Although their application was still in alpha, 8KMiles spent a lot of money each month to host it on dedicated servers and knew they would need to spend more to acquire additional capacity. Paddy Raghavan, co-founder and chief evangelist, says, “We decided to move our entire application to the Amazon cloud based on our experience with building our VCE. We realized we could cut down our monthly costs and achieve a lot of flexibility by moving the application to Amazon Web Services.”
Subsequently, the group built their core offering around Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). Raghavan says, “Leveraging [Amazon] EC2 (and other AWS offerings), we are able to offer any number of on-demand, ready-to-use remote desktops and servers to our users without any capital expenses on our part.”
8KMiles.com runs on Amazon’s cloud and uses AWS products in addition to Amazon EC2, including Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS), Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), and Amazon CloudWatch. The 8KMiles VCE offers customers remote desktop/server infrastructure for distributed development and testing in a pay-for-use model. 8KMiles’ VCE is built on top of reliable AWS services like Amazon EC2, EBS, and Amazon S3. The company’s VCE features multiple scheduled backups of user data on Amazon S3 for disaster recovery. 8KMiles users need not have separate AWS accounts—the entire AWS account management is abstracted from the user’s view.
The company also uses CloudWatch, Amazon Auto Scaling, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) as part of their cloud consulting business (as an Amazon SI partner) to help their customers migrate to and leverage AWS. In the near future, the company plans to add services like Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), user-managed kernel, Amazon S3 Reduced Redundancy Storage (RRS), and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC).
When 8KMiles moved its Web site from the data center to AWS, there was a 40% reduction in monthly recurring costs. Raghavan says, “Today, we are 100% on AWS and are very happy about the cost optimization and the potential for virtually unlimited capacity.”
Raghavan advises other technical decision-makers to design systems and different layers of the architecture loosely coupled such that each one can be scaled independently. He says, “Factor scaling and just-in-time provisioning right from the design stage. Identify and eliminate supporting and shared services during the initial infrastructure planning—the cloud lets you provision these just in time.”
8KMiles appreciates that AWS has “taken infrastructure planning and overheads out of the picture.” Raghavan says, “We are always able to maintain an optimal level of infrastructure per our business needs, with on-demand provisioning and Auto Scaling, taking full advantage of the pay-for-use pricing model. We are able to try out [proof of concept] POCs and experiments quickly and easily and give away those resources when we are done.” He adds, “AWS offers an excellent solution in providing on-demand and no–cap-ex infrastructure.”
To learn more, visit http://www.8kmiles.com .