Recently unveiled enhancements to Amazon’s web services not only give customers more control over availability, they take the services closer to compliance with industry standards, a move that will ultimately make them more appealing to enterprise customers.
Today’s smart startups build their applications using on-demand compute infrastructure. Instead of high capital outlay, they get pay-as-you-go platforms that offer better reliability and reachability than most of them could achieve on their own. Such platforms also mean less dilution to investors early on and an ability to scale well once the crowds arrive.
There is, of course, a catch. In certain cases, you simply can’t use on-demand compute infrastructure. For example, some jurisdictions require that you keep confidential data within their borders. And other standards, like those of the Payment Card Industry, require tight controls on data center security that are hard for on-demand providers to comply with.
This is one of the reasons that enterprise customers have held back from porting their applications into cloud computing environments.
Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon.com, said the company recently introduced the idea of “availability zones” that “allow the customer to specify in which location to launch a new EC2 instance.” This was announced under the auspices of better availability (“…applications can be protected from failure of a single location.”)
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