Tuesday, 13 July 2010

My Amazon AWS wish list

My Amazon AWS wish list goes a little something like this


EC2:
  1. Instance notes field: Ability to attach some custom info such as a server name, role, and/or description to an EC2 instance. (Amazon EC2 Resource Tagging)
  2. Multi user + groups for access control. (AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) )
  3. Custom human friendly machine name/alias field, in addition to instance id (Not tags). This is half there. The "Name" tag is special and appears in other views.
  4. Post launch parameter change: Ability to change certain EC2 instance parameters after launch such as security groups (avail in VPC).
  5. More  traditional and logical EC2 firewall security grouping system: security groups don't work how you would expect.
  6. Multiple vNIC / IP address support.
  7. Packet sniffing - Firewall level traffic visibility: to help troubleshoot connectivity issues.
  8. Quicker support for significant Windows Server releases such as Windows Server 2008 R2 (still not available).
  9. Windows support for GPU instances.
  10. Description field for Elastic IPs
ELB:
  1. Host header support for ping health check i.e. ping uses a fully qualified URL and passes the hostname http header.
  2. Elastic IP support.
  3. Support for load balancing internal/backend services.
Other:
  1. DNS service. (Amazon Route53)
  2. Console support for Identity and Access Management.
  3. Billing breakdown/view by resource group/tag
  4. Elastic Beanstalk .Net/Mono support 
  5. More open information on peering and/or have more direct Internet connectivity options via ISPs as a product (not private connectivity). Now available see AWS Direct Connect
  6. Move instances/resources between accounts without copying or some other form of logical grouping containers, billing containers, and security containers.
  7. Ability to copy AMIs between regions.
  8. Copy an RDS backup to S3 in another region.
Last updated: 02/07/2014

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

What can I shift to "the Cloud"?

Over the last couple of years "Cloud" has been the buzz word and been gathering some serious traction. This is a form of outsourcing obviously. It is also the latest incarnations of the old buzz words Application Service Provider (ASP) and Utility Computing. And the next evolutionary stage of concepts such as managed services, grid computing, Virtualization, co-location, and hosted services. You could even say a Cloud Computing service is a compositions of all of these and a bunch of value add. There's no genius insight there, you knew all of this already - right?.

At some point everybody in business (and I mean it should be everybody) should be wondering if they could gain some leverage from "the Cloud". What you are really asking yourself then is "what can/should I outsource?" You could also think of the answer to the above question as justification for outsourcing something rather than servicing it in-house. At least this is how I arrived at this question.

What I've concluded is that anything and everything that is not your core business can and should be outsourced hence shifted into a Cloud service if one exists for the function/skill/technology in question. I've heard that some VCs insist on the use of cloud services.

you core business = your secret weapon/differentiators/intellectual property => you should be in full control   

For example for most companies running an email system such as Exchange or Lotus notes in-house is not a business differentiators. Rather a back office system or a tool that is required to conduct business like a pen or electricity, a means to an end. The same applies to phones, PC O/S, server hosting, CRM software, and ERP software.


There are many more questions to be asked but most of these are to answer the question "which cloud service?", that's for another post.


This is obviously a simplified view on the topic also directly or indirectly the sales pitch for many  cloud service providers. Here are a few links with further information.

http://www.businessknowhow.com/startup/outsource.htm
http://www.doublecloud.org/2010/07/when-not-to-use-cloud/
http://www.entrepreneur.com/humanresources/hiring/article206226.html

UPDATE:

Just seen a really good post The end of bespoke by Matt Ballantine  where he goes into a lot more detail although coming at it from a different direction.