Think big, move fast, act small
‘True-cloud’ on AWS may be the secret to your business success — no-compromises cloud as it was always intended to be.
If you’re tossing up between true-‘cloud or ‘cloud hosted’ strategies for your business, a provocative discussion has popped up on Corey Quinn’s Twitter thread, you must check out.
Quinn is Chief Cloud Economist for Duckbill Group that helps users control their AWS spending, and a respected cloud blogger and podcaster at Last Week in AWS.
A ‘true cloud’ service lives and breathes AWS with no compromise. In our experience, such services extract maximum value at lowest total cost of ownership while speeding innovation. And it is why observers such as Corey Quinn are less excited about the alternatives.
To learn why Quinn (and others) advocate ‘true-cloud’ over cloud-hosted services in AWS solutions, read on.
Hate to break it to you, but you are not Netflix
This is a tough lesson to learn: Design for you now, not 10 years from now.
Many start-up entrepreneurs are inspired by the likes of Netflix or even Australia’s Atlassian and Canva so understandably they may be keen to deploy the technologies and methods those businesses now use.
But those ‘unicorns’ are not you; they weren’t even who they are today when they started. They evolved. And what works for a mature, globe-spanning enterprise with millions of customers and billions of dollars in stock market value probably isn’t right for a small Australian business or start-up with more modest requirements — even if you have lofty ambitions.
Having trusted partners on your side is vital to successfully navigating cloud best practices in your industry, especially early on. Choose a partner that empathises with your challenges and priorities and that collaborates to meet your goals now and in the future.
You can sprint ahead by reading stories of the giants – just learn the right lessons, such as, it’s enough to stand on their feet (and not just their shoulders).
The value of services ‘born in the cloud’
Many organisations learn the best approach at the start is ‘Infrastructure as Code’ (IaC) such as Terraform, Cloud Development Kit (CDK) and CloudFormation that automate IT infrastructure provision. A born-in-the-cloud service speeds time to market by exploiting ready-to-use infrastructure with its existing components so developers can quickly design, develop and deploy applications. And it ensures comprehensive security solutions don’t stall your business trajectory.
So-called ‘serverless architectures’ in AWS where you focus on your business and we take care of the rest should be your go-to platform for rapid success and growth.
Why true-cloud may be just right for you
True-cloud services in AWS sidestep challenges inherent to heavier, legacy or more complex solutions simply hosted in the cloud.
For instance, the capability to run your code on any cloud platform looks great when you start your infrastructure journey but may not be the best option because it may unnecessarily increase complexity and cost for little marginal benefit. And even if you are legally required to do so, always be cautious. For those seeking redundancy, storing your data closer to users — or to comply with government data sovereignty mandates — is the better pathway because it empowers you to reuse your infrastructure.
Kubernetes is another platform that excites business leaders because it’s a cloud-agnostic, on-premises and open-source way automatically to deploy, scale and manage containerised applications. Kubernetes is great for some applications but is too taxing for many smaller organisations or those just starting out in the cloud.
If in doubt about which path to take, enlist the help of a partner to guide your strategy — particularly in the early days when streamlining will speed your journey (even if that means one day becoming as big as Netflix).