How has it helped my organization?
I have been providing consulting services around the cloud solution for the past four to five years, during which AWS was the market leader and the de facto cloud service. AWS definitely helped me to help my customers adopt a cloud strategy smoothly and in a timely manner.
What is most valuable?
Elasticity has always been AWS's mandate. The flexibility of their platform from a systems perspective lives up to its claims.
What needs improvement?
- I would have hoped that their networking model was a little more network oriented and flexible, as is their systems model.
- The networking models used in AWS, while functional, do have room for improvement. This is especially the fact, considering that they are built/presented from a systems perspective.
- More granular control of networking, as well as a richer set of networking features, could really go a long way in building globally scalable infrastructures.
- The Identity and Access Management (IAM) authentication model could use some work as well. The fact that it isn't very straightforward/streamlined to authenticate applications that are not running on AWS infrastructure can complicate things when trying to use different (non-AWS) environments for specific activities. A simple and common example of this is working in a development environment, and having code that relies on interacting with AWS services. Being forced to store sensitive key information in your codebase isn't a very secure manner of operations.
- Given the recent surge of adoption and interest in containers and container orchestration, Amazon ECS is seen as a proprietary Amazon service. This makes it impossible to use Amazon ECS on other platforms, whether for development purposes, or for rolling out multi-cloud types of deployments. If you use an alternative, such as Kubernetes, this can easily be configured and ported to any environment, as it is an open-source project.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I have not had any issues with stability on AWS. However, it is worth noting that they did have uptime issues in the past. While there weren't many issues, they still did happen.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The only issue that I faced with scalability was due to the soft limitations that AWS applies on the allowed number of resources, e.g., the number of VPCs per account, the number of EIPs per VPC, etc.
How are customer service and technical support?
I do not have much experience working with AWS's technical support. However, their forums are vast and pretty full of useful information.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
AWS was sort of the first of its kind, so I did not use a different solution previously. However, today I find myself a lot more invested in the Google Cloud Platform, as oppose to AWS.
How was the initial setup?
It was relatively straightforward to install. I have read reviews of others facing issues with getting their accounts approved. However, I never faced such issues.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Be careful with your consumption, especially when you are testing things. Costs can creep up on you relatively fast, without even noticing.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
As mentioned earlier, since AWS was the first of its kind, I didn't really have many other options at the time. I remember one of the other players at the time was Rackspace, but they were considerably more expensive than AWS.
What other advice do I have?
Picking a cloud platform is not a process that should be taken for granted. The leading cloud service providers today each have their pros and cons. It's best that you assess your options, and start with the cloud platform that best suits your needs. After that, your next step would be to start considering a multi-cloud strategy.