Cloud is THE thing to consider when you are about to launch your webap, website, etc. Because it gives you:
- Reduced Costs
- Increased Storage (Easily Scalable).
- Low Latency (Availability in many continents)
But all above is not as simple as it sounds, Cloud Computing is “Infrastructure As a Service” without any support (In some cases its Premium but the costs are too high). In simple terms it means that if you wish to run a simple PHP based application with MySQL, this will take you at least A week to get it up and running and few weeks understanding the Infrastructure itself.
The problem is not in the concept or its usage, but the problem lies in incorrect Marketing Strategies, which show that cloud is just “Install in few clicks“. Companies (Yes,AWS) are attempting to sell services to users which are actually intended towards “Developers”. Check out this tutorial by AWS, however this just gets you started and nothing beyond that. What if you wish to do a Custom Install ? How do you configure the server ? What about Backups ?, What about updating the Application ? What about security patches ?
But, there is a company which has made it possible to use Cloud services with really making the process simple and acheivable in few clicks. Yes, its BitNami.
In one sentence what they have done is “Making Open Source Applications easy to install and use across platforms and on cloud services”.
BitNami, is really good at making AMIs (Amazon Machine Image), which is just an OS with some specific features out of the box. No hassle, no configurations, click click click click ( a few more maybe :)) and you are done.Or lets say Opening a Soda Can and ready to serve as their marketing images show
I have no prior experience with server administration and i have tried my hands on few cloud providers AWS and RackSpace the most popular ones. It took me some time to learn and understand the AWS infrastructure (like 4 days or so) and installing apps was a breeze once i was aware of BitNami AMIs. I could literally run WordPress, Drupal and Joomla apps All in One Or seperately in Max 5 minutes. Thanks to BitNami.
Managing these apps was also simple, like pointing the domain name, update, etc. Bitnami has losts of easy to follow instructions to accomplish the most essential tasks and your questions are answered quickly at their answers.bitnami.org
When it comes to RackSpace, i couldnt even get started installing my app because RackSpace does not *currently* provide Preconfigured Images with Server setup. I had to launch the server and then hunt down 8-10 tutorials on “How to Get Started with Ubuntu server”. And i could not get started with the server (yet). RackSpace support said “technically they cant help me with the process but they have documentation which we need to follow”.
Most importantly BitNami is providing this as a service also, where in we can select each oour requirement and create custom servers with specific applications and every thing is handled by Bitnami with APIS (currently AWS), from the Bitnami control panel we can increase the Disk size, schedule/take backups, change the type on Instance (RAM). They offer fremium plan, free for developers to experiment and then pay, have a look at their site