Cloud Based                
 
Cloud Based Application Development
Recently, we spent a lot of time evaluating different cloud providers to make sure that why using the cloud was the best decision for our customers. What we quickly realized was that we kept coming back to the same 5 deciding factors in the following order:
 
Simplicity Hardware
Reliability Scalability
Partnership    
 
 


Simplicity

For any company today one of the greatest assets required is speed.It needs to move fast and we need the ability to change direction quickly, if needed.

There is no way to "go that way really fast" if its infrastructure isn't as simple as possible. We don't need our own servers, we don't need an ops team running out to replace faulty RAM and burned out hard drives.

What we need are as few or as many servers available when we need them.
 
 
Everyone wants reliability, but when building a platform that you want others to build their business on, reliability becomes essential. Our customers can only be as reliable as we are, so we cannot afford to have even the slightest downtime. The smallest hiccup in service can damage the reputation of a business and result in the loss of customers and money. We wanted to ensure that our servers are as reliable as possible, while staying as simple as possible.

So moving to the cloud was our best option. The cloud makes it easier and less expensive to have servers in different availability zones, so we're ensured that if one zone goes down, our fail-overs kick in and our services stay up. Trying to have this type of infrastructure without the cloud is not only cost prohibitive but also becomes magnitudes more complicated.


Reliability

 
 


Partnership

There are lots of ways things can go sideways and that's why we all have advisors, board members and mentors to help guide us. We wanted that same guidance when building out our infrastructure. We wanted a close partnership with our cloud provider; someone to bounce ideas off of, to ensure our failover plan was sufficient and to make sure we didn't over look even the smallest edge case.
 
 
We need servers with good IO speeds; hard drives that get saturated at 100 writes per second don't cut it. Sure, we could stripe a bunch of lower quality drives together with RAID and get slightly better performance, but remember my point on simplicity?


Hardware

 
 


Scalability

Everyone hopes that scaling become an issue they worry about, but in most cases it isn't something you need to worry about right away. However, when building a platform, we need to ensure that we build on top of a scalable infrastructure from day one. There are two things I think of when talking about scalability. The first is those short term spikes in traffic, you know when TechCrunch writes something nice about you and your traffic sky rockets only to come crashing down to earth a week or so later. The second is long-term scalability when your mobile application gets featured on the front page of the iTunes store and then goes viral.

Both are important, but each is managed differently. If you don't handle the short-term spikes, you may never get to that long-term growth. At the same time, if you ramp your infrastructure too quickly, you'll end up with a bunch of servers you don't use and an empty bank account.
 
 The Cloud Wins : In the end, the best decision for our customers is to leverage the cloud for their infrastructure.
       
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