AIS BusinessCloud1 vs. Amazon Web Services

AIS-Steve-WallaceThis post reprises much what was originally published in November 2012. It’s all still true!
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become what it is today (the gorilla) through the strength of automation and uniformity.
For many, though, uniformity is actually counter to what customers really need, which are customized solutions. And let’s face it: customization is definitely not Amazon’s forte when it comes to cloud services.
Providing customized solutions on a large scale is inherently difficult and expensive, which leaves a lot of room for providers like AIS to address the unique challenges of small, medium, and large enterprises with AIS BusinessCloud1.
Let’s itemize some specific reasons why AIS cloud services are better for many customers than what they can get with AWS.

1. Support and Consultation

Cloud technology is a relatively new addition to the IT toolbox. In this resource-constrained, post-recession economy, clients don’t always have the technical skill in-house to advance along the road to the cloud.
AIS takes the time to understand a client’s challenges and goals and then provides the expert advice and actionable information to guide the client to the best solution.
After the sale, post-sales support of a client’s production environment is crucial to business survival. AIS offers the highest level of infrastructure support without requiring an additional support contract, which is not something you’ll get with AWS.

2. Security

Hybrid cloud configurations are a combination of dedicated hardware (e.g., firewalls or servers) and virtual resources. Standard AWS does not support this type of configuration, making it difficult for SMB and enterprise clients to move to a fully (or lightly) managed cloud infrastructure.
At AIS, we can integrate a client’s dedicated hardware resources — often their firewalls — directly into their own virtual data center.
Another application for hybrid environments is data storage. AIS’s cloud service can integrate directly with a client’s dedicated storage equipment to achieve regulatory compliance without sacrificing performance.
This configuration would be very difficult — if not impossible — in the AWS environment.

3. Performance

AWS has a variety of performance SLAs, but the best performance SLAs are expensive and difficult to stitch into an existing production environment.
Clients make the choice between fast-and-expensive or cheap-and-slow. Within these two options there is widely fluctuating performance.
At AIS, our clients get the advantage of the newest enterprise hardware technology and software performance management to deliver consistent service to all clients.
We have two storage options at AIS: extremely fast and cheap, or very fast and even cheaper.

4. Compatibility

logo-vmware cloud servicesMost analysts would probably agree that the majority of the SMB and enterprise virtualization market belongs to VMware. This is what most IT shops are putting down as the first layer over their hardware infrastructure.
Why? Because it provides a great deal of value just within the hypervisor alone. Add on the management layers and the feature set gets very rich, very quickly — it is turnkey cloud orchestration software.
All of these familiar features are embedded in AIS BusinessCloud1, including the management capability. Clients can manage their local and AIS cloud infrastructures from a single pane of glass.
There are certainly other control panels that tie together VMware and AWS infrastructure, but you will have different tool sets to deal with each service — not a simple, standardized environment.

5. Service Portability

One of the striking advantages of virtualization is the reduction of a “server” to a simple file. These files are formatted for specific virtualization environments and must be converted to move from one to another — sometimes with great difficulty.
This means that your typical VMware virtual machine running on your typical enterprise infrastructure cannot be directly imported into AWS, or vice versa. This is vendor lock-in.
Why is this important? If you are venturing into the cloud and you are already using VMware, then it is easy to migrate into a VMware-supported cloud service like AIS BusinessCloud1.
But what happens if you decide you don’t like AIS’s service — where do you go? Not to AWS — it’s incompatible!
Well, as it turns out, there are 200+ other VMware-based service providers on the planet that can support your VMware server format. Chances are pretty good that one of them will take care of you [ but not as well as AIS 😉 ]. On the other hand, if you don’t like what you’re getting from AWS then you have a much bigger problem.

6. Costs

There are a lot of cloud cost components: performance, compatibility, support, etc. Each of these can add substantially to operational expenses.
AIS’ cloud offers better pricing across the board on the “commodity” costs, which are RAM, CPU, and storage. Okay, AWS Glacier storage is cheaper… but only if you can use it.
So, what about…

  • Support and performance costs?
  • The ability to get personalized support and consultation?
  • The built-in performance controls on enterprise-grade hardware?
  • The inherent high-availability feature set?
  • The hybrid cloud capability?

These all cost money, but they are included in AIS’ “commodity” costs — which are lower than those of AWS!
So not only is AIS cloud service more cost-effective than AWS, you actually get a lot more for your money.
Let us know if you want to learn more about the many difference between AWS and AIS BusinessCloud1.
About the Author
Steve Wallace, CTO, is a seasoned technologist with 25 years of hands-on experience in data security, network operations, and telecommunications. He has provided senior technical leadership for early-stage companies in the ISP, managed hosting, and data center services industries. He has also held both military and civilian positions in communications, network operations, and data security.
At AIS Mr. Wallace is responsible for managing and growing the engineering team and AIS’ high availability service infrastructure. He has been instrumental in the development of the virtual private data center / IaaS cloud services product lines and owns the AIS strategic services roadmap.