30 Days of DevOps, Day 1: Battle of the *aaS-es

Since it costs a lot to win, and even more to lose You and me bound to spend some time wonderin' what to choose.

-R Hunter

Platform matters. Infrastructure matters. These choices are not single choices. Your first choice in a project is actually a whole long series of choices that you make then you "break ground", as it were, and start getting your hands dirty. So this first choice is a big one, a serious one, an important choice. Or it isn't. It seems like the more things change, the more they stay the same. So my choices are Windows, OS X, or Linux. No, wait, it's Exchange, Novell, or DIY Postfix+ClamAV+LDAP, Oops, sorry, I meant it's either Blogger, WordPress, or TypeKit. Ginger, Mary-Ann, or..... Mrs Howell? Jeez, with these cultural references, I'll be lucky if anyone but the AARP hires me. These choices matter, but often for reasons that aren't really good ones for the primary goal. Or rather, once you start to really look at this first choice you begin to realize what your real priorities are. And I have found out, after looking at the ins and outs of the three major cloud IaaS / PaaS providers, that I have a slightly different #1 priority that I thought. Specifically, I'd really like to learn the best platform, which will give me the most job opportunities/increase my skill set/have the most resources re: training, reference, community, etc, but what I need is to make sure that my already sad looking bank account doesn't get sadder.  So here's the breakdown, quick and dirty. If you're interested, you can read some of the more in-depth pros and cons on the github repo for the 30 Dodos here.

Amazon Web Services:

Obviously, the industry leader. With 29 different services, ranging from VPCs to DNS Servers to Petabyte Data Warehousing, AWS has it all. And they have a free tier that offers quite a bit to get started. If my #1 goal, as I thought it was when I started this, was to make me look better to employers, then there would be no questions, AWS would be the winner. It's the industry standard, has been in the game the longest, has the most functionality. But here's the rub; AWS charges you once your usage exceeds the free tier, whether you want/can pay or not. It also bills in 1 hour increments for time-based resources, such as CPU usage. Apparently, managing I/O is tricky as well if your app/cloud infrastructure is public-facing. And although they do offer AWS Activate, which gives more training/support freebies, you would have to me in a Tech Incubator/Seed Fund to get the $1,000 credit for AWS services. 🙁 . Still, I was leaning towards AWS, and was just going to be really diligent about watching usage metrics.

Google Cloud Platform:

Aw hells naw. You know Google ain't gonna let the J. Bezoeezy have all these stacks (of cloud vms). Of course Google is going to be in the I/PaaS market. In typical Google fashion, they rolled out their cloud platform in a way that didn't really look like a platform until all of a sudden BAM! check it out, cloud platform. First was Google App Engine in 2008, then BigQuery for TB datasets & Google Cloud Storage in 2010, Google Cloud SQL in 2011, Google Compute Engine in 2012, oh we have a full cloud stack to rival Amazon's now? How did THAT happen? And, as I am typing this, Google has announced that they are making Andromeda, their SDN product to their US Central and EU West zones. So they are making moves like Jordan. In addition, they are offering "Developers" a $500 credit, to be used over 3 months. I applied yesterday for said credit, and was approved for it within about 6-8 hours. *psssst* I'm not a developer AT ALL.

Microsoft Azure:

Look, I tried Windows 8/8.1. Windows Phone 8. Actually, I really like  Server 2012 R2, particularly the Enterprise version for it's unlimited VMs in Hyper-V. And MS is really trying to listen to it's customers and get Azure to a place where it is a compelling product in the cloud provider space, which it seems to be for large enterprise customers that want to move their on-premise infrastructure into the cloud for greater availability/failover capabilities. But fool me once, shame on...wait, how does this go again? Help me, Ghost of Dubyah. However, MS does have the most compelling offering to save $$$, namely $200 just for signing up, and their BizSpark plan, which gives you $150/month, every month. But I need to expand my horizons here, so although I will probably sign up just to get into the BizSpark plan, it's time to say goodbye (for now) to MS.

Final Choice: Google Cloud Platform

I will certainly create accounts with each provider and poke at each one, but it seems like Google is charging into this space right now, and the corresponding freebies that Google tends to give away when doing so (I still have about 15 grandfathered Google Apps domains at the free tier. It's getting to be a hassle keeping them active) will make this project pretty easy to manage from the cost-perspective. Plus, SDN is way cool. Since Gmail  came out I have drank the Mt. View kool-aid pretty hard, so it will  be an easy world to live in, as I'm very familiar. And the Android integration makes the possibility that this project might actually produce a useable Android App is a very nice upside as well. So there we go. Off to the races with GCP. Which is oddly similar to the MCP. END OF LINE Again with the decade-old cultural references. *sigh*
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