e-learning applications which have unpredictable users, leading to failing operations. E-commerce is another important use case for which we recommend AWS. The owners of a business application will usually know the number of expected users for it. They can estimate what the bandwidth usage may be, and based on that, they can choose to use a traditional server.

AWS is cost effective because you pay for what you use; leveraging the “cloud power.” Some of the services like S3 and other storages charge only for accessing it and not storing it, making it ideal for storing the big media files. It is scalable because not much is needed at the architectural level for expansions. AWS handles the spike time automatically and dynamically in that period. S3 buckets are highly secure and has their own APIs to access the content making it ideal for virtual products.

Were there any software features/tools that you were really impressed by?

AWS Key Management Service is a very proficient and user-friendly tool. Another one is AWS Trusted Advisor, which can help keep track of users and documents. Amazon CloudWatch would be another example of a stand-out tool. Amazon offers a marketplace where instances can be sold. None of the competition is offering something similar to this.

Looking back, are there any areas of the platform that you feel could be added or improved upon?

Amazon is constantly adding new services. They've launched a new platform for game development and have generally touched base with most of the use cases of cloud usage. Their support system could be better though.

OVERVIEW

We have five additional questions. For each of these, we ask that you rate AWS on a scale of one to five, with five being the best score.

How would you rate AWS for its functionality and available features?

Five.

How would you rate AWS for ease of use and ease of implementation?

Four. Their administrative console is very user-friendly. Anyone with the right technical knowledge can manage it. Running an AWS instance is a kid's job; basically a plug-and-play process. Though in terms of managing an SDK or API, their resources have been lacking. 

How would you rate AWS for support, as in the response of their team, and the helpfulness of available resources online?

Three and a half. Basic support needs more improvement. Our experience had been underwhelming. Companies like Rackspace offer better services in this respect.

How likely are you to recommend AWS to a friend or colleague, out of five?

Four.

How would you rate AWS for overall satisfaction with the platform?

Four.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 4.0 Ease of Use
  • 3.5 Support
  • 4.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Mar 23 2016

Scaling, Availability, and Cost Reductions with AWS

5.0

Features: 
5.0
Ease of use: 
5.0
Support: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
Information Technology and Services
 
1-10 employees
 
Belarus
CEO at Invatechs
Ivan Vetrau
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

Invatechs utilizes the Amazon Web Services [AWS] platform mostly for production purposes, along with various minor infrastructure uses. The user speaks highly of Amazon's elasticity and scalability. Costs, according to Invatechs, may not be lower on AWS for all uses, but its availability and functions make it a valuable asset to production projects.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your organization.

Invatechs is a custom software developer and outsourcing company based in Minsk, Belarus. We use AWS for our infrastructure solutions on most of our projects.

What is your position?

I am the Chief Executive Officer, Director and Founder of the company.

CHALLENGE

What is the business challenge a company faces that initiates the need for this platform?

We haven't seen a huge difference between legacy systems and using an AWS solution. AWS is Linux-based and uses well-known database implementation. They have a classic approach wrapped in some marketing. The difference, compared to classic solutions, is that a user can use all the resources they need on demand. Amazon did a great job in bringing these solutions to the customer. Any complicated infrastructure applications are one click away. Implementation takes the same amount of architectural planning, but the process itself is much faster and convenient for the developer as well as the business.

If the client wants a scalable and affordable solution for a small or medium project, AWS is something to consider, along with Microsoft Azure.

SOLUTION

How does your company utilize this platform?

We don't have a large internal IT infrastructure, but we do utilize some database solutions based on AWS for our own needs. Most of our interaction with the service is based on production development.

How does the cost of utilizing AWS compare to other platforms?

There are different ways of optimizing operations. In most cases, AWS can be a bit more expensive than a classic approach. On the other hand, using AWS will decrease expenses significantly in terms of the man-hours required to maintain, pick up, and deploy software on multiple platforms. For a small company running a small to medium website or system, the cost is almost the same as a classic approach. For bigger projects, there are still reasons to run internal cloud solutions. An example of this would be Dropbox: a big company moving to its own solution.

Why do you recommend that platform over other platforms?

If the client is running a small website and doesn't care much about availability or maintaining a higher load, it can be okay to run a small server for $50 per month and pay a person to maintain it. If availability and scalability are concerns, or if the website has special functionalities like e-commerce, then I would strongly recommend AWS as an infrastructure provider.

Are there any software features/tools that you were really impressed by?

We have different approaches for different clients. Some of our clients require using classic solutions based on AWS infrastructure. There is no MongoDB implementation for AWS that can run as a separate service. They have their own NoSQL database. Most of our clients are afraid of sticking to Amazon and not being able to move to a different provider or to their own platform. In this case, we have to avoid using Amazon Relational Database Service or other database solutions from them. We will instead build database infrastructures based on simple, easy-to-use solutions. Some services like Elastic Load Balancing are simple and classic approaches which can be implemented elsewhere without extra effort. We use this feature in each and every project we run, which requires scalable load balancing. It helps save money and offers instant response to high loads.

On the other hand, other AWS services like the Relational Database Service provide users with the possibility of using a classic database like MySQL, and add value by making maintenance and backups transparent for unprepared users. This is the best way for a small business to save money. They no longer have to put a person in charge of maintenance, but rather spend money on infrastructure, being reassured that their data is stored safely.

Have you had any interaction with their support team or support resources?

We've utilized their documentation extensively. We've had to consult some AWS engineers regarding our infrastructure solutions. We've had a good experience, although it can be a bit tricky because they are trained to sell their services and tie the client's infrastructure to AWS. Still, they improved our solution.

OVERVIEW

We have five additional questions. For each of these, we ask that you rate AWS on a scale of one to five, with five being the best score.

How would you rate AWS for its functionality and availability of features?

Five.

How would you rate AWS for ease of use and ease of implementation?

Five. They receive a maximum rating from the perspective of a user who is actually prepared. If someone is not very knowledgeable of server operating systems and so on, the experience would receive a four. However, I believe that their services are only aimed at knowledgeable people.

How would you rate AWS for support, as in the response of their team, and the helpfulness of available resources online?

Four. There is some outdated information within their documentation, offering notes on legacy systems which are no longer in use. The user has to decide what is relevant to their case.

How likely are you to recommend AWS to a friend or colleague, out of five?

Five. They are very much the only viable option at this time.

How would you rate AWS for overall satisfaction with the platform?

Five.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Features
  • 5.0 Ease of Use
  • 4.0 Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer
 
Client Interview
Mar 22 2016

The Best Quality to Cost Ratio in Cloud Computing

5.0

Features: 
4.0
Ease of use: 
4.5
Support: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
the reviewer
 
Computer Software
 
51-200 employees
 
Minsk, Belarus
CEO and President at Softarex Technologies Inc
Alexander Lipanov
 
Verified
The Review
Recommendations

Depending on specific project details, Softarex utilizes various cloud options, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. When utilizing Amazon Web Services, they will use it through testing and production to maintain consistency. According to Softarex, Amazon Web Services has the best quality-to-cost ratio, given its constantly growing tool list.

Please describe your organization.

Our company provides software outsourcing services for software development within the healthcare, internet, manufacturing, media, and e-commerce areas. One important area of expertise for us is energy and utilities. We've been in the market for a long time and have also started developing our own cloud-based products and architectures. Our first software product is called Enforcer. During our years of business, we've collected a huge expertise in working with difficult software applications which use pattern recognition, data mining, e-learning, machine learning, and so on, deploying different algorithms for data processing. Most of our projects have been complex, requiring not only knowledge in particular programming languages and platforms, but also a good knowledge in applied mathematics, computer science, and related areas like healthcare, energy and utilities, and e-learning. We constantly require an understanding of different approaches and needs. This has had a big influence for the way in which we develop software products for our clients.

What is your position?

I am the Chief Operating Officer of the company.

What is a common business challenge a company faces that initiates the need for this platform?

We have analyzed old platforms and adopted their functionalities for use in a modern environment. We're not simply migrating old tech applications into the cloud, but rather we adopt new technologies with the same functionality and abilities for end-users.

When we need to provide a simple solution, like storing a big amount of data, we will select Amazon because it provides the easiest development in these cases. If we have a difficult data processing and storage task, we will use Amazon because of its extended flexibility for this direction. If our solution is not very complex, we will likely select Amazon because of their clear and simple tools for machine learning which can be used in many cases.

How does your company implement Amazon Web Services?

We use them especially for testing purposes. In most cases, we will use the same platform at the production level as well. For example, if we intend to use the Amazon platform for production, we will take the necessary resources into a testing environment. When the solution is ready, we will take it to our production facilities and deploy that part of the process. In this way, we can provide a continuous integration process for our client and also ample testing and acceptance services. The client can thus have a constantly-working solution which can be provided to end-users, allowing for their services to be available without interruption.

How does the cost of utilizing Amazon Web Services compare to other platforms?

In most cases, we've found the Amazon platform to be most attractive in terms of price, given its number of available tools. They generally give a better value than Microsoft Azure.

Are there any software features/tools that you were really impressed by?

Overall, Amazon takes the first place, with Azure being second and Google third. In terms of cost, Amazon again takes the first place; Google comes in second, while Microsoft is third. In terms of availability of tools, Microsoft and Amazon are tied for first place, while Google would come in second place. For machine learning needs, Microsoft is in first place, Amazon is in the second place, and Google is third. I've placed Amazon in first place most often because they have the best quality/cost ratio.

Looking back, are there any areas that you feel could be added or improved upon?

In both my opinion and that of my engineers, Amazon requires improvements in terms of user interface. Both developers and end-users who want to purchase some services from these platforms are faced with a very big-picture approach. It's difficult to understand what the starting point is and what service needs to be bought first. Without a deep knowledge of cloud technology and solutions, it will be very difficult to understand what the first step should be just by researching their websites. A software developer who has never used these solutions will again be faced with this problem. This information can be found after some time spent searching for it, but in my opinion, usability and the ability to access this information should be improved. There is a need for developing tools or user-interfaces which give an overview and navigate through different tools and services available on both platforms. All the necessary technical information for both users and software developers needs to be available as well.

Have you had any interaction with the support team or any of their support resources?

We've not used the support services from Amazon, either online or through calls. The information provided on their websites has been enough for us to understand their services.

We have five additional questions. For each of these, we ask that you rate Amazon Web Services on a scale of one to five, with five being the best score.

How would you rate Amazon Web Services for functionality and available features?

Four.

How would you rate it for ease of use and ease of implementation?

Four and a half.

How likely are you to recommend Amazon Web Services to a friend or colleague, out of five?

Five.

We analyze particular projects in order to give recommendations. If a friend, colleague or company will pose this question to us, I will inquire about their needs and requirements in order to provide the right suggestion.

How would you rate your overall satisfaction with Amazon Web Services?

Five.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Features
  • 4.5 Ease of Use
  • N/A Support
  • 5.0 Willing to Refer