In business, sticking to one’s knitting s generally a good plan.

For a SaaS business, the knitting is, arguably, the development of a robust SaaS application with all the intricacies that involves. For some SaaS businesses what their knitting isn’t is the setting up and maintenance of a datat centre.

This is where Amazon’s EC2 service comes in (EC2 stands for Elastic Compute Cloud – a name the certainly spins my wheels). EC2. Amazon pitches the service with the following highlights;

  • Elastic
    Amazon EC2 enables you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days. You can commission one, hundreds or even thousands of server instances simultaneously. Of course, because this is all controlled with web service APIs, your application can automatically scale itself up and down depending on its needs.
  • Completely Controlled
    You have complete control of your instances. You have root access to each one, and you can interact with them as you would any machine. Instances can be rebooted remotely using web service APIs. You also have access to console output of your instances.
  • Flexible
    You have the choice of several instance types, allowing you to select a configuration of memory, CPU, and instance storage that is optimal for your application.
  • Designed for use with Amazon S3
    Amazon EC2 works in conjunction with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to provide a combined solution for computing and storage across a wide range of applications.
  • Reliable
    Amazon EC2 offers a highly reliable environment where replacement instances can be rapidly and reliably commissioned. The service runs within Amazon’s proven network infrastructure and datacenters.
  • Secure
    Amazon EC2 provides web service interfaces to configure firewall settings that control network access to and between groups of instances.
  • Inexpensive
    Amazon EC2 passes on to you the financial benefits of Amazon’s scale. You pay a very low rate for the compute capacity you actually consume. Compare this with the significant up-front expenditures traditionally required to purchase and maintain hardware, either in-house or hosted. This frees you from many of the complexities of capacity planning, transforms what are commonly large fixed costs into much smaller variable costs, and removes the need to over-buy “safety net” capacity to handle periodic traffic spikes.

So I guess this is HaaS for SaaS? Either way it’s efficient, scalable and future proofed – all important things to look for in a provider to SaaS.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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