How has it helped my organization?
Everything is moving into the cloud and AWS is the leader. Not understanding puts a person behind.
I've worked with charities so the ability to host a static website in an S3 bucket at very low cost is great. Also, the ability to scale up and down, depending on project and funding status is ideal for the charity sector.
Glacier storage means files that need to be kept for legal purposes (7 years) - but accessed infrequently - can be stored cheaply in Glacier.
What is most valuable?
- S3 storage buckets
- Glacier storage
- EC2 instances
- Cloud Trail API log storage
What needs improvement?
Amazon are as innovative as they are able to deliver. Areas that need improvement are dealt with pretty quickly so I have no complaints. Perhaps the fact that they are innovating so quickly can be seen as a problem for organisations that don't invest in their staff?
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
None. Amazon's cloud is more stable than any infrastructure you will have in your own server room.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It's very easy to spin up virtual machines and deploy load balancers.
How are customer service and technical support?
For free support, their forums cover almost every problem encountered by users on AWS. For one-to-one problems, I found their customer service people to be good.
Technical support is excellent.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I used to use Rackspace but AWS's innovation and range of products meant I swapped over.
How was the initial setup?
It can be daunting because of the number of AWS products there are. It doesn't take long to skill yourself on the basics of what each one does (in the beginning you will probably be using S3, EC2, and IAM and there are lots of short courses or guides to read).
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
AWS is scalable depending on your needs so pricing is dependant on what you use. Just be careful not to leave VMs running as you can find your next monthly bill a little higher than normal - AWS did cover that with billing alarms so it's not all bad news.