Sorry, but that is mostly a lie.
Running a non-trivial app on EC2 is significantly more complex than doing the same on (rented) bare metal. Scaling to a massive size can be easier on EC2, but only after you paid a significant upfront cost in terms of dollars and development complexity.
Is your app prepared to deal with spontaneous instance hangs, (drastic) temporary instance slowdowns, sudden instance or network failures?
Did you know that ELBs can only scale up by a certain, sparsely documented amount per hour?
Or that you need a process to deal with "Zombie" instances that got stuck while being added/removed to ELBs (e.g. the health-check never succeeds).
Or that average uptime (between forced reboots) for EC2 instances is measured in months, for physical servers in years?
Or that Autoscaling Groups with Spot instances can run out of instances even if your bid amount is higher than the current price in all but one of the availability zones that it spans?
The list of counter-intuitive gotchas grows very long very quickly once you move an EC2 app to production.
This is a surprise to me, given that I work at an AWS shop doing things other people would call "DevOps". AWS doesn't automate provisioning or provide a (worthwhile) deployment pipeline, andAWS doesn't react (except in crude and fairly stupid ways) when something goes wrong or out-of-band.
No, they don't. They provide the tools, its still up to you to orchestrate it.
But wouldn't that apply also to SoftLayer?
The main benefits of Amazon is that it:
a) allows you to scale down i.e. buy services in smaller portions than complete physical servers
c) integrated features
You could probably pay for one devops position once your infrastructure gets to 10 physical servers.
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I could go on and on about those, but other options were even more painful.
I've been running three 32GB servers (each with 3TB storage) with them for 2+ years now and the only outage I've experienced is the switch (5 port GBit) dying once. Hetzner tech replaced it in under an hour.
These three servers cost me €263/month (that's total, not each). Included in that monthly price is an additional IPv4 for each server, a private 5port Gbit switch, remote console access and 300GB of DC backup space.
There are probably better deals available now (i.e. more RAM at the same price) than the one I'm on since it's old and not offered on their site any more (/makes note to self to call Hetzner sales)
I wouldn't want to do it, which is why I'd rather work for somebody who'd pay for AWS, but I think there's a thing in there somewhere for those who want to dig.