Recently, we’ve helped two of our clients with advice and guidance on cloud technology. Curiously enough, Amazon Cloud came to the rescue in both cases even though the two situations had nothing in common.
In the first case, a large company wanted to experiment with a new software stack, but didn’t want to waste time by going through the usual hardware/software procurement process. We created an environment on Amazon EC2 Cloud in a matter of hours and deployed an application. The client then had a chance to get comfortable with the stack, validate findings, and shorten the decision cycle.
In the second case, the production environment of a marketing company could not keep up with its load. (I guess their campaign had been too successful.) Its management had to come up with a scalable solution — instantly.
We designed a cloud rollout strategy and quickly implemented it. The strategy included several steps:
- Create customized machine images (AMIs) and configure the environment with EBSs ( Elastic Block Store)
- Deploy an existing application in the newly configured environment. (One of Amazon’s nice features is the ability to switch to a more powerful virtual instance when needed.)
- Enable monitoring and autobalancing using Amazon Autoscale. (A criterion can be set to launch a new instance whenever a threshold like CPU utilization is reached.)
Cloud computing takes a variety of shapes and forms, from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to grid computing. I’m eagerly awaiting new development paradigms to emerge as the dust around the “cloud” settles. Meanwhile, businesses can benefit by simply moving applications that fit these particular profiles to the “cloud.”