Should I deploy on Amazon Web Services (AWS)?

Yes, the cloud is offering major innovations in how business gets done and how platforms are maintained, but it’s not a zero-sum game. Out in the field, where we use these cloud models, we have to weigh the results of implementation and determine whether it makes sense for a particular project.

Rapid Deployment and Elasticity

One of the big benefits of using AWS is the speed at which you can make changes. Adding virtual machines or deploying major upgrades can be done essentially on the fly, at least in relation to the old way of doing things. You can also rely on contracts with a company that’s pretty well established in cloud computing and known for maintaining consistent results.

Fault Tolerance in Zones

Although it’s becoming the go-to tool for a lot of projects, like other systems, AWS is imperfect. For example, some administrators are pulling their hair out over the AWS availability zones.

When all zones are working perfectly, you don’t have a problem. But what if you encounter some serious downtime across one or more availability zones?

Experts recommend using fault tolerance the same way you would use a redundant array of independent disks for storage. Building systems into multiple AWS zones builds a stronger foundation, but it also takes more resources. And like other kinds of fault-tolerant redundant systems, the best strategies are not always clear-cut. How many irons do you need in the fire? And how to you maintain solvency?

This is one of the significant issues that we’re going to have to figure out around the cloud-computing world. Multi-tenancy creates efficiency of scale and outsourcing security can alleviate some major headaches for companies, but unless you can count on an uptime provision in a service level agreement, you’ll have to do the detective work on actual functionality on your own, which can sometimes be costly and sometimes turns into something that looks like a wild goose chase.

Nevertheless, AWS is a recommended platform for most of what companies have to do on a daily basis. It just requires some clear-eyed thinking about how to navigate this cloud platform in a way that has you covered when it looks like rain.

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