Maximum flexibility. Competitive pricing. Great support.
October 31, 2019

Maximum flexibility. Competitive pricing. Great support.

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

Similar to many other startups, our whole infrastructure is on top of AWS, and EC2 is being used in many ways across multiple departments.

DevOps supports a fleet of reserved EC2 instances to host backend services and pipelines using Kubernetes.
Data Science team uses EC2 instances to run Jupytor notebooks to do feature exploration on pre-loaded data, and sometimes spot instances to support ad-hoc feature generation and model training. Data team uses the spot instances to run backfill jobs whenever needed.
  • A great variety of choices in Amazon Machine Image (AMI) types. Users can select a more basic type to run generic workloads, but also have the choice to pick an AMI pre-installed with specific services in the AWS Marketplace.
  • The range of instance types can support the usage from a student's exploration (inexpensive general-purpose nano instances) to an enterprise's most intense workloads (memory or storage-optimized instances with terabytes of memory and ultra-fast network connection).
  • The pricing options, from regular instances, reserved instances to spot instances allow users to get the job done and make smart choices about how much they want to pay and when they want to pay.
  • The choices on AMIs, instance types and additional configuration can be overwhelming for any non-DevOps person.
  • The pricing information should be more clear (than only providing the hourly cost) when launching the instance. AWS DynamoDB gives an estimated monthly cost when creating tables, and I would love to see similar cost estimation showing on EC2 instances individually, as not all developers gets access to the actual bills.
  • The term for reserving instances are at least 12 months. With instance types changing so fast and better instances coming out every other day, it's really hard to commit to an existing instance type for 1 or more years at a time.
  • EC2 is good for spinning up a cluster in an instant to get a proof of concept going. It reduced that time where developers have to ask DevOps to support this type of tasks.
  • Startups can use EC2 instances to focus on scaling business without worrying about computing or storage resources.
  • Companies should be aware of their bills on EC2 and ensure that unused instances get terminated in time, otherwise the bill can potentially get expensive.
Amazon was the first one in the market to provide virtual machines in the cloud and certainly gained a lot of popularity before the rest even came to the picture. The different service providers are quite mutually exclusive, and one cannot easily use more than one at the same time without dealing with network slowness, etc. So once some companies start with AWS EC2, it's very hard to switch seamlessly.

But AWS EC2 is quite good on its own compared to the others out there, and can provide almost everything a team needs with minimal efforts.
Service up-time and other reliability factors are outstanding for EC2, and self-service using the AWS Console and CloudWatch is sufficient for the most part. Occasionally we hit blockers but there's still the community forum in case we need to get some help from the customer support or other members in the community.

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EC2 is really standing out when a team is committed to the AWS stack and wants to deploy production jobs on the long term. Reserved instances have competitive pricing and in general the reliability is guaranteed. Spot EC2 instances are also good, when a one-time backfill or feature generation workload needs to be performed.

For users who want to use a managed service, for example a Hadoop platform, I would recommend going with Cloudera and similar companies to get the best support possible.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Feature Ratings

Service-level Agreement (SLA) uptime
Dynamic scaling
Elastic load balancing
Pre-configured templates
Monitoring tools
Pre-defined machine images
Operating system support
Security controls