This keeps happening repeatedly - so let there be no more startups offering missing features of EC2. Go back! Build something else! Amazon has made it clear that you should not build a general cloud offering on top of EC2 - it must be niche, or not an enhancement of their offering, or they will simply do the same thing and kill you. And I don't think its that they're copying anyone. They've given lots of notice. Its just that their product vision fits with most anyone's who looks at what EC2 is missing.
Their "Key Features": (1) Auto-Scaling, (2) Monitoring & Alerting, (3) Load Balancing. Ouch.
But you're right -- the opportunity to provide unique value is in harnessing EC2 for specific purposes and applications.
It appears to me that RightScale is positioning itself to be a market for cloud computing services. It will be interesting to see if they pull it off.
Also, from the description of the monitoring service (i.e. no agent required) it is likely the monitoring data is collected at the host not the guest OS. So there is probably no process monitoring it follows that application profiling and similar services will not be possible with the data.
Amazon is building an entirely new ecosystem and we'll start seeing news kinds of tools (commercial and open source) built in and around it.
There are many cloud providers now. Startup should be diversifying their offerings to work with all cloud providers this will give their business the best chance for success.
So, even though this feature is useful it is not taking away the biggest headache in website scaling..i.e how to scale your DB.
Monitoring and autoscaling I'll pass on. You can get better monitoring with collectd for free and autoscaling based on just load age or disk util and not app specific stuff is plain crazy.
The load balancer is pretty nice but I'll stick with haproxy until you can do httpand https on the same lb and also currently you can only do CNAME dns so no foo.com only www.foo.com and wildcard subdomains don't work unless you use tinydns(bind can't do it)
So I feel like this is a good start but I won't be using any of these services until they get more fully baked. The load balancer is the most interesting part but is currently seriously flawed.
I think that here there is space for new startups if they are able to provide better performances at the same cost. I wonder if a configuration where in a cloud real hardware is selected in order to run an instance could work, instead to use virtualization technologies. This does not allow to take advantage of the fact that most boxes are not under high load most of the time, but maybe could work if it will be possible to use very low energy in this condition.
Woops: Brainfade. Yes, 1.5 cents/instance/hour, not 10x that. Still, quite expensive I think.
With Amazon CloudWatch... at a rate of $0.015 per hour for each Amazon EC2 instance you choose to monitor...
As an example, a developer may want to monitor 10 Amazon EC2 instances 24×7 for a 30-day period. The Amazon CloudWatch cost would be $108 (or $0.015 per Amazon EC2 instance hour x 10 Amazon EC2 instances x 24 hours per day x 30 days)...
That is close to what it costs to run a single instance to collect all your statistics (75$ if its small + your time is worth something!).
That is close to what it costs to run a single instance to collect all your statistics
Assuming you need a completely separate instance which couldn't do anything else but monitoring, which is unlikely to be the case.
[source : http://aws.amazon.com/cloudwatch/]
Usage: xm mem-set <Domain> <Mem>
Set the current memory usage for a domain.
Usage: xm vcpu-set <Domain> <vCPUs>
Set the number of active VCPUs for allowed for the domain.
This is easy to implement and is basically found money, so we'll be doing it ASAP.
My expectation is that an Amazon (LB) access point is more reliable than a generic EC2 instance. For these components, we'll be paying less for something that's both more reliable (hopefully) and easier to manage.
Auto-scaling is powerful and easy to set up (even in the private beta, before tools were available), but as we're heavily integrated with RightScale (specifically, using templates throughout) migrating to pre-configured AMIs would take some effort. We'll have to do some internal review before making a decision on rolling out auto-scaling to existing apps.
Monitoring is, as expected, also provided by RightScale. Amazon requires you have CloudWatch turned on for instances in auto-scaled pools (for obvious reasons), so that's one way we may end up using it. RightScale's blog post mentioned they'll be integrating their alerting and reporting with CloudWatch, but I'm not sure it's worth the extra $0.015/intance-hour to have the data come from Amazon instead of RightScale. I expect that, for now, CloudWatch is more relevant to:
1) users not on RightScale, Cloudkick, etc.
2) users who want direct access to their monitoring data (for archival, custom graphs, whatever - not currently possible with RightScale, not sure about other cloud management vendors)
Amazon's move up the application stack (Elastic MapReduce, for starters) may create additional use cases for CloudWatch, but that's entirely up to Amazon.
What I'd really like to see in the near-term is an open source tool to read in and graph CloudWatch data that's been archived somewhere (SimpleDB would be cool, but S3 would work too). Of course, I can see why people would be hesitant to start down that path given that Amazon has a console that's begging to include this functionality.
-Mike B @ ShareThis
Also, you better trust Amazon to fairly determine when to scale up... more instances == more profit for them.
Trust of a web host is of paramount importance. I know a lot of people who stuck with more expensive hosts just because they trust them and have a good working relationship with them.
re: trusting Amazon to scale, as they say in the release notes, they provide a detailed audit of scaling activity. After all the work Amazon has done to help their customers, I doubt they're interested in grabbing a little cash from inappropriate scaling.
For thy song, Lark, is strong;
Up with me, up with me into the clouds!
With clouds and sky about thee ringing,
Lift me, guide me till I find
That spot which seems so to thy mind!"