Amazon Cloud - Becoming a Storm?

When Amazon Web Services came out with S3 and EC2, I was skeptical even though I was and continue to be a strong proponent of SaaS. Why would I buy hosting from a large internet retailer when there are so many companies offering inexpensive hosting models?

One year later, I began using S3 via JungleDisk at home as a way to backup my hundreds of gigabytes of photos.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I saw a very compelling demo of Mark Logic, "a provider of infrastructure software for information-centric applications" (re: funding announcement) running on EC2. It was very compelling to see a new product built on their platform and deployed to EC2 in under 30 minutes.

So I went back and took another look at EC2 and specifically the EC2 Operating System and Software or in their language, "off the shelf" Amazon Machine Images. In a nutshell, some of the standard web platforms can be purchased and installed as images. Want Windows, ASP.Net, MS SQL - check, they have it. J2EE on MySQL - check they have that too. Oracle DB, DB2 - yup these are available.

As a Startup CTO, it was pretty easy to get hosting solved. Call one of a dozen hosting vendors, select hardware line, OS, number of systems, purchase via credit card, wait 24 hours or less, get root/admin access to your server farm, spend time installing your applications, figure out how to scale the application later.

Possibly today's version: All the steps above except (a) replace hosting vendor w/ Amazon, (b) get the software infrastructure (web platform and db) largely configured on purchase, (c) probably spend even less money on hosting, and (d) leverage Amazon services to scale.

Bottom line: If you aren't looking at the cloud, better start and get caught up quickly. For me, work in progress.

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld,, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.