How to know when a cloud reseller is your best choice
A cloud reseller is a service provider who buys cloud computing products and services from major providers like AWS or Google, which they then resell to their own customers.
I’m going to describe the cloud reseller business model from a customer’s perspective, and then explore scenarios where hitching your horse to a reseller might make more sense than going directly to a tier one provider.
When I first discovered “the cloud” a few years ago, I was deeply involved in building websites. My instinct was to play around with it and see if I could launch a website in the cloud. My first impression left me with the sense that it was all a bit too complex for quickly launching a fairly simple website.
So searching around, I discovered Bitnami, which was a library of popular server applications and development environments that, with one click, can be installed on your laptop, virtual machine, or cloud host. Bitnami was just one example of many cloud resellers currently offering their services.
But because I have had first-hand experience with them, I’ll use Bitnami as an example of a cloud reseller, looking at their business model and possible use-cases.
The cloud reseller business model
One of the most effective customer acquisition tricks is to give away a free product or service. Bitnami does this on two levels: without even signing up – even for Amazon Web Services – you can launch one of their free demo servers. That’s a great way to spend a few minutes playing around to get a feel for how it works.
When you’re ready to move to the next level, you simply create a new Bitnami account, enter your AWS account details into the Bitnami Cloud Hosting console, and launch a server. As long as you stick to a single Amazon Micro or Small instance – and your AWS account is still eligible for the first year free tier – this won’t cost you anything. And even if you do increase server capacity, as long as you’re on the Bitnami free plan, your only costs will be normal AWS charges.
However, at some stage, you probably will need additional servers or larger instances. I personally found running even a small WordPress installation a tad on the slow side. This is when you will need to opt for a paid Bitnami Business Plan.
I am neither endorsing nor criticizing this business model, but simply explaining how it all works. Every Company needs to make its money somehow. When I first got involved in the cloud, Bitnami proved to be a great way to quickly launch new products and have them up and running in no time.
However as I became a slightly more sophisticated user of AWS I found that this convenience was costing me a lot of extra money, so I turned to cheaper ways to deploy my applications.
Pros and Cons of using a cloud reseller
Bitnami is only one example of a cloud reseller. There are thousands more out there offering their own solutions and products. They could be focused on scaling, security, storage, applications, or platforms combining more than one service. For some people or organizations, these can provide the perfect solution. Just carefully consider the pros and cons before heading down this path.
Using a cloud reseller: some possible advantages:
- Better security.*
- Ease of deployment.
- Quick applications and/or solutions deployments.
- Less complex deployments.
- Cheap Support.
- Automatic Backups.
- With one click, you can deploy any app or dev stack to any environment.
- Apps and dev stacks have been pre-integrated and configured so that you can become productive immediately.
Using a cloud reseller: some possible disadvantages:
- Worse security.*
- Higher ongoing costs.
- More complexity overall after initial deployment (this will depend on unique platform-specific factors).
- More confusion for end users.
- Less direct control.
I think if used wisely, these cloud computer resellers can offer a great alternative to existing cloud solutions. This is especially true for people and organizations lacking experience with a big cloud provider like AWS and unwilling to learn about them. However, you need to keep a careful eye on your overall costs when using these services as they usually add another layer of complexity and consequently another layer of costs and billing.
* Some resellers allow you to share in their hard-earned expertise in security matters. Some will have none to share. Do your research.
What Exactly Is a Cloud Architect and How Do You Become One?
One of the buzzwords surrounding the cloud that I'm sure you've heard is "Cloud Architect." In this article, I will outline my understanding of what a cloud architect does and I'll analyze the skills and certifications necessary to become one. I will also list some of the types of jobs ...
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
If you want to deliver digital services of any kind, you’ll need to estimate all types of resources, not the least of which are CPU, memory, storage, and network connectivity. Which resources you choose for your delivery — cloud-based or local — is up to you. But you’ll definitely want...
What is Kubernetes? An Introductory Overview
In part 1 of my webinar series on Kubernetes, I introduced Kubernetes at a high level with hands-on demos aiming to answer the question, "What is Kubernetes?" After polling our audience, we found that most of the webinar attendees had never used Kubernetes before, or had only been expos...
How Does Cloud Computing Work?
Whether you're looking to become a cloud engineer or you're a manager wanting to gain more knowledge, learn the basics of how cloud computing works. Are you wondering about how cloud computing actually works? We can help explain the basic principles behind this technology. Cloud comput...
What is Ansible?
What is Ansible? Ansible is an open-source IT automation engine, which can remove drudgery from your work life, and will also dramatically improve the scalability, consistency, and reliability of your IT environment. We'll start to explore how to automate repetitive system administratio...
What is Puppet? Get Started With Our Course
When it comes to building and configuring IT infrastructure, especially across dozens or even thousands of servers, developers need tools that automate and streamline this process. Enter Puppet, one of the leading DevOps tools for automating delivery and operation of software no matter ...
2018 Was a Big Year for Content at Cloud Academy
As Head of Content at Cloud Academy I work closely with our customers and my domain leads to prioritize quarterly content plans that will achieve the best outcomes for our customers. We started 2018 with two content objectives: To show customer teams how to use Cloud Services to solv...
2019 Cloud Computing Predictions
2018 was a banner year in cloud computing, with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) all continuing to launch new and innovative services. We also saw growth among enterprises in the adoption of methodologies supporting the move toward cloud-native...
Introducing Assessment Cycles
Today, cloud technology platforms and best practices around them move faster than ever, resulting in a paradigm shift for how organizations onboard and train their employees. While assessing employee skills on an annual basis might have sufficed a decade ago, the reality is that organiz...
Cloud Skills: Transforming Your Teams with Technology and Data
How building Cloud Academy helped us understand the challenges of transforming large teams, and how data and planning can help with your cloud transformation. When we started Cloud Academy a few years ago, our founding team knew that cloud was going to be a revolution for the IT indu...
Announcing Skill Profiles Beta
Now that you’ve decided to invest in the cloud, one of your chief concerns might be maximizing your investment. With little time to align resources with your vision, how do you objectively know the capabilities of your teams? By partnering with hundreds of enterprise organizations, we’...
A New Paradigm for Cloud Training is Needed (and Other Insights We Can Democratize)
It’s no secret that cloud, its supporting technologies, and the capabilities it unlocks is disrupting IT. Whether you’re cloud-first, multi-cloud, or migrating workload by workload, every step up the ever-changing cloud capability curve depends on your people, your technology, and your ...