One of the main differentiators between traditional on premise data centers and Cloud Computing through AWS is the speed at which businesses can scale their environment. So often in enterprise environments, IT and business struggle to have adequate capacity when they need it. Facilities run out of power and cooling, vendors cannot provide systems fast enough or the same type of system is not available, and business needs sometimes come without warning. AWS scales out to meet these demands in every area.
Compute capacity is expanded, often automatically with auto scaling groups, which add additional server instances as demands dictate. With auto scaling groups, demands on the environment cause more systems to come online. Even without auto scaling, systems can be cloned with Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) and started to meet capacity, expand to a new region/geography, or even be shared with a business partner to move collaboration forward.
Beyond compute capacity, storage capacity is a few mouse clicks (or less) away from business needs as well. Using Amazon S3, storage capacity is simply allocated as it is used dynamically. Customers do not need to do anything more than add content and storage, and that is far easier than adding disk arrays! With Elastic Block Storage (EBS), these are added as quickly as compute instances are. Storage can be added and attached to live instances or replicated across an environment as capacity is demanded.
Growth is great, and we’ve written a great deal about how to take advantage of the elastic nature of AWS before, but what about the second part of the title? Price! It’s no secret that as customers use more AWS resources, the price increases. The more you use, the more you pay; simple. The differentiators come into play with that same elastic nature; when demand drops, resources can be released and costs saved. Auto scaling can retire instances as easily as it adds them, storage can be removed when no longer needed, and with usage of resources, bills can actually shrink as you become more proficient in AWS. (Of course, 2ndWatch Managed Services can also help with that proficiency!) With traditional data centers, once resources are purchased, you pay the price (often a large one). With the Cloud, resources can be purchased as needed, at just a fraction of the price.
IT wins and business wins – enterprise level computing at its best!
-Keith Homewood, Cloud Architect