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Autotask Endpoint Management: Why we use Amazon Web Services

November 11, 2014  
In my opinion, people like to attack Amazon Web Services (AWS) because of their leading position in the market. We see that position as a strength though. 
 
Autotask’s remote monitoring and management (RMM) solution is based in the AWS cloud. That decision was made after assessing multiple cloud hosting platforms, including Microsoft Azure and Rackspace. We ultimately went with AWS on the basis of their existing offering and aggressive roadmap.
 
By planning for failure of individual systems when designing your cloud infrastructure it is possible to minimize or even eliminate disruptions. This is why Autotask’s RMM hosts in multiple AWS regions, so even if one of those AWS regions broke down, we wouldn’t have problems.  A problem many organizations have when moving to the cloud, whether it be Azure or AWS, is that they have forklifted their existing solution into the cloud and that doesn’t really work; if you’ve got an existing solution running against 10 servers in a data center and you decide to host it in the cloud, it is not simply about taking that solution as it is currently designed and architected and then hosting it within the cloud. The organization has to specifically architect the solution to fit within the cloud, so that in the event of a failure, you can shield your customers.
 
The scale, coverage and efficiency of AWS allow us to deliver a service globally, over the Internet, offering functionality to organizations for which IT management has previously been commercially and technically non-viable.
 
The reach and economy of AWS means we have the opportunity to be flexible as the company, and the device estate that we manage, grows. With AWS there is no capital investment in infrastructure and no changes in cost as we take on more customers.
 
In fact, it’s quite the opposite. With the regular price reductions we see from AWS, the ongoing improvements in how we can optimize our technology for the infrastructure plus the ability to reserve instances and play the AWS spot markets, we continually reduce our variable cost per device served. To our investors this seems almost magical; that as we grow not only does our primary variable cost keep falling, but our AWS costs are entirely linear. 
 
Ian van Reenen is General Manager, RMM Product and Engineering, Autotask 
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