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 organisations 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.
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...
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
If you want to deliver digital services of any kind, you’ll need to compute resources including 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 to do your homework first.Cloud ...
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 ...
What is Chaos Engineering? Failure Becomes Reliability
In the IT world, failure is inevitable. A server might go down, an app may fail, etc. Does your team know what to do during a major outage? Do you know what instances may cause a larger systems failure? Chaos engineering, or chaos as a service, will help you fail responsibly.It almost...
AWS re:Invent 2017: Themes and Tools Shaping Cloud Computing in 2018
As the sixth annual re:Invent approaches, it’s a good time to look back at how the industry has progressed over the past year. How have last year’s trends held up, and what new trends are on the horizon? Where is AWS investing with its products and services? How are enterprises respondi...
Cloud Academy at Cloud Expo Santa Clara, Oct 31 – Nov 2
71% of IT decision-makers believe that a lack of cloud expertise in their organizations has resulted in lost revenue.1 That’s why building a culture of cloud—and the common language and skills to support cloud-first—is so important for companies who want to stay ahead of the transfor...
Product News: Announcing Cloud Academy Exams, Improved Filtering & Navigation, and More
At Cloud Academy, we’re obsessed with creating value for the organizations who trust us as the single source for the learning, practice, and collaboration that enables a culture of cloud.Today, we’re excited to announce the general availability of several new features in our Content L...
On 'the public understanding of encryption' Tweet by Paul Johnston
Some of the questions by journalists about encryption prove they don't get it. Politicians don't seem to get it either (most of them). In fact, outside technology, there are some ridiculous notions of what encryption means. Over and over again, the same rubbish around encrypti...
Our Hands-on Labs have a new look
Building new hands-on labs and improving our existing labs is a major focus of Cloud Academy for 2017 and beyond. If you search "types of adult learning," you will get approximately 16.9 gazillion hits. Many will boast about how they meet the needs of a certain type of learner (up to 70...
New infographic: Cloud computing in 2017
With 83% of businesses ranking cloud skills as critical for digital transformation in 2017, it’s great news for anyone with cloud architecting experience, and for those considering a career in cloud computing. In our new infographic, we compiled some of the latest industry research to l...