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A 3-week startup can’t afford to buy, manage or co-lo their own servers.

Fortunately, there are a number of great cloud hosting providers that make it fast, easy and inexpensive to deploy webservers.  Of those options, we chose Amazon Web Services (AWS). Here’s why:

  1. We know it. Nimbus Health, my first startup, uses AWS and our experience has been great. Since we’re so short on time, being able to make a bet on a technology we know well and can trust to do the right thing is a big win.
  2. It’s free/cheap. AWS recently announced new customers can run a Micro instance (i.e. tiny virtualized server) free for a year. That’s perfect for us because it enables us to work out all of our AWS-specific deployment issues (configuring our AMI, getting our DB on an EBS, testing out load balancing, etc.) for almost no cost.  Even when we add new servers to test scale, we’ll spend next to nothing during this pre-launch phase (i.e. < $25), and very little after that ($50 – $150/month?).
  3. It scales (all by itself). Our launch is gonna be big! Right? Well, we’ll see, but in the event it is (and it will be!), there’s nothing sexier than AWS’s auto-scaling. As soon as our servers reach a critical load threshold, boom, another instance is up behind the load balancer to help out.
  4. We didn’t have OnCompare. Look, we love AWS, but like many of you, we were daunted by the notion of evaluating all of the cloud hosting providers available before we got cranking. So we did what everyone does in the pre-OnCompare world – picked the option we knew that was good enough. With a little luck, and a lot of work, maybe there will be another option on Jan. 31st. (wink face)

Alright, you’re in the drivers seat. Which way would you have gone for hosting?