At last the moment we have all been waiting for. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has just announced that Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) is being rolled out in Europe.

This is great news for us as we’ve been playing with EC2 while it was only available in the US. But now there’s a fully-fledged European data centre we can really get going with what we’ve been planning to do for quite some time.

Amazon Web Services logo

Let me explain:

We believe that every client has their own unique hosting requirements. That’s why we’ve never resold hosting or entered into any affiliate relationships.

This mindset has given us the opportunity to test and use a wide range of hosting set-ups and providers.

From virtual private servers (VPS’s) to managed dedicated servers we’ve toyed with them all.

We aren’t particularly keen on adding to all the hype but we are genuinely excited by what Amazon Web Services has to offer.

Now that EC2 has finally landed in Europe we will be upping our testing of AWS by deploying our own live site on EC2.

Yes, yes, I can hear your wails of derision. Why do this when you could get a dedicated server for a similar price? Why would you deploy your live site on an untried platform? Etc, etc, etc.

Well of course many of these assertions are valid but here’s the thing: we’ve guesstimated the risk and believe we can derive far greater value from migrating now and learning from the experience.

Having looked at server logs over the years it is clear that numerous people and companies overpay for underutilised server capacity. And in these cases it is clear that using a service such as AWS would offer numerous operational benefits.

What’s more we don’t particularly feel comfortable advising clients to use something if we have no “real world” experience of using it ourselves.

So in a nutshell the potential benefits AWS could provide, in certain circumstances, is to compelling to ignore.

Irrespective of the outcome this is something we are certainly looking forward to and deep-down I have a funny feeling we won’t regret this one.

François Roshdy

François is director of user experience at Border Crossing UX. He specialises in helping clients continuously improve the experiences they deliver.