Amazon EC2 Review

Good user interface with great built-in monitoring and very good documentation

What is our primary use case?

We've been using the solution basically for provisioning our development in a less production-heavy environment. 

What is most valuable?

It's been quite easy for solutioning. 

It's easy to manage. 

There's a lot of support from the built-in framework.

The integration has been great.

The solution is very stable. We haven't had any issues in that regard.

The user interface is great.

The built-in monitoring is great. The reporting and analytics are pretty decent.

All of my lower maintenance overheads are taken care of. I don't have to worry about it.

There's great documentation available. 

What needs improvement?

The issue that I have seen, earlier, not now, maybe around 2014, was that the ports that we wanted to deploy to weren't all open. In general, we need to have a specific request made to get these ports opened. We had to go through a little bit of analysis and it was not quite straightforward. We needed to raise a request to open such ports. That was the only problem I've not seen it in a long time, and that was with AWS in a special case. However, these days, I don't have any such port issues right now. We don't have any custom ports used at this point in time. 

Technical support could be more helpful when it comes to dealing with integration issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been dealing with the solution for three or four years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is pretty stable. We haven't had any issues with it per se. It's not buggy or glitchy. It doesn't freeze.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We build department dashboards for schools in the United States, so there are a number of users using it at any given time. It's likely in the hundreds of users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Support is okay. I'm not talking about the support from the team perspective, but rather from the framework. It's the mission framework side of it. The framework has got a lot of features, which supports the monitoring, and other things. It's all how you configure it.

If a person does need help troubleshooting, there's great documentation available for them. 

Technical itself could be a bit more helpful, especially when it comes to integration assistance. When we talk to the technical team, often it's some issue with integration and they'll tell us to talk to the other company. Often, the other company will look at everything and not see an issue from their end and then we are at an impasse.

The technical support teams should understand how to give some pointers with their experience due to the fact that AWS is huge and vast and spread across different industries, and different regions. They should have some kind of knowledge or insights. We can't be the only clients facing these issues. I'm not sure if this is an issue across the board, or just a problem with the current team we're dealing with.

In the end, in a specific example, we were trying to use Monitor with AWS and we really tried to make it work. However, it did not. AWS did not help us, and from iMonitor's side, everything should have just worked.

How was the initial setup?

As long as you are prepared with the groundwork, the implementation is okay. You need to have the specifications ready in terms of what kind of environment you want to create. 

Once you know what kind of environment you want to create it takes about five to ten minutes. That's all.

We only have one person that handled the deployment and maintenance. It was a pretty easy build, so it doesn't even really take up a person's full time.

We don't even really have any maintenance overhead. For us to actually deploy one particular individual or a resource for a full FTE isn't necessary. This is due to the fact that the infrastructure, the framework commission, has a lot of things that are already taken care of from a maintenance perspective and from a monitoring perspective. It's an easy job that isn't time-consuming.

We'll continue to use the solution in the future. We may expand its usage.

What about the implementation team?

We did not get someone to help us with the implementation. We handled the solution in-house.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is fine. It's not too expensive.

That said, if you don't have the right model in place, then the cost factor could be one thing that people need to think about because it's based on usage. For example, how long the server is up and running will contribute to the cost.

The model needs to be very concrete and work on how we want to use it. Based on that, if these factors are not known and if you don't take care of this, then the cost factor might go up as so it'll only take that one week to take care of any issues. We've never faced such a scenario because we are very clear on how we want to use it every time.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer.

I'd recommend this solution to others.

Overall, on a scale from one to ten, I'd rate it at a nine.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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