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Cloud computing with Amazon

June 16, 2011

Last week I attended the Amazon Web Services Summit in London. This was basically a conference all about the cloud computing services that Amazon offer. Extravision is always looking at improving its infrastructure and reliability and we see cloud computing as a possible next step forward.

It was good to see case studies from companies that had migrated to the cloud and now rely on the Amazon cloud for their entire infrastructure. The scaling and cost benefits are impressive although it does mean you need to think about your application infrastucture in a completly different way. However, speed of development and expansion is increased. If we want currently want to install a new server it needs to be ordered, delivered, installed in the datacenter and then configured. Only then can the developers start to install applications. This process, if your lucky, might take a couple of weeks. In the cloud you can start an instance and make it available to your developers in 10 minutes.

One of the interesting things that I did learn was from John Jenkins the Director of Amazon.com, the Amazon retail company. He gave the closing presentation about how Amazon.com moved to the cloud and made it clear that Amazon Web Services was not setup to service Amazon.com. They are two completely separate companies with separate boards and goals. Amazon.com had to work out how they could move their massive infrastucture from their expensive datacenters into the AWS cloud. Funnily, Amazon.com faced the same challenges as we have at Extravision but just on a much larger scale.

It was clear that Amazon Web Services have all the tools that make it possible for any company to move to the cloud. We left the summit very excited about what we could achieve in a small amount of time. Unfortunately the reality is not always that straightforward. Thing that sounds simple in a presentation can take a lot longer in practice.

Posted by Simon Hill

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