This month we moved all our hosted web applications to Amazon Web Services (AWS) – we’d been hosting in a ‘conventional’ data centre since the turn of the century and to be honest we got great service from the team there, very few outages and the performance of our kit was more than enough to cope with the demand; so why did we move?
We’re MUCH busier – and while our hardware was more than adequate, it has a shelf life and we wanted a way of better matching our provision with increasing demand. AWS gives us the ability to scale instantly as demand grows
Our security team told us to do it ! – we’re ISO27001 certified and part of this involves ensuring that all our key suppliers meet the ISO27001 information security standard – Amazon AWS ticks all the boxes there
Our clients like it – we have clients all over the world and they all understand that Amazon is a global company – it gives us the option to host client data in any jurisdiction which is useful
If it’s good enough for Netflix (and Facebook, Linkedin and the BBC) it’s probably good enough for Pisys
Cost-wise it’s going to be cheaper over the next year or so because we won’t have to add the replacement cost of our hardware, but beyond that it’s difficult to say – demand is increasing steadily but the cost model changes regularly – it does free up some internal resource which we had to use for management of ‘tin’ but that wasn’t a huge overhead. If AWS had been available when we started in the SaaS business I’m pretty sure we would have jumped in but there just wasn’t anything like it at the time.
We’re happy with our decision – we can’t predict how we’ll have to scale but we know we’re already having to, so that’s not a bad thing.