I read today a wonderful article about AWS (iaas) vs self hosted solution , the pros and cons money wise.
Couple of points regarding the discussion that relates directly to startups:
- The author recommends for spiky/unknown/unproven loads to stay with the public cloud,later in the comments he adds: “ …let’s the the situation of an early-stage business. While I’ve referred to “spiky” loads, there’s another way to say that which is “variable”, “unknown” or “unproven” loads which describes the situation that a startup usually finds itself in. In those cases, the fact that you cannot forecast very well is the reason why it’s unlikely you’ll save money by self-hosting…because you’re very unlikely to buy the right amount of capacity.“
- He is talking here mainly about infrastructure as a service (iaas), one major point that I think he overlooked here is that many startups don’t want to deal with the provisioning and machine preparations (you still have to do that under iaas), we want to be lean and quick to market, I would prefer to pay more money for platform as a service (paas like app engine) and deal with writing the actual business logic.
- Disaster recovery is also important, the ability to spread your machine across several geographical areas is costly.
- No matter how you’ll look at it, there is a good chance that as a startup you’ll use cloud api for your business, there are so many services today that cuts down your dev time and are only available as public api on the cloud. A good example might be google analytics. So you can’t really escape it.