Friday, October 10, 2008

Cloud for Windows

Recently Amazon made an announcement that they will be introducing Windows Server and SQL Server in cloud. However, they are not first ones to do that. There is already a cloud service called Go Grid. It been around since March and not many people know about. For our latest project we decided to give it a try and found it to very useful. Few advantages Go Grid have right now over EC2
· 24/7 technical support that comes with the account at no extra change.
· Nice interface for creating and deleting servers.
· Licensed Win 2003, Win 2008 and SQL Server 2005.
· Have prepaid plans.
· Free F5 load balancers.
· They have a $50 trial plan.

Few disadvantages compare to EC2
· Right now they don’t have a cloud storage service. (According to Go Grid blog this feature will be made available very soon).
· They don’t have a backup solution. To backup one has to use some third party solution as or S3.
· No support for custom OS images for now.
· Will get charged for server resources even if the server is shutdown. Only way to not incur charges is to delete the server.
· Currently their instances are limited to 2GB of RAM. However, this month they are supposed to be introducing 4GB and 8GB instances. (Can’t wait for that.)

Overall, my experience with the service is good except some initial setup issues. I would recommend anyone who is interested in hosting their application in a cloud give Go Grid a try.

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