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The DevOps Difference: Managed Services in an AWS Environment vs. On Premise

In today’s competitive enterprise landscape, it is more important than ever that businesses are able to iterate quickly in order to deliver new products, features, and services to customers at a faster pace. Additionally, many organizations are also facing decisions about whether to use a managed service that involves moving their data centers to the cloud, or sticking with their on-premise data centers.

This is where the importance of a DevOps approach comes in to play. Companies utilizing AWS managed services are able to leverage DevOps resources that automate infrastructure management tasks and accelerate the production and deployment of quality work. How? Let’s take a closer look. Understanding these critical benefits will likely bring into focus, by comparison, why many on-premise data centers tend to fall short.

Faster Turnaround Times

When companies utilize managed services in an AWS environment, everything happens faster, from building and monitoring environments to deploying applications. Provisioning of servers is also easier, since AWS has deployed virtually unlimited compute resources that are available on-demand. Furthermore, companies working in a managed AWS environment have access to a variety of DevOps tools dedicated to developing customized automation solutions, fast. Trusted teams like Mission can help you determine which of these DevOps tools will work best for you. A couple of examples include:

  • AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate: This service provides a fully managed Chef Automate server and suite of automation tools that give you workflow automation for continuous deployment. It also dynamically configures newly provisioned instances by automatically registering new instances in Auto Scaling groups with your chef server.
  • AWS CloudFormation: This service provides a common language to describe and provision all the infrastructure resources in your cloud environment.  Modeling your infrastructure in a cloud file helps standardize infrastructure components across your organization. Additionally, AWS CloudFormation provisions your resources in a safe, repeatable manner, allowing you to build and rebuild your infrastructure applications without performing any manual actions.

Dow Jones & Company, global provider of news and business information, migrated from an on-premises environment to AWS, and thanks to the host of resources available, was able to successfully accelerate output. “Our overall product development velocity has increased by at least 30%,” Dow Jones & Company’s Chief Information Officer and Global Head of Technology Stephen Orban said.

Increased Productivity

Since AWS is responsible for managing and operating the infrastructure that runs all of the services in the AWS Cloud, customers utilizing AWS managed services and DevOps tools have more time to focus on what they do best: their core business. “Using AWS gives us the freedom to be agile…why should I want to spend my time learning how to operate a database or a Hadoop center when I can have predictable costs on the AWS Cloud and avoid unnecessary operational responsibility?” Orban said. “My preference is to have my team build products rather than running data centers…Now that data center is a commodity, that’s exactly what they’re able to do.”

Conversely, traditional managed service providers have to perform updates, monitoring, and maintenance in-house. This entails a lot of tedious, manual work, such as making phone calls, ordering parts, and waiting for shipping, increasing headaches as well as the potential for human error.

Cost Optimization

Managed services in an AWS environment lead to increased agility and productivity, but the benefits don’t stop there. They present significant cost optimization opportunities.

Traditional managed service providers have a tremendous amount of costs to consider, such as paying for space, hardware, software, power and cooling distribution, and a team of trained IT personnel. This can lead to wasted expense, particularly if you pay for more space and capacity than you actually use.

Conversely, AWS provides a way to acquire and use infrastructure on-demand, so you only pay for what you use. Furthermore, AWS utilizes the economy of scale to continually lower costs, offers a model choice to support variable and stable workloads, and delivers greater savings as workloads grow. As an example, InfoSpace, a leading provider of metasearch and monetization solutions for customers and partners worldwide, moved from colocation facilities in Washington and Virginia over to AWS, and reported reducing their 2013 capital budget by 72%.

As you can see, utilizing all of the resources and DevOps tools in a managed AWS environment can have a beneficial impact on your organization in many different ways. Working alongside a trusted team like Mission, you can architect a customized plan perfectly suited to meet your company’s key objectives.

Author Spotlight:

Jackie Berkman

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