AWS is different than your Private cloud!

Many people view public cloud services like AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud as a larger ‘pay as you go’ version of their private cloud.

But if the public cloud were equivalent to a private cloud, then there would be no difference in how you should build, deploy and operate applications. 

This would also mean that there would be no new benefits in moving to the public cloud, no need for a new operations mentality, and no need for any new skills or tools.

But our point or view is that the public cloud is very different than the private cloud.  To harvest all of the benefits, you can’t operate your public cloud in exactly the same way. To some degree, you need a different mindset, different skills, and different tooling.   We will illustrate this below.   

The key to achieving success in the public cloud is to take a page from the world’s most successful Web companies and adopt DevOps processes and containers technology.  We will explain this over a couple of blog entries and back this up with our own lessons learned using containers on the public cloud.

But first, how is the public cloud different?

The Public cloud is API driven.  

The private cloud is server based.  You are provisioning servers and virtual machines, configuring these environments and then deploying and running apps on these servers and VMs.

In the public cloud, you are driving infrastructure with APIs.

compare AWS to private cloud APIs

The API-driven nature of the public cloud is what enables its incredible adoption and biggest benefit – near instant and infinite capacity through developer self-service.

Public cloud services like AWS are an on-demand marketplace, where developers can spin up hundreds of instances on the fly. Applications can auto-scale capacity up (or down) based on demand, achieving instant global scale.    

The public cloud also provides a world of new services, features, capabilities, and choices that don’t exist outside of the public cloud.

For example, AWS has hundreds of new and different choices to make.   AWS is 150+ services and counting!   Multiple deployment options and buying models exist, such as reserved or spot instances.     New server-less programming and operating models leave behind the server construct altogether.

You execute these new public cloud choices against a world of APIs with software or code, perhaps from within applications themselves. 

In order to achieve the fundamental benefits of programmability and self-service, you must operate this kind of infrastructure very differently than the private cloud world of servers along with their scripts of commands.

Next time we discuss another important way that the public cloud behaves very differently than the private cloud – private cloud VMs vs. public cloud instances.

Or, for more on this topic, watch our recorded webcast below from our YouTube channel.


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