Scott Penrose

Which Cloud

Scott is an expert software developer with over 30 years experience, specialising in education, automation and remote data.

There is a heap of comparisons of price and performance across various cloud providers. Here is a recent one:

http://remcobron.com/cloud-server-review-and-comparison-amazon-aws-ec2-vs-linode-vs-digitalocean/

The conclusion is usually that AWS is the most expensive and slowest.

Well here is the problem I have with the comparisons, and where I see services like AWS win:

  • Managing redundant/mirrored MySQL servers is very costly. Far far more costly than the hosting environment. Turning on a managed MySQL server initially for about $20/month and spinning up mirrors and further servers with one click is worth $1000s per month, and costs $100s. They might be slower/$ but it is people that costs.
  • Real network attached storage - the comparison above is complaining about EBS performance. But Linode doesn't have EBS - they just use RAID - that is no comparison. If a hardware failure (not disk, but total machine) happens in AWS, new instance is up in a minute or 2 with exactly the same data on disk. If Linode fails it requires human intervention. Now you could argue you should store data on DB and use multiple servers with a load balancer - but the above article is specifically comparing EBS, and sometimes EBS is a better solution than DB (it all depends).
  • Snapshots - Unlimited and cheap backup/snapshots from EBS and Databsae. Linode your backups are expensive $40/month for 8GB, AWS $0.80/month for 8GB ! (10c/GB/Month) - making Linode a lot more expensive. Plus I do multiple snapshots during upgrades - before and after. All almost instant, and very cheap. We need to backup 100s of GB data. That isn't even listed on Linode.
  • Spec change. I want to increase my server size. Stop, change spec, Start - 2 minutes later have made my machine very fast. Moved from my $20/month to $200/month for periods I need it. This is only achievable if data is on NAS (moving 100s of GB between physical machines is too slow).

I want competition. What I think companies like Linode need to do is some managed services. Like Amazon does. When you think about it, Amazon is just running some EC2 instances for their DBs and load balancers etc.

  • Cheap backup - I want to pay 10c/GB/Month for backups and storage
  • NAS - Yes a NAS is slower than RAID (isn't that obvious people comparing systems) - I want a NAS, not RAID.
  • Managed services - e.g. MySQL/Postgres (this would be good, I miss Postgres from AWS, use MySQL because it is managed and that is worth its wait (well and weight) in gold !).