A Product Managers Perspective on AWS and Cloud Computing by Amazon
January 18, 2019

A Product Managers Perspective on AWS and Cloud Computing by Amazon

Nathan Sichilongo | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Amazon Web Services

Our goal as a company is to ensure that our services are efficient and fast to load. After years of using traditional web hosts, we finally made the switch to Amazon Web Services and we have not looked back. Our biggest issues with traditional web hosting was the inability to store large amounts of data and the lack of scalability for our different applications. AWS allows us to run our services more efficiently and without absorbing the high cost of owning servers. For our business it's really about solving 3 problems:
  1. Scaling - The solution should be able to allow us to scale effectively without the hassles of setting up new servers.
  2. Cost effective - The solution should allow us to manage our costs effectively so that none of our clients have to pay more for our services.
  3. Integration - The solution should integrate well into our development teams coding and not slow them down.
Amazon Web Services has done these for us.
  • AWS (Amazon Web Services) is not the easiest virtual service to set up but once you get the hang of it, it's fairly easy to install new instances (servers) and stop them. This is good for multiple reasons e.g we run multiple tests and live production servers for our different services. When we are done with one we can easily turn it off. The cost of the specifications on our virtual servers is only a fraction of the cost of what we would get locally or even on most traditional web services companies.
  • Amazon Web Services can be relatively cost efficient depending on where you are coming from. For our smaller organization, we felt the cost was worth it as other alternatives were not as affordable. The good thing with AWS is you only pay for what you use. If you want S3 (Simple Storage Service), you can pay for that. If you want to run a compute engine, EC2 can be paid for. At the end of the month, you get one bill based on your usage.
  • Because of our size as a company, AWS was easier to deploy compared to local dedicated solutions. All we had to do was take our development team through a simple 2-day course to get them on board. The ease of deployment means that we do not have to hire a specialist to deploy servers for us.
  • If there is one thing I think AWS needs improvement on, it is the administration dashboard. It can be a nightmare to use especially when trying to access billing. This could be made better, honestly, as there should be a simplified way to access simple admin features.
  • While AWS was fairly easy to integrate into our solutions, it is not as easy to use without some IT knowledge. The dashboards are complicated and designed for someone who is computer savvy. If you are just want to keep track of billing, for example, you may need to take a course or spend a few hours with someone being walked through the admin console.
  • AWS does tend to be slow at times. If you do not have a fast internet connection, it can take time to access services that are hosted on AWS. This is not always the case but we have had clients complain about this if they are trying to access a service from multiple points (IP addresses). The only real fix we found was to make our files cache to another server and only keep current data accessible to clients.
  • Using Amazon Web Services has allowed us to develop and deploy new SAAS solutions quicker than we did when we used traditional web hosting. This has allowed us to grow our service offerings to clients and also add more value to our existing services.
  • Having AWS deployed has also allowed our development team to focus on delivering high-quality software without worrying about whether our servers will be able to handle the demand. Since AWS allows you to adjust your server needs based on demand, we can easily assign a faster server instance to ease and improve service without the client even knowing what we did.
Initially, we were with GoDaddy hosting but made a switch to a dedicated server with Bluehost. Our reasoning was that we would get more value from a dedicated server, however, as our SAAS grew we realized cloud computing was the way to go. We ended up choosing AWS over Digital Ocean even though the pricing is comparable. Our team felt that AWS was better and was the winner because of the ability to automatically scale our usage as needed.

There are many dedicated solutions if you are looking for a simple solution to host a service, however, if you are serious about growing your service and building something with customizable scalable specifications, AWS is the better option as it scales automatically based on your usage. Digital Ocean may also be a viable option depending on your development team size and recommendations.
Amazon Web Services is well suited for companies or organizations that need to run specific applications or virtual services on servers. The cost-per-server ratio makes this ideal for testing and live deployment scenarios. It is especially ideal for smaller to medium size IT development teams. If you are looking to just set up a website, for example, AWS may not be ideal unless you are having it custom built.

Amazon Web Services 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