Amazon’s EC2: Bringing cloud computing down to Earth

amazon web servicesCloud computing is becoming the next hot item in a changing tide that is replacing the well entrenched product model, with a new, on the fly, pay as you go, service model.

The new Virtual servers, are to the classic server, what the SAAS models, where software is being sold as a service, are to the traditional boxed software.

amazon cloud computingLeading the latest virtual server charge, is Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). The basic idea is that a developer can set up a virtual server (the actual servers are hosted by Amazon) in minutes, and have none of the maintenance headaches of buying and installing server hardware and software, which can take weeks to get up and running.

The pay as you go model is cheap and flexible . If your computing demands increase, there is no need to buy any more hardware. The “resizable cloud” provides a scalable computing environment.

The whole idea of Utility computing or Grid computing, is not entirely new. It was pioneered by IBM, and was offered to consumers by Sun in 2000 as part of the Sun grid service.

Amazon’s Elastic Computer Cloud (EC2), released in a limited Beta, is the latest offering from Amazon Web Services, AWS. It follows Amazon’s earlier cloud storage service Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

Amazon’s on-demand web service platform is creating a host of opportunities for start-ups. A company called RightScale based in Santa Barbara, CA, is providing a platform on top of AWS virtual servers, that enables companies to create scalable web applications within the new paradigm created by Amazon’s EC2, S3 and SQS. RightScale is currently in beta.

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4 Responses to “Amazon’s EC2: Bringing cloud computing down to Earth”

  1. By Christine Gupta on Oct 11, 2021 | Reply

    Amazon might seem to have led the utility computing charge so far, but anyone who was at last week’s Future of Web Apps show in London will tell you that they’ve been overtaken by FlexiScale from UK-based XCalibre. The Amazon product falls well short of the UK infrastructure which supports MS Windows, offers static IP and gives access to the API - no wonder there was a queue of start-up founders at their stand at FOWA.

  2. By Ken Oestreich on Oct 15, 2021 | Reply

    Cloud computing — even if on a modest scale — is going to accelerate utility computing within enterprises. Companies like Cassatt and others are essentially creating compute clouds on top of enterprises’ own assets. It’s then just a provisioning issue (like Flexiscale points out) to reach out of one “cloud” and into another. The boundaries between applications & infrastructure will surely be be blurred in the coming years.

  3. By Michael Crandell on Oct 15, 2021 | Reply

    Thanks so much for the reference in your blog. Nice write-up.

    I would go one step farther and say that, as compelling as AWS is — and it is extremely compelling — it still leaves a gap between its interface and what companies want to deploy in terms of applications. We hear the same questions over and over again, which I mentioned in my presentation: “How do I run load balanced web servers? How do we run MySQL? etc.”

    As you know, that’s the layer that RightScale addresses, thereby making AWS truly usable and easily leveraged by companies.

  4. By Alicia Nakamoto on Oct 15, 2021 | Reply

    Didn’t see a link to post an event, but thought your readers might be interested in the AWS Start-up Project (related to your article today). See link below:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?node=332775011

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