As a passionate Cloud Evangelist, I always believe that Cloud is the best companion of the startups. While the Silicon Valley startups are the biggest adopters of the Cloud, it may not be the case in India and other parts of Asia. I am prompted to write this article after a long debate I had with the CTO of one of the startups. His application runs on a server that is co-located at a 3rd party datacenter and he is reluctant to move it to the Cloud. Here is a summary of the points that I pitched to him. This should help startups in understanding the potential of the Cloud.
10. Self-Service – If your application is co-located or hosted with a 3rd party, it is frustrating to raise a trouble ticket every time you want to add additional storage or a database server to your application. You may have to send an email or speak to a support engineer to provision additional resources. This may take a few hours if you are lucky or even a few days before you get what you asked for. The best thing about Cloud is the ability to provision and de-provision resources all by yourself! Most of the Cloud Platforms give you a dashboard or console to launch and configure additional resources. You will realize the power of this when you are able to add a couple of servers in a few minutes without relying on phone calls and emails.
9. No CAPEX – Now, this is certainly a big deal! You may have a killer idea that you can pitch with a lot of conviction. But to go live, you need half-a-dozen servers and this may be the biggest hurdle for the budding entrepreneurs. It is always a tough tradeoff to choose between hiring great talent and investing in powerful hardware. With Cloud, this decision becomes easy! You can host your application without any investment and use the cash to hire best developers that you can afford. All you need is an international credit card to get started with the Cloud.
8. Easy to Scale – Assuming you did everything right and the stars are aligned, you may grow pretty rapidly within the first few weeks. To meet the growing demand, you will have to throw more servers, storage and databases at the application. If you have architected the application based on some of the best practices, it is extremely easy to grow at a rapid pace. You can choose to scale up by moving to the next possible configuration or scale out by adding more servers of similar configuration to the application.