'People only slate Amazon Web Services because it is number one,' claims CentraStage MD

By Sooraj Shah
24 Jul 2012 View Comments
amazon webservices reception

People like to attack Amazon Web Services (AWS) because it is the best in the business, according to Christian Nagele, managing director of managed services provider (MSP) CentraStage.

CentraStage, which is headquartered in Buckinghamshire, shifted its managed services software platform into the AWS cloud after assessing, and then rejecting the competition.

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"There are a number of different providers such as Microsoft Azure and Rackspace and various other providers we looked at, but we ultimately decided on the most mature offering in terms of the sets and range of functionality we could get from AWS," he said.

While some users are evidently satisfied with AWS, there is some doubt over the resilience of its services, after it suffered outages on 14 and 30 June, leaving many websites such as Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram inaccessible to users.

One user, a dating agency called WhatsYourPrice.com, publicly announced that it would cease to use Amazon EC2 and switch to an alternative provider.

But the outages did not appear to concern Nagele.

"We've been up and running and haven't been affected. We host in multiple regions, so even if one of those regions broke down we wouldn't have problems.

"We would be more worried if were hosting it ourselves or if it was a smaller provider," he said.

Nagele went on to say that AWS is likely to receive criticism because it is the "number one".

"People like to make a lot of noise when there is a problem with AWS, and yes it does affect people, but all of our experiences and investigations of other platforms show that AWS is better. There is a lot of criticism but that is what comes with being number one – people like to throw stones when they can but we have not experienced [anything negative yet]," he said.

Nagele, however, advised organisations to be careful when moving to the cloud, as many failures occur during the migration process.

"A problem many organisations have when moving to the cloud, whether it be Azure or AWS, is that they have forklifted their existing solution into the cloud and that doesn't really work; if you've got an existing solution running against 10 servers in a datacentre and you decide to host it in the cloud, it is not simply about taking that solution as it is currently designed and architected and then hosting it within the cloud.

"The organisation has to specifically architect the solution to fit within the cloud, so that in the event of any of the infrastructure failing you can shield your customers from that," he said.

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