Which cloud services will work for my business? There are many options to choose from and your choice depends on the type of business you have. If you are a small business Amazon Web Services could be at the top of the list as they offer a unique and easy way to manage your cloud infrastructure. This year small businesses will account for more than 30% of public cloud usage. This will continue to grow because of the huge impact Amazon Web Services (AWS) is having in the market. They provide an incredibly useful and flexible public cloud that works for a variety of services like storage, security, networking, computing, mobile development to run apps, and much more. Most of their digital infrastructure can be hosted in the cloud making it much easier and cost-effective. In order to understand if Amazon Web Services is the right service for your small business, you have to know what your needs and budget are. If you don’t know that, then don’t make a purchase yet. You want to take the time to compare AWS with other companies like Azure to determine which is best. IT Usage There are tools to help you monitor your current cloud and/or physical server usage. Use these tools for a month to see what your business uses in order to determine what system will work best for you. The Cloud Every part of your business which includes not only mobile apps but web apps, documents, videos, images, data, websites, and more can be on the AWS cloud. Whether you have a light load or a heavy load their cloud infrastructure can handle it. You can also access your cloud easily from anywhere. Amazon makes it incredibly easy to do so. Yes, there are other cloud data warehousing options out there for you which you should look at. You can compare them to AWS to see which is best for you. Others, however, can be quite costly. Security Besides cost, this is always at the top of the list when deciding who to go with. Security is incredibly important for any business as there is always sensitive information that no business wants to get out. AWS follows very strict guidelines to ensure proper data security. They always monitor all activity and provide backup capabilities for all your data. E-Commerce If you have a small e-commerce business Amazon Web Services provides some amazing features for you. All the transactions that are done on your website plus website hosting can be done in a secure and simple way. It requires very little effort from your end as everything is pretty much done on its own through AWS. It also provides a lot of flexibility through its SDKs so that you can provide your customers exactly what they want and need. App Hosting Amazon Web Services also makes it easy for you to manage your mobile and web applications. Your apps can run and work better because with AWS you can deploy and scale better. Apps will be more stable and provide you and your customers a much better experience. Now you do have the option to do shared, dedicated, or cloud hosting which depends on your business so you should look into all of them before deciding. Instances There are multiple options for you to choose from so that you have the right amount of instances that suit your business needs. Many providers have this option as well but Amazon Web Services offers you various options beyond most. It’s not just about adding or removing as you go along, there’s much more to it and AWS has the solutions you need for that. Cost Ok, now we are at the most important one, THE COST! There is no one size fits all here so the cost to each business is different. Let’s break it down here: It’s expensive and a lot of work to have and maintain the hardware, infrastructure, and systems administration. There is no need for any of that with AWS. You only pay for what you actually use and no more. Again, it requires little to no work on your end. Auto Scaling can be used with Amazon EC2 to provide more or less capacity depending on slow times or spikes in demand. This means that you don’t waste any money because it literally bends to match the ups and downs of customers transactions. The cost of data storage is usually a big chunk of the cost no matter what size business you have. Imagine having an endless amount of storage that is scalable. AWS provides you with a storage system with no up-front cost and again you only pay for the storage you actually use. Spot instances for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) give you the ability to name your price. You can get the computing capacity you want at the price you want. This is a great alternative to the On-Demand model. This, of course, won’t work for everyone. It’s only for those with interruption-tolerant tasks. ElastiCache can help with web application performance at a lower cost. You don’t have to manage, maintain, or purchase anything else with this. This web service makes it easy to operate an in-memory cache. ElastiCache frees up your time and saves you money. Migrating your infrastructure can not only be time-consuming and frustrating but it can be complex and have a pretty hefty price tag to it. AWS, on the other hand, makes the process quick and easy all while keeping the cost pretty low for both established businesses as well as startups. When it comes to instances, depending on your utilization you can have reserved capacity at a cheaper cost even more so than from 3rd party resellers. For this, you would use Amazon EC2 because you pay an upfront fee. You still pay hourly but it would be way lower in price. Their IT solutions will help you do just about anything for building and launching apps for a reasonable price. Most companies have various fees and upfront costs that you pay but AWS minimizes those and continues to strive for you only pay for what you use model. If you are a small business, more often than not you are paying more than you should. Other companies have options to choose from but each option comes with a certain number of items. You pick the one that seems like it closest to what you need but is that really a solution. You should have exactly what you need, no more, no less. Storage Also with AWS is the more you use, the more you save. For example, if you fall under the standard storage category you would pay $0.85 per GB for 1 TB of storage in the first month. In the next month if you use anything between 1 TB and 49 TB its $0.75 per GB. On the far end if you use more than 5000 TB it only costs $0.43 per GB. The standard storage is the most expensive but there are other types which are much less, this is just to provide you with an example of how using more lowers the cost. They also offer customized plans and bulk pricing for those with requirements beyond their standardized ones. You always want to monitor your infrastructure to keep costs down. There are multiple different options like EC2, S3 CloudFront, Elastic Load Balancing, and more for you to choose from. As you grow you may or may not need these items but constantly changing can help save you money. You should also be using their Identity and Access Management solutions which will help you manage all your costs within AWS. Amazon Web Services has a lot to offer just about everyone. You can manage your console from any device including your phone. You can access your services from anywhere at any time. Amazon CloudWatch is another great tool to help you track your usage of the cloud. This in turn assists in managing costs as well. Amazon Web Services is truly the way to go for just about any business but particularly for small businesses because there are so much flexibility and options, it allows you to create an infrastructure that is secure, reliable, and very specific to your business. With all this, it maintains a fair cost ensuring you are not overpaying for services. It is really easy for startups to use AWS Activate to start this process. You will be offered all sorts of tools and credits to get set up for free. You can also contact the AWS experts at SDI for more information. You can speak with Rob LaPointe at 408.805.0495 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can discuss your business goals and find out exactly what will work best for you.