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I had asked this question on StackOverflow. It was suggested to post it here too.

When should one use the following: Amazon EC2, Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure and Salesforce.com?

Please share your understanding and experiences.

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4 Answers 4

  • EC2: When you need a lot of CPU power at unpredicatable times, and don't want to actually store anything.
  • Google App Engine: When you're a cheap-ass Python programmer whose site is never going to get more than a few hits a day (and you want to make sure you can never use a different hosting provider).
  • Microsoft Azure: When you want to make extra super sure that you can never use any non-Microsoft technologies.
  • Salesforce: When you've lost the will to live and want your co-workers to kill you in your sleep for making them use such a useless hunk of junk.
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Meeeeeeeeoow :) –  Dan Carley Oct 22 '09 at 13:18
3  
+1 Best summary of cloud computing I have seen todate :) –  Shiraz Bhaiji Oct 30 '09 at 14:33
    
Yes, I'm cheap-ass :D –  Alex Bolotov Apr 20 '10 at 20:33
    
you missed the lack of budget/limiting controls on Azure - Microsoft, when you want to blow your entire years budget on the first months hosting that rogue app run at 100% CPU for. –  gbjbaanb Oct 18 '10 at 12:15

Cloud is great, sometimes. Sometimes it's the wrong choice.

We just did a full CBA on moving to the cloud as we were moving out of our MSP. Moving to the cloud just didn't make a lot of sense for us. The costs would have ended up being pretty high to fit our needs, and the ability to scale up for the database server just wasn't there.

For smaller shops or smaller applications when you don't have a VM farm to put the app into it might make sense. But for larger projects, unless those projects are making a ton of money, it just doesn't make sense.

Yeah you only pay for what you use. But if you want high speed SAN storage you have to pay per IO, plus the CPU time, plus the bandwidth costs. If you need to send traffic between tiers of servers, there's a bandwidth cost for that. It all adds up. Not to mention if you spin up 1000 servers for 1 hour, that's going to be price.

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When your boss forces you, because he thinks "cloud" sounds cool.

On a more serious note: cloud services are shared environments, and are excellent for testing your setup, as you generally pay by the hour, but it can't beat the good old server where everything is dedicated to you, and you know how much you can use.

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The answer is going to be different depending on your circumstances. The short version is that it comes down to a cost-benefit analysis. Consider the pros and cons of each, the cost of each, and use that data to determine which makes more sense.

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