I have experimented a lot with setting up websites in the so-called cloud. There are now quite a few to choose from. There are many variables to consider before you put in the time, such as budget, time, functionality, usability, security, vendor lock-in, availability and operation.
Many cloud service providers to choose from
The cloud is a fuzzy concept, many think of storing data, such as with iCloud, Asus Cloud Storage or Dropbox, but it can also be services for software (SaaS), infrastructure (IaaS) or a computer platform (PaaS) to place its own application in the cloud. To complicate it further, you can also cloud services be private, hybrid or public.
It started with enterprise applications as a service (Software as a Service), first in small scale. Since then, the plant and the suppliers have specialized and become global. One of the more recently successful ones are Salesforce. Amazon may be early on Grid computing, distributed systems, and virtual servers to deliver its services and built up excess capacity that they could rent out in the form of Amazon S3 and EC2, which fall into the category IaaS. Google has also long struggled with the same problem and have built up their own solution that they also realized that they can rent out and make money while they "help" the Internet Community to work for the network work faster and better. Google has several solutions including Apps for Business, which is a SaaS and App Engine that went from beta to sharp version in 2011, which is a PaaS. Microsoft came running late as usual with Internet and offer Office 365 as SaaS and Azure infrastructure corresponding Amazon EC2.
Not even the cloud is 100% reliable
A major advantage of the cloud is to offer high reliability at a low cost. Cloud services are highly complex and the various cloud service providers (CSP) are trying to offer services with high availability and stability, but not without problems. Last in the line of business that suffer a major disruption was Microsoft that happened to a leap year bug on February 29 that lowered Azure for more than 12 hours. While Amazon and Google have had major interruptions. In 2010 I worked with a client who had all their IT infrastructure on Amazon, they had recurring problems with performance and instances that could suddenly disappear into empty space. Moreover, it was very expensive to manage the service system on Amazon. I do not know if it would have been cheaper for them to place the system in a separate server room as they had originally had, but probably they would have higher capacity, lower operating costs and better automation with Amazon. That it became relatively more expensive may have to do with a lack of optimization and overcapacity. The lesson to be learned from this is to always have a business continuity planning. The can include data backup, replication and failover to systems in other data centers or on other continents can quickly take over. The new concept right now is federated clouds , which is a strategy where there is a need to manage a mixed cloud environment while maintaining safety and efficiency.
Vendor Lock-in and other things to think about
Another problem with the cloud is vendor lock-in. Both Google and Microsoft's cloud services leads to various forms of incarceration, which both use custom operating system for Java and Windows (Server 2008 R2).For web services, I prefer IaaS PaaS especially when I do not need to install any server which then is patched and säkerhetsuppdateras and then install the web server, application server, database server, and then operated, which in itself is a full time job. The PaaS: s I've worked with so far is Google GAE, Heroku, Cloudbees (which has built a PaaS on top of Amazon's IaaS) and Jelastic.
For the latest project I'm working on, I chose Cloudbees when it is in sharp version and avoids vendor lock-in and that it is based on Amazon which according to many sources including Nasuni is ranked first among CSP's. Moreover, there is no problem with storing data when Amazon has signed the Safe Harbour Act.
Jelastic has been a very exciting concept with automatic scaling and it is very easy to get started with a CMS, DMS, portal, wiki or any Java runtime such as JRuby, Grails or ColdFusion. At present, they are in beta and I have not found any price.
My cloud services
I have built a number of sites on GAE with a CMS called Vosao. After that I went from beta to the real situation in the last year they changed the pricing which has made them no longer as interesting to set up small websites compared to the options available. This, combined with that they made a number of changes in its Java Runtime after they went from beta (preview) without informing before which resulted in several major disruption of services using the Java classes that were removed, so I have been very hesitant to using Google, but so far I have left this site and a couple of customers' websites that I have optimized so that they meet the new quotas.
One of my projects came to a halt after all the trouble I have been to offer a CMS on Google GAE pre-configured with a number of modern HTML5 templates and a structure that fits a small business with about 5-6 pages of information about the company, services, products, contact form and one blog at a very competitive price. I am looking to resume the project after my current job with the iPhone app development becomes clear, then probably with CMS apps also Cloudbees and Jelastic and backup to Amazon S3, CDN and simple failover.blog comments powered by Disqus