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Managed AWS – Why cut your own hair when you can go to a salon?

11th January 2016 · Our Thoughts

For those of you who, unlike me, are still lucky enough to have a full head of hair, a trip to the hairdresser is definitely far more preferable than going it alone with a pair of clippers. It’s pretty much the same when it comes to using a public cloud resource like Amazon Web Services (AWS). Why try to manage the services yourself when you don’t have the expertise?

Celebrity style

AWS has evolved from an internal resource developed to make Amazon’s own website run faster and smoother, to the multi-billion dollar public cloud service it is today. It is developer driven, is designed to be easy to consume and is the power behind some of the biggest websites on the planet such as Netflix and Pinterest.

The AWS marketplace is a hub of templates with full cost analysis and licence information. If you want to install Windows, Linux, Oracle, pretty much anything, you’ll find it there. You can buy templates that help you spin up really complex platforms or buy a licence key. It’s as easy to buy as a pair of hair straighteners on the main Amazon site. Click, buy and off you go.

Want to spin up from one to 1000 virtual machines (VMs) at the drop of a hat? Easy. Want to roll out your platform from the U.K. to create a global reach? AWS makes that easy too. It’s easy to roll out as well. So if you’ve built your platform in the UK and want to give it global reach you can do it very quickly through AWS’s multiple data centres and with minimal staff. And when it comes to billing, it’s itemised in your monthly invoice. All very transparent.

So why are more and more businesses approaching us to manage AWS for them?

Avoiding the mullet

The thing is; it’s very easy to get it wrong. You might have created a fantastic new website or built an incredibly cool new app but when it comes to managing it, you hit a brick wall.

If your VM goes offline because you’ve messed up your OS or you haven’t backed up or configured your load balancer properly, the onus is on you to make the problem go away. And because AWS is consumer-per-minute and based on a ‘shared model of responsibility’ it’s very easy for costs to spiral out of control. As soon as you switch it on you’re being billed.  This can be risky – especially for small businesses and start-ups.

The salon cut

What we are seeing more and more over time is people coming to us and saying, we’ve built this really cool thing in AWS and it works really well but we’ve actually got no idea how to manage it. This is where you need the salon service – a team of experts who are trained to deliver and manage AWS for you.

If you were sitting down to script a new website or app historically it could take you up to a month to buy the servers, rack and cable them, get an engineer to configure them and then get your designer to upload the site and ensure the images work properly. By using experts like we have at iomart, potentially weeks’ worth of work can be completed in mere minutes.

With AWS you get the benefit of faster deployment times, simple at-scale management and automation of routine tasks but if you fail to manage it properly costs can spin up as fast as your server instances.

AWS is easy to set up but it’s also very easy to mess it up. Why have a mullet when you can have a classically tailored coiffure?

by Jonathan Williamson, iomart’s client services director.

If you would like more information download our brochure, email info@iomart.com or call us on 0800 040 7228.

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