AWS Fargate Pricing and Alternatives

Overview

In this article, we will cover AWS Fargate pricing. The areas that will be addressed are:

Schedule a call to find out why Fargate users are moving to IronWorker to run their background tasks. IronWorker offers broad and effective support, excellent service, and competitive pricing.

Introduction to AWS Fargate

Many types of software and vendor services vie for attention in the world of container management. That’s abundantly true in the field of container management. Here, as in other areas of IT, big vendors have rolled out their name brand products to try to grab market share. For example, AWS pushes AWS Fargate as an option.

AWS Fargate is the next generation of AWS EC2. It’s a tool for serverless container management. AWS Fargate allows developers to simply work up a container and deploy it with ease of use and convenience. Some also use it to connect to object storage systems such as S3.

AWS Fargate Pricing Breakdown

There are several factors in how AWS Fargate pricing works: 

  • Amount of CPU resources – Users may pay more for larger systems that have higher CPU running over a given amount of time. In order to calculate the amount you will be paying for CPU depends on the amount of time, the percentage of vCPU being used, and the amount of GB’s being used. For instance, is you have used 5 hours worth of service and are using 0.5GB, your vCPU will be calculated as follows: 5×0.25vCPUx0.5GB=$0.071 USD.
  • Amount of memory resources – Users may also pay more for an AWS Fargate project with larger instances using more RAM. Using the same example above, you would be paying $0.013 for RAM.
  • Time running – Importantly, AWS Fargate charges for the hours when the container workloads are running, not the hours when the virtual machine itself is running. That means that users get savings if their containers don’t run as long. (Actually, AWS Fargate bills “per second,” but many users choose to rely on a per-hour cost basis for convenience.).

This per-hour pricing can make project estimates difficult. Developers might have to think about considerations like:

  • Whether the serverless container project is just being used for quick cleanups or batch handling, or running in the background 24/7
  • What kind of buy-in they have for long-term operation from different departments that are involved (and how well the top brass understands the pricing model) 
  • What kinds of resources their containers require in terms of CPU and RAM

AWS Compute Savings Plans

Importantly, AWS Fargate changed its costs in 2019, cutting some project costs down as much as 35%, with something called the Compute Savings Plan.

These types of plans cover both EC2 and AWS Lambda, as well as AWS Fargate. Amazon describes them this way:

“In exchange for a commitment to a consistent amount of usage (measured in $/hour) for a 1 or 3-year term. When you sign up for a Savings Plan, you will be charged the discounted Savings Plans price for your usage up to your commitment.”

That doesn’t change the calculus around how AWS Fargate is billed. Third-party analysts have put together detailed graphs showing whether EC2 or AWS Fargate breaks cheaper for a given project based on the container reservation rate, or the number of resources reserved for the container within the broader system.

Alternatives to AWS Fargate

When you seek out alternative to AWS Fargate like IronWorker, you see how significant savings can apply.

 Like AWS Fargate, IronWorker is a “compute engine” meant to help developers work with containers without an in-depth lack of server knowledge.

IronWorker leads the pack with broad and effective support, excellent service, and competitive pricing. Check out a 14-day free trial of this comprehensive resource for running containers with the versatility that you need

However, IronWorker charges by the month, with a free 14-day trial, so the initial cost will be relatively low, and can be markedly lower than using AWS Fargate with all of its convenience features built-in. With a “hobby price” of $24/month for one concurrency and 5 hrs/month with 256 MB of RAM, IronWorker would be significantly less than AWS Fargate for many types of projects, especially those that run 24/7, around the clock, or even most of the way around the clock.

As a serverless container management compute engine, IronWorker provides significant benefits beyond pricing, such as:

  • Key support features mean that development teams feel well served and that they can move forward with confidence, no matter what their architecture looks like or how they have provisioned containers (with some caveats!)
  • A DevOps philosophy allows for agile workload modernization and bringing systems toward a desired state.
  • The simplicity of IronWorker allows developers to tackle the learning curve right away, and master their environments more quickly.

Modern virtualization projects may have to “wear a lot of hats,” with attention to immediate business value as well as long term scaling. That’s when you need to have capable tools with good support, not just the best penny-pinching.

AWS Fargate and IronWorker: Other Context Factors

Some point out that AWS Fargate can be cheaper than EC2. True, but it also depends on many of the above factors. Dev teams will have to do the math to be on top of the cost factor and to defend their choices to gatekeepers.

Then there’s the option to use AWS Lambda for serverless computing.

This essentially involves ordering sets of computing functions from the vendor. Using AWS Lambda is an abstraction that fits some task models, but for other teams, it may be “too much, too soon,” with a more subtle strategy involving virtualizing container instances.

 IronWorker remains one of the easiest options for agile container systems. The platform makes it easy to scale, and easy to build for tomorrow, without an unreasonable impact on either CAPEX or OPEX costs. It’s part of the smart builder’s toolkit in the “age of Kubernetes,” where logical hardware systems are evolving quickly. The cloud is becoming a dominant method of vendor service implementation, and teams are looking toward new efficiencies with compute-storage solutions. 

IronWorker leads the pack with broad and effective support, excellent service, and competitive pricing. Sign up for your free 14-day trial and see what it’s all about.

AWS Fargate vs. Kubernetes

Introduction

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AWS Fargate and Kubernetes are two popular alternatives for container management software—but which one is right for you? In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Fargate and Kubernetes to make the right choice: features, cost, reviews, and more.

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AWS Fargate vs. Kubernetes: Features and Benefits

AWS Fargate Features

AWS Fargate is part of the Amazon Web Services public cloud. The features of AWS Fargate include:

  • Serverless computing: AWS Fargate is a serverless platform, which means that users don’t have to deal with provisioning and managing servers themselves. Instead, you can simply start and stop containers when you want, and pay only for the resources you consume. This model is often referred to as CaaS (containers as a service).
  • Part of the AWS ecosystem: AWS offers a wide variety of products and services—from compute and storage to data analytics. This includes Amazon ECS and EKS, which are container management services that require more manual configuration than Fargate. If you’re already an AWS customer, using Fargate could be a natural next step.

Kubernetes Features

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration system originally built by Google. The features of Kubernetes include:

  • Flexibility: Unlike AWS Fargate, Kubernetes isn’t tied to a specific deployment environment, which helps you avoid vendor lock-in. You can install Kubernetes in the public cloud or on-premises, as suits your needs. In fact, Amazon offers its own managed Kubernetes solution: Amazon EKS (Elastic Kubernetes Service).
  • Rich feature set: Kubernetes provides a variety of abstractions and features to help manage and orchestrate your containers. With Kubernetes, you can automate container deployments, monitoring, horizontal and vertical scaling, load balancing, rollbacks, and more.

AWS Fargate vs. Kubernetes: Pricing

While both AWS Fargate and Kubernetes are full of appealing features, that’s not the only factor that matters when choosing a container management solution. In this section, we’ll discuss how much AWS Fargate and Kubernetes cost for the average enterprise.

How Much Does AWS Fargate Cost?

AWS Fargate pricing is based on a “pay as you go” model: there are no upfront costs, and you pay only for the compute and memory resources that you consume. As of writing, the AWS website lists the following prices for the US east region:

  • $0.04048 per vCPU per hour
  • $0.004445 per gigabyte per hour

“Spot pricing” is a technique to lower your AWS Fargate costs for tasks that can handle occasional interruptions. With spot pricing, if AWS needs the resources you’re using for other purposes, it will interrupt your current task with two minutes of advance notice. As of writing, AWS spot pricing is as follows:

  • $0.01255409 per vCPU per hour
  • $0.00137853 per gigabyte per hour

For tasks that can handle stops and starts from time to time, spot pricing is an excellent way to dramatically slash your AWS Fargate costs.

How Much Does Kubernetes Cost?

Kubernetes is ostensibly a free and open-source platform. However, using Kubernetes in production in an enterprise IT environment will likely require you to use a Kubernetes managed service.

A study by Replex.io looked at the costs of running a 100-core, 400-gigabyte Kubernetes cluster on the top three public cloud providers: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. The costs of running Kubernetes for one year are as follows:

  • AWS: $50,882 (direct deployment, on-demand instances); $50,064 (managed Kubernetes, on-demand instances)
  • Microsoft Azure: $43,730 (direct deployment, on-demand instances); $42,048 (managed Kubernetes, on-demand instances)
  • Google Cloud Platform: $32,040 (direct deployment, on-demand instances); $30,874 (managed Kubernetes, on-demand instances)

user reviews

AWS Fargate vs. Kubernetes: Reviews

AWS Fargate and Kubernetes both seem like appealing options—so what do their users have to say? In this section, we’ll go over AWS Fargate and Kubernetes reviews from real customers to see how these container management solutions work in the real world.

AWS Fargate Reviews

AWS Fargate currently has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on the business software review website G2. According to one reviewer, AWS Fargate is “simple container management that simply works”:

“As with most Amazon AWS products, Fargate’s UI is simple and very easy to navigate. I love that the AWS Fargate product allows for container storage management without the management of servers, as well.”

Most reviewers give Fargate 4 or 5 stars, but they also mention some potential issues:

  • The need for in-depth knowledge of other AWS offerings such as Amazon EC2.
  • Some issues with support and documentation.
  • Higher costs than running your own servers on-premises.

Kubernetes Reviews

Kubernetes, meanwhile, has received a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on G2. Reviewer Marek O. writes:

“Kubernetes does a really good job when it comes to container orchestration… It has reduced time-to-live for our services by an order of magnitude. It also helps to avoid vendor lock-in and allows easy portability of your tech stack between various infrastructure providers, both in the cloud and on-premises.”

While most Kubernetes reviews are largely positive, some users note a few issues with the platform:

  • A steep learning curve for users who are new to Kubernetes (including poor documentation), as well as challenges with troubleshooting.
  • The lack of a default graphical user interface.
  • Below-average ratings for ease of setup (6.7 out of 10, vs. the industry average of 7.8) and ease of use (7.4 out of 10, vs. the industry average of 8.3).

AWS Fargate vs. Kubernetes Alternatives

While AWS Fargate and Kubernetes are both competitive options for a container management tool, they’re far from the only choices out there. IronWorker is a container-based distributed work-on-demand platform that has been designed to remedy exactly the issues that many users face with Fargate and Kubernetes.

IronWorker has been built from the ground up to be a powerful, user-friendly, cost-effective container management solution. The benefits of IronWorker include:

  • Flexibility: Unlike AWS Fargate, IronWorker can run in any environment: public cloud, on-premises, dedicated servers, or a hybrid configuration that combines on-premises and the cloud. This lets you avoid vendor lock-in and easily adapt to a rapidly changing IT landscape.
  • Simplicity: IronWorker offers a clear, straightforward, user-friendly dashboard that provides detailed insights into both high-level trends and granular metrics. Like AWS Fargate, IronWorker is serverless, so you don’t need to worry about managing servers yourself.
  • Excellent support: The IronWorker platform also has extensive documentation, including code samples and training videos, so that you can get up to speed right away. Iron.io also offers “white-glove” support to help you with custom configurations.

Eddie Dombrowski, senior software engineer at Bleacher Report, describes how his team saw a “dramatic performance improvement” when switching to IronWorker:

“Before Iron.io, we were constantly triaging production issues. After Iron.io, we delivered billions of push notifications with ease.”

Conclusion

To sum up, let’s look at some of the most important factors in our AWS Fargate vs. Kubernetes comparison:

  • Features: Fargate uses the serverless computing model, while the standard version of Kubernetes does not. Fargate can only be deployed in the AWS cloud, while Kubernetes can be deployed in any public cloud or on-premises.
  • Pricing: AWS Fargate is a “pay as you go” solution, while the pricing and payment model of Kubernetes will depend on the provider you choose.
  • Reviews: Both AWS Fargate and Kubernetes are generally well-reviewed, although some users have mentioned problems with high costs and steep learning curves.

AWS Fargate and Kubernetes are both popular choices for container management software—but they’re far from the only option, and they aren’t the right option for every organization. The possible disadvantages of Fargate and Kubernetes include potentially higher costs, a steep learning curve, and challenges with support and documentation.

IronWorker is a mature, feature-rich container management solution that powers high-demand websites such as HotelTonight, Bleacher Report, and Untappd. Want to see the benefits of IronWorker for yourself? Get in touch with our team today for a chat about your business needs and objectives, and a 14-day free trial of the IronWorker platform.

The Top 7 Container Management Software

Overview

In this article, we will review the Top 7 container management solutions in 2020. The services we will be covering are:

  • IronWorker
  • Amazon ECS
  • AWS Fargate
  • Google Kubernetes Engine
  • Apache Mesos
  • Portainer
  • Rancher

IronWorker is a high-performance, feature-rich container management solution that powers some of the world’s top websites. Contact us today to start your 14-day free trial of IronWorker.

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Introduction

Containers are software units that package together an application’s source code with its runtime environment, including libraries, frameworks, and configuration settings. In so doing, containers help your software operate consistently and predictably, no matter which system it’s running on.

Containers are software units that package together an application’s source code with its runtime environment, including libraries, frameworks, and configuration settings. In so doing, containers help your software operate consistently and predictably, no matter which system it’s running on.

Given the appeal of container solutions such as Docker and Kubernetes, it’s no surprise that container adoption and investment continues to grow rapidly among enterprise IT teams. To make the process even easier, many businesses employ container management software to automatically create, deploy, and scale containers.

But which container management software is best for your needs? Below, we’ll discuss 7 of the top container management software tools, so that you can make the choice that’s right for your situation.

The Top 7 Container Management Software

1. IronWorker

We’d be remiss here if we didn’t mention that IronWorker is one of the best container management software tools on the market. IronWorker is a container-based, distributed work-on-demand platform that’s built on top of the Docker container format.

The advantages of IronWorker include its ease of use and excellent support. IronWorker comes with a simple visual dashboard with strong reporting and analytics functionality, giving you insight into both high-level trends and low-level granularities. In addition, IronWorker offers detailed documentation and “white-glove” assistance to clients who need help developing custom configurations.

One of the best features of IronWorker is its tremendous flexibility. IronWorker is capable of deploying in whatever environment you need it to, including:

  • Shared cloud infrastructure
  • Hybrid cloud and on-premises environments
  • Iron.io’s dedicated server hardware
  • On-premises IT infrastructure

IronWorker currently has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on the business software review website G2. One user writes:

“I improved my CSV breakdown work drastically by putting 10 IronWorkers on the job. Up to that point, I was just using larger AWS instances… The UI is very intuitive and gives really good detail about the time each job takes. I can run my Workers and then have them put the finished product on a message queue—which means my whole ETL process is done without any hassle.”

2. Amazon ECS

Amazon Web Services is the most popular public cloud infrastructure platform, and for good reason: it offers a wide range of products and capabilities, from storage and compute to machine learning and data migration. Amazon ECS is a fully managed container orchestration service from AWS that is one of the top container management software tools.

The benefits of Amazon ECS include:

  • Scalability and high performance, with the ability to deploy thousands of containers simultaneously.
  • Access permissions that strictly govern the resources available for each container, helping maintain a high degree of security.
  • Excellent reliability, with guaranteed monthly uptime of 99.99 percent.

G2 reviewers currently give Amazon ECS a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Reviewer Dave B. praises the service’s “power, flexibility, and customizability in setting up multiple containers on a set of EC2 instances. Great to deploy to one or more instances (kinda sorta easily), and fairly comprehensive providing information about the instances to which you’re deploying. It ties in pretty nicely with the rest of the Amazon ecosystem.” However, he also mentions some negatives of the platform, including a high learning curve and a difficult debugging process.

3. AWS Fargate

AWS Fargate is a container management solution that is specifically designed for serverless computing. Serverless computing is a computing paradigm in which the end user doesn’t have to worry about provisioning and managing servers. It’s worth noting that AWS Fargate isn’t the only container management software to use the serverless paradigm: for example, IronWorker also offers serverless capabilities, handling messy behind-the-scenes questions about infrastructure and scaling.

Rather than being its own container management software, AWS Fargate is used in conjunction with Amazon ECS to deploy, manage, and scale containers in the cloud. To get started, users simply have to build the container image, specify the system requirements (including CPU and memory), define the necessary access and network policies, and finally deploy the container. In addition to Amazon ECS, Fargate is also compatible with Amazon EKS, the AWS “Kubernetes as a service” offering.

AWS Fargate currently has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on G2. One user writes: “Fargate’s UI is simple and very easy to navigate. I love that the AWS Fargate product allows for container storage management without the management of servers, as well.” However, common complaints about Fargate include higher costs and a few annoying feature limitations.

4. Google Kubernetes Engine

Not to be outdone by AWS, Google Cloud Platform also offers its own container management software: Google Kubernetes Engine. GKE works with Docker containers and uses the Kubernetes open-source container management system.

The benefits of Google Kubernetes Engine include:

  • Automatic container and environment management, including scaling, repairing nodes, and upgrading Kubernetes.
  • Simple identity and access management.
  • Compliance with data privacy regulations such as HIPAA and PCI DSS.
  • Integration with Google Cloud Platform tools for logging and monitoring.

Google Kubernetes Engine has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on G2. One reviewer writes that GKE “has a great UI and intuitive integration with the Kubernetes dashboard. Furthermore, adding users to clusters is definitely a lot easier than the AWS solution.” However, the reviewer also mentions that Google’s support is lacking when compared with AWS. Other complaints include a higher learning curve, challenges setting up persistent storage, and even potential security issues.

5. Apache Mesos

Apache Mesos is an open-source cluster management tool that can be used to deploy, manage, and scale Docker images. Initially developed as a research project at UC Berkeley, Apache Mesos is now used by major tech companies from Airbnb and Netflix to Cisco and PayPal.

Mesos ensures that different applications and containers have access to the resources they need to run within a cluster, including CPU, memory, and storage. Frameworks and projects such as Hadoop, Ruby on Rails, Node.js, and Memcached are all compatible with Apache Mesos. Because Mesos is part of the Apache open-source software ecosystem, it integrates well with other Apache tools such as Spark, a large-scale data processing engine.

The Apache Mesos software currently has 4.2 out of 5 stars on G2. Users generally praise Mesos’ efficiency and effectiveness, in particular the ease of use it offers by abstracting away the complicated IT details. However, some users mention that Mesos suffers from strange design choices and configuration options, insufficient documentation, and bugs such as memory leaks.

6. Portainer

Like Apache Mesos, Portainer is an open-source container management software tool. Portainer bills itself as “a lightweight management UI that allows you to easily manage your different Docker environments,” and is compatible with both Docker Swarm clusters and Kubernetes.

The top features of Portainer include:

  • Authentication: Portainer has three different ways to perform user authentication: internal methods, LDAP, or OAuth.
  • Templates: Users can deploy Docker Swarm services and Docker containers using predefined templates, dramatically simplifying the process.
  • Web interface: Portainer has a simple web interface that allows developers to directly inspect containers and check their logs, rather than going through a complex multi-step connection process.

Portainer currently has an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on G2. PHP developer Khaled A. writes: “I’m very satisfied with the interface and how it’s easy to use! It’s very straightforward, easy to understand, and also easy to install.” However, multiple reviewers complain that the tool is challenging to use in clustered mode for new users. Other issues include bugs while using the software, as well as a subscription-based pricing model for software plugins rather than a lifetime purchase.

7. Rancher

Last but not least, Rancher is an open-source container managment tool that serves as “a complete software stack for teams managing containers.” Using Rancher, you can deploy, manage, and scale containers and Kubernetes clusters on bare-metal servers, as well as public and private clouds.

The features of Rancher include:

  • A simple UI that centralizes and simplifies the process of deploying, securing, maintaining, and upgrading Kubernetes clusters.
  • Best practices for security and compliance, including encryption, audit logging, and rate limiting.
  • Support for hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
  • Support for DevOps tools such as Jenkins, Gitlab, and Travis.

Rancher has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on G2, where users give it above-average marks for ease of use but below-average marks for ease of setup. One reviewer writes that “Rancher was easy to get set up, reliable, and made container orchestration a breeze.” Still, the tool isn’t without its flaws: some users say that they had problems with bugs and performance issues, while others complain about missing features that the software could benefit from.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve gone over 7 of the top container management software. So which of these container management tools is best for your situation? Here are our thoughts:

  • IronWorker: Best if you need a flexible, user-friendly tool that can run in multiple environments: public cloud, hybrid, dedicated, and on-premises.
  • Amazon ECS: Best if you want to leverage the rest of the Amazon Web Services ecosystem.
  • AWS Fargate: Best if you’re specifically looking for a serverless container management solution within AWS.
  • Google Kubernetes Engine: Best if you want to work with Google Cloud Platform.
  • Apache Mesos: Best if you want a robust open-source container management tool, or one that integrates well with the Apache ecosystem.
  • Portainer: Best if you need an open-source tool that’s compatible with both Docker Swarm and Kubernetes.
  • Rancher: Best if you want an end-to-end container management solution for Kubernetes clusters.

Want to enjoy container management software that’s cloud-native, easy to use, and built to scale for your high-performance needs? Give IronWorker a try.

Get in touch with our team today for a chat about your business goals and requirements, and start your free 14-day trial of the IronWorker platform.

AWS Fargate vs. IronWorker

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Overview

Deciding on a container management solution for your worker system is an important decision for startups and enterprises. This article will compare two industry leading container management services, AWS Fargate and IronWorker, in terms of:

  • Features and Benefits
  • Pricing
  • User Reviews
  • And more…

Schedule a demo today to find out why Fargate users are moving to IronWorker.

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Introduction

The serverless computing paradigm has taken the world of cloud computing by storm. Traditionally, cloud services require you to provision, manage, scale, and shut down servers yourself when running applications. Serverless computing handles this functionality for you, letting you focus on the task at hand rather than the technical details.

AWS Fargate is Amazon Web Services’ serverless offering, allowing users to run containers in the cloud without needing to manage them. In a previous article, we gave an overview of AWS Fargate that looked at some of the most popular AWS Fargate alternatives. This article will dive deeper into the comparison between Fargate and one of its top serverless competitors: IronWorker.

AWS Fargate vs. IronWorker: Features and Benefits

AWS Fargate and IronWorker are both robust, mature, feature-rich solutions for serverless container management. But how do their features stack up against each other?

Both Fargate and IronWorker are tremendously powerful and scalable container management tools. According to the AWS Fargate website, users can “launch tens or tens of thousands of containers in seconds.” IronWorker, too, allows users to spin up thousands of parallel workers at once.

When it comes to different deployment options, however, IronWorker is far ahead of Fargate:

  • AWS Fargate is only capable of running in the public cloud—more specifically, the AWS cloud. This has both advantages and disadvantages. Using Fargate allows you to take advantage of synergies with the rest of the AWS ecosystem, but also limits you in terms of the features and benefits that you can enjoy.
  • IronWorker is able to run not only in the public cloud, but also in a hybrid environment, on a dedicated server, or even on-premises. In a hybrid environment combining the cloud and on-premises, your containers can run on your own hardware, while IronWorker deals with concerns such as authentication and scheduling. Running containers on a dedicated server allows users to benefit from IronWorker’s built-in scaling functionality.

IronWorker’s high degree of flexibility, which makes it practically unique in the container management field, has important repercussions for the choice of AWS Fargate vs. IronWorker. Many businesses need to maintain legacy services on-premises, which makes using AWS Fargate an impossibility. In addition, relying too much on Fargate and the AWS ecosystem may result in vendor lock-in, making you unable to compete and innovate in a constantly evolving cloud landscape.

IronWorker also beats AWS Fargate when it comes to support. On the business software review website G2, IronWorker has an average “quality of support” rating of 9.2 out of 10, which is significantly higher than the industry average of 8.2. Fargate, meanwhile, has an average support rating of 8.2 out of 10, putting it right in the middle of the container management field.

Because IronWorker has a smaller clientele, the Iron.io team is able to offer “white-glove” service to customers who need extra assistance in getting their containers up and running. In addition, users can benefit from IronWorker’s extensive documentation, complete with training videos and example code repositories.

AWS Fargate vs. IronWorker: Pricing

When it comes to pricing for AWS Fargate vs. IronWorker, which one is more cost-effective for your business? The answer will depend on what you’re looking for, as both tools use different pricing models.

AWS Fargate pricing is based on the CPU and memory resources that you use while running containers, and you pay only for what you consume. Pricing will also depend on the AWS region that you use. For example, as of writing, the AWS Fargate prices for the US East (Northern Virginia) AWS region are as follows:

  • $0.04048 per vCPU per hour
  • $0.004445 per gigabyte of storage per hour

Spot pricing is an option to lower your AWS Fargate costs, if your applications can tolerate the possibility of occasional interruptions. As of writing, the AWS Fargate spot pricing rates are:

  • $0.01255795 per vCPU per hour
  • $0.00137895 per gigabyte of storage per hour

For more discussion about AWS Fargate pricing, keep reading for AWS Fargate user reviews.

IronWorker has three separate tiers for organizations of different sizes, as well as a custom enterprise tier, making it easy for every user to find a plan that works for them. The three IronWorker pricing tiers are:

  • Hobby ($259/year): 1 concurrency, 5 hours/month, 256 megabytes of RAM, 60 seconds of runtime.
  • Launch ($1,609/year): 5 concurrencies, 50 hours/month, 512 megabytes of RAM, 60 minutes of runtime.
  • Professional ($10,789/year): 30 concurrencies, 500 hours/month, 512 megabytes of RAM, 60 minutes of runtime, automatic scaling, and organizational support.

AWS Fargate vs. IronWorker: Reviews

Thus far, we’ve discussed how AWS Fargate and IronWorker compare in theory, in terms of their features, pros and cons, and technical differences. But how do these two container management tools compare in practice? Let’s look at some AWS Fargate and IronWorker reviews to find out.

AWS Fargate reviews are largely positive, with a current average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on the business software review website G2:

  • According to front-end developer Sima I., AWS Fargate is “the best way to run containers in AWS without hours of setup.” However, she also mentions that the cost of AWS Fargate may be prohibitive for smaller businesses: “The pricing isn’t great and didn’t fit our startup’s needs.”
  • Small business founder and CEO Ralph K. writes: “The best thing about Fargate is that you can just start out of the gate without setting up servers… it’s all managed in a black box for you by AWS.” As with the previous review, the main negative was pricing: “Fargate is a good bit pricier than running your own servers.”
  • Other reviews mention problems with Fargate’s learning curve and support, although this may be less of an issue if you’re already used to the AWS ecosystem.

IronWorker reviews on G2 are slightly higher than AWS Fargate, with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Many users praise IronWorker’s ease of setup and use:

  • CTO Daniel M. writes: “IronWorker runs my PHP code straight out of the box. Scheduling jobs is simple. It just works. Love it.”
  • Software engineer Erik J. agrees, writing: “The dashboard makes keeping track of various tasks and workers easy. There’s very little maintenance required once set up.”
  • Reviewer James C. says that IronWorker “helped us harness the efficiency of the cloud,” adding: “We used Iron.io as a one-stop shop to help us get onto the cloud and tune our services to get cloud efficiencies… The result has been a drastic reduction in the AWS spend we have been getting, as we are finally optimized to take advantage of the elasticity that cloud computing offers.”

Conclusion

Both AWS Fargate and IronWorker are strong alternatives for serverless container management software—but which one is ultimately the right choice for you? When it comes to the question of AWS Fargate vs. IronWorker, the right choice will depend on your unique needs and objectives.

Although Fargate is a leader in the field of serverless computing, it also comes with downsides such as the lack of control and potentially higher costs. Here’s how the decision breaks down:

  • Features: Both AWS Fargate and IronWorker have excellent performance and scalability, with thousands of containers running simultaneously. Unlike Fargate, however, IronWorker offers far more flexibility in terms of deployment options: public cloud, hybrid, dedicated servers, and on-premises. IronWorker also has the advantage when it comes to customer support.
  • Pricing: AWS Fargate uses an à la carte pricing model in which you pay only for what you use. IronWorker uses a subscription-based annual pricing model with usage caps for different tiers.
  • Reviews: Both AWS Fargate and IronWorker have strong user reviews, although IronWorker’s reviews are slightly more positive.

While there’s no solution that’s right for every organization, IronWorker is a highly competitive alternative to AWS Fargate that powers some of the world’s largest brands, including Hotel Tonight, Bleacher Report, and Untappd.

Interested in giving IronWorker a try? Get in touch with our team today for a chat about your business needs and objectives, and a free 14-day trial of the IronWorker platform.

What is AWS Fargate?

This article will explore what is AWS Fargate. It will also cover some of the following areas:

  • What are containers
  • How AWS Fargate works
  • The pros and cons of AWS Fargate

More and more enterprises are swearing off AWS as a vendor – WalMart, FedEx, UPS, Target. Test out the #1 Fargate alternative – IronWorker. We’re Cloud pioneers & battle proven. Speak to us to talk about why.

Table of Contents

What is AWS Fargate?

What You Need to Know About Containers

How Does AWS Fargate Work?

Pros of AWS Fargate

Cons of AWS Fargate

What is AWS Fargate?

Before the invention of AWS Fargate, you had to make sure you had provisioned and managed servers to ensure that your code could run anywhere. This required a lot of memory resources and it was very time consuming to launch an app. AWS Fargate allows you to build and manage applications using serverless containers. It lets you do this from anywhere and with limited resources. This is because auto scaling allows a Fargate task to seamlessly meet your application’s computing requirements.  

A great alternative to AWS Fargate is IronWorker. It comes with three great features that make it better than AWS Fargate. These are:

  • Simplicity
  • Support
  • More deployment options

The emergence of cloud services and open source code has allowed the developer community to build and deploy more applications. Running a task using AWS Fargate is also much easier because it works with both ECS and EKS. AWS Fargate allows you to choose the right computing amount. Thus, it eliminates the responsibility of having to select Amazon EC2 instances

What You Need to Know About Containers

Containers are a type of technology that developers use to make and run the software. A container has everything that an application needs to run. This includes:

  • The application’s code
  • Frameworks of the container and other configuration files

The first container technologies were Kubernetes and Docker. A container management service is often needed to run the containers – Amazon elastic container service.

How Does AWS Fargate Work?

AWS Fargate is an improvement on ECS because it allows you to manage your containers without servers. The service Elastic Container Service (ECS) based. This is a platform that allows your virtual machines to manage the containers. Initially, AWS Fargate started with Amazon ECS. But ECS still required servers for managing containers. AWS Fargate launch type does not require any servers and is cloud-based. It does require that you create an AWS account.

AWS Fargate works more efficiently because it allows you to manage your containers without creating a cluster of virtual machines. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have control over task execution. You can create the containers such that they use an elastic network interface. This ensures that there are maximum efficiency and speed. 

The virtual machine instances are responsible for maintaining the containers’ load balance. It also conducts regular upgrades and replaces containers that are failing. This is one of the biggest ECS on AWS Fargate. AWS Fargate differentiates the task of running and managing the underlying infrastructure supporting the containers. This means that you can specify and pay only for the underlying resources needed by each container. 

Pros of AWS Fargate

There are many benefits of using AWS Fargate. Some of them include:

  • Allows you to focus on what’s important, which is building and deploying applications
  • It provides with the underlying infrastructure and resources needed by each container 
  • AWS Fargate also improves the security of the containers
  • AWS Fargate gives you great monitoring capability over your applications
  • Allows sign in as Root user or IAM role
  • Ability to create public subnets with a public IP address, as well as private subnets

Cons of AWS Fargate

Some of the disadvantages of using AWS Fargate include:

  • Less customization
  • AWS Fargate is relatively more expensive as your reservation rate increases
  • Loss of flexibility, performance, and control 
  • Amazon will also charge you more for any additional amazon ECS tasks

Try IronWorker Today

Before you jump into AWS Fargate, consider other alternatives that have better features. One such alternative is IronWorker. The main benefits that IronWorker has over AWS Fargate are simplicity, better support and more deployment options for your containers. 

Try IronWorker on a free 14 day trial by signing up with Iron.io today.

AWS Fargate Reviews

AWS Fargate has received both positive and negative reviews. This article will explore the following:

  • User reviews of AWS Fargate
  • What people like best about AWS Fargate
  • What people mainly dislike about AWS Fargate
  • IronWorker reviews: The AWS Fargate alternative

Enterprises are moving off AWS Fargate to IronWorker to manage their containers. Speak to us to talk about why.

Table of Contents

AWS Fargate Reviews

What People Like Best About AWS Fargate

What People Dislike About AWS Fargate

IronWorker Reviews: The AWS Fargate Alternative

AWS Fargate Reviews

AWS Fargate is still a relatively new player having entered the market in 2017. But many who have used it claimed that it was great. AWS Fargate received a general rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. The ease of use, the fact that Fargate removes server reliance, and useful deployment of applications are among benefits. Developers have also noted that AWS Fargate is more secure, because of the ability to embed security within each container

But AWS Fargate isn’t the only management service to manage and scale your containers. There are other service CaaS and service IaaS options that act as a compute engine and aid with load balancing as well as to manage servers or clusters.

What People Like Best About AWS Fargate

Some of the things that people really like about AWS Fargate include:

  • You don’t need any servers or infrastructure to launch your containers
  • Increased ability to speed up the deployment of applications
  • Enhanced security
  • Allows you to focus on building the application
  • Don’t need to manage a cluster of Amazon EC2 instances
  • Alternative to Amazon Elastic Container Service ECS (AWS ECS) or EKS

The main benefit of AWS Fargate is that you do not have to own any infrastructure to manage your container. This means that any developer can use AWS Fargate and you do not buy any servers. Companies in the technology industry are also able to speed up the production process for of all their applications. AWS Fargate is a good infrastructure management service for dynamically scaling up or down container workloads.

AWS Fargate also comes with an existing ECS. This makes the process of building applications much easier. You can separate the application from the underlying resources. This helps the application become more secure and speeds up the application deployment process. 

AWS Fargate allows you to remain completely focused on the designing and building of applications. This makes the whole process much easier and more efficient. The user interface of AWS Fargate is quite simple which makes it easier to navigate. 

What People Dislike About AWS Fargate

Some of the things that people dislike about AWS Fargate are:

  • Higher charges
  • Compatibility issues 
  • AWS Fargate is complex and difficult to operate
  • Limited storage for containers
  • Limited regional availability 

The main downside of AWS Fargate is that it is more expensive than other services. That’s the case in the short term, and also in the long run when you do not have your servers. AWS Fargate users also pay higher fees per hour than Amazon ECS and EKS users. Many technology startup companies are thus unable to afford AWS Fargate.

The other downside of AWS Fargate is its incompatibility with other types of technologies such as EFS. Some users have also noticed that using AWS Fargate requires some experience and basic knowledge about certain services. As a result, it may not be universally accessible to a wide network of users.

There is also limited storage for containers. You can overcome this challenge by mounting an Elastic File System (EFS) into the AWS Fargate container. However, this makes AWS Fargate more expensive than regular EBS volumes. Currently, such volumes are not supported by AWS Fargate. Users also noted that the quality of support for AWS Fargate is not great. 

Because you don’t manage any of the underlying infrastructures, it is impossible to choose an operating system for the application. This becomes a big disadvantage for companies that run and manage sensitive applications.

AWS Fargate is available regionally. But the service is trying to roll out countrywide. Currently, the service is not available in places such as Northern California, Paris, Mumbai, Beijing, London, Stockholm, and Montreal. 

IronWorker: The AWS Fargate Alternative

Some of the benefits of IronWorker, compared to AWS Fargate, include:

  • Great concurrency features to scheduled task execution
  • Easy to scale, easy to set up and very reliable
  • The hybrid service helps the user have greater control
  • Simple to deploy new instances with one command

The three main advantages of IronWorker over AWS Fargate are simplicity, support, and more deployment options. Choose a management service based on your resources, deployment needs, and client satisfaction goals. This will help you minimize costs and maximize efficiency. 

Sign up with Iron.io today and begin your free 14 day trial with IronWorker.

Fargate Container Startup Time Issues

Overview

This article will explore delay in AWS Fargate startup time. Factors that contribute to this time loss include:

  • Image extract time
  • Load balancer
  • Container size

The article also explores why IronWorker is the preferred alternative to AWS Fargate.

Fargate’s startup time is slowing you down from getting your information to your users. Find out why IronWorker is the faster container solution for your background jobs. Speak to us to talk about why.

Table of Contents

AWS Fargate Container Startup Time Issues

What Causes Delay in Startup Time When Using AWS Fargate?

Does Size of the Container Matter?

Why Choose IronWorker Over AWS Fargate?

AWS Fargate Container Startup Time Issues

  • The extract time for the image
  • The load balancer factor

The main issue with AWS Fargate is the container startup time. This problem is worse when a user is fairly new to the technology. Although AWS Fargate has an advantage in that you do not have to worry about the underlying infrastructure, deployments are much harder. This is because deployments in AWS Fargate may take up to five minutes to complete. Some users claim that it may take even longer, up to 10 minutes.

The below image shows how serverless computing works.

The startup time is negatively affected by the size of the Docker image. The image needs to be downloaded to the host for the task to launch. The larger the size of the Docker image the longer the startup time. AWS Fargate has received many positive reviews, but the delayed startup time is a particularly problematic issue. Luckily, it is not the only management solution for containers. 

One great alternative is IronWorker from Iron.io. IronWorker is an industry-leading solution that is container-based and offers Docker support for a great performance of work on-demand. To get this product, sign up with Iron.io and begin a free 14-day trial today

What Causes Delay in Startup Time When Using AWS Fargate? 

Even a simple container set up can take a long time when using AWS Fargate. Many users get frustrated trying to understand the reason for the delay. 

The two main reasons include:

  • The extract time for the image, which is dependent on image size
  • The load balancer factor

The delayed time is even more frustrating considering that Docker containers’ startup time is mere seconds. AWS Fargate says that reducing the size of the Docker image may help speed up the process. But this is not an optimal solution. The elastic load balancer is responsible for conducting health checks of all instances. When the load balancer is on, the startup time will be longer. But many users have found that even without load balancing, the startup time when using AWS Fargate is much slower.

The image below shows the process of creating containers and how they are launched and managed.

Load balancing health checks take a grace period which is 300 seconds (5 minutes) long. AWS Fargate cannot act on the instances unless the grace period ends. This further delays the startup time especially when the instance is unhealthy. When this happens AWS Fargate will launch a replacement instance. 

Does Size of the Container Matter?

The size of the container, or containers, does matter. Uploading a bigger container will take more time. In addition, it will take more time to stop running larger containers. This is because AWS Fargate waits for the grace period, 300 seconds, to end before removing a running container. This delays the startup time when you want to remove a running container and upload a new one.

The image below shows running containers and hoe they get processed by the container orchestrator and virtual machines.

The grace period is the default time. That means you can reduce it. But eliminating or reducing the grace period does not guarantee that the startup time will be faster. The nature of the application in the container affects the startup time. Some applications will take more time to startup. This may be due to various factors.

One factor is a large number of existing old tasks that are still running. Removing the tasks from the target group and terminating the containers also takes a lot of time. Consequently, adding new applications and larger containers will take more time. Your application will have to pass all the health checks, especially when receiving traffic. AWS Fargate will also delay the startup time because of the target registration process. The load balancer also has to register that the newly added applications are a healthy endpoint. All this takes time especially when you are new to using AWS Fargate. 

Why Choose IronWorker Over AWS Fargate?

AWS Fargate has many great qualities, but the drawbacks of using it are also very significant. IronWorker offers all the great qualities of AWS Fargate without slow startup times. Additionally, you should use IronWorker because it has better support, simplicity, and more deployment options. 

IronWorker helps you develop each task differently depending on your specific needs. This helps get your application or task up and running in no time. IronWorker comes with a simple to use dashboard. You don’t have to be an expert or know a lot about the service to use it. Choosing IronWorker also means that you get more deployment options.

AWS Fargate technology does not have on-premises deployment. But with IronWorker, you get a variety of options such as shared, hybrid, dedicated, and on-premises deployment.

Switch to IronWorker and get a 14-day trial by signing up with Iron.io today

AWS Fargate CloudWatch Logging Issue

AWS Fargate, despite its popularity, has a number of deficiencies. One issue that is commonly mentioned is the Fargate CloudWatch logging issue. This article will explore those issues and offer alternatives. Highlights include:

  • Understanding CloudWatch logs
  • How Fargate introduces CloudWatch log inconsistencies
  • Alternatives to AWS Fargate

If you are experiencing CloudWatch logging issues, try IronWorker and see why enterprises are leaving Fargate for IronWorker. Speak to us to talk about why.

Table of Contents

CloudWatch Logging Inconsistencies: A Drawback of AWS Fargate

AWS Fargate was first launched in 2017 as an innovative way of managing your containers without clusters or servers. This was a major advantage for companies that did not have any infrastructure to support the launch of their containers. AWS Fargate handles much of everything involved in launching a container from provisioning, auto-scaling, and configuration. This allows you to focus on designing a great application.

The growth of cloud computing and infrastructure-as-a-service will continue at a very fast pace. Approximately 67 percent of IT spending will go towards cloud-based services.

There is no denying that there are many advantages to AWS Fargate. But many users who have used the computing engine have discovered some significant drawbacks. There are many CloudWatch logging inconsistencies with AWS Fargate. Luckily, there is a better alternative to managing your containers. IronWorker comes with 3 main features that make it better and easier to use. These three features are simplicity, support, and deployment options. To get IronWorker, sign up with Iron.io, and get a free 14-day trial today

What Are CloudWatch Logs?

CloudWatch logs are tools in AWS Fargate used to store, monitor, and access every log file you may have. The logs are important because they help you manage all your applications. You should be able to check all your logs whenever you want. This will allow you to centralize all of your applications. The image below shows the serverless deployment of containers.

CloudWatch logs help you check your applications for errors. This makes it easy for you to filter or edit them according to different criteria. You can also use CloudWatch logs to permanently store your applications for future use. The logs should show you the applications in real-time. AWS Fargate keeps CloudWatch logs for an indefinite period. But you can change the retention period by adjusting the range from 1 day to 10 years.  

CloudWatch Logging Inconsistencies with Fargate

Using ECS and EKS containers is not always easy, especially for beginners. But it becomes much harder when you use AWS Fargate to manage these containers. The most common problem many users find is that the CloudWatch logs come back empty after running some applications. There is still no known reason as to why you may not be able to find your container logs in AWS Fargate. The image below shows a distributed cloud operating system used to manage multiple functions.

But the most common causes of CloudWatch logging inconsistencies include:

  • There are issues with the host instance
  • The logs you want are not visible because the application contained in the container isn’t writing to the correct location

CloudWatch logging inconsistencies are very serious because they make it impossible for you to track and monitor your application. This means that you can’t know whether the application is running smoothly, or whether it has errors. It is also difficult to get your logs and upload them into an ELK stack that is already deployed in AWS Fargate. 

The logging inconsistencies also make it difficult for you to know what tasks are running. Another inconsistency of the AWS Fargate CloudWatch log is that it doesn’t show a scroll bar even when there is more data available. This issue is mainly caused by the user interface of Fargate’s CloudWatch. This is a major problem especially for users who are new to the system. Additionally, if you don’t have any prior experience launching containers with AWS Fargate, you will run into some inconsistencies with CloudWatch logs.

The CloudWatch logs from AWS Fargate are also very complicated. For instance, the logs are not sent back to the container instance when your task is using the awslogs logs driver. Using an awslogs log driver will also make it hard to get back your application logs because the driver does not support the reading tasks with the command, “docker logs your container name”.

Other Issues with AWS Fargate

AWS Fargate is relatively a new service, which means that there is still a lot of room for improvement. Apart from CloudWatch logging inconsistencies, many users find that AWS Fargate does not have a lot of support.

AWS Fargate developed this service as a way to manage containers without any underlying infrastructure. Further, using AWS Fargate is quite expensive and users pay more when compared to ECS and EKS users. Such prices are not affordable for small or medium-sized companies.

The main advantage of AWS Fargate also becomes a drawback for companies. Not having your own IT infrastructure is cheap and cost-effective in the short term. But it is very expensive in the long run as you will have to rely on third parties for meeting the computing needs of your application. AWS Fargate also makes it harder for you to control, change, and adapt your application in whatever way you want. This is a big drawback in cases where your application is very sensitive. 

AWS Fargate has introduced more products such as AWS App Mesh and Amazon CloudWatch Container Insights to sort out some of the inconsistencies of CloudWatch logging. However, such products are complex and require the user to learn how to use them first. This becomes a time-consuming process that costs you a lot of time and money in training your employees. 

Alternatives to AWS Fargate

AWS Fargate isn’t the only player in the container management industry. The best alternative to AWS Fargate is IronWorker from Iron.io. IronWorker is a container management-based platform that comes with Docker support. Iron.io also offers you IronMQ which provides a reliable way of communication between services and components. IronWorker also takes care of all the servers and scaling needs of your application. This leaves you with the task of handling only the fun stuff, which is, developing the application. IronWorker will do the rest and help you grow your business. Apart from better support and ease of use, IronWorker also comes with more deployment options which include:

  • Hybrid
  • Shared
  • Dedicated
  • On-premises

Choose IronWorker Today

AWS Fargate has many advantages. But the CloudWatch logging inconsistencies make it hard to work with especially if you are a new user. Additionally, the service will cost more and will not provide you with the support you need when you run into a crisis. Luckily, there is a better alternative that will provide you with an even better experience. This alternative is IronWorker from Iron.io. The best part is that you get a free 14-day trial to IronWorker by signing up with Iron.io today.

How to Escape The Lambda 512MB /tmp Storage Limitation

Escape The Lambda 512MB /tmp Storage Limitation

Frustrated with the AWS Lambda 512MB temp storage limitation? Lambda by Amazon Web Services is often touted as one of the most popular serverless solutions, but the frustratingly low 512MB storage limit in the /tmp directory leaves a lot of people looking for a better option. If you find yourself in the situation countless other Lambda users have tried to escape, this guide will help you find a solution like IronWorker so you can get back to work.

You should be working on your application and not dealing with AWS Lambda’s temp storage limitation.  Workload efficient enterprises are leaving Lambda for IronWorker. Speak to us to talk about why.

Table of Contents

Can You Increase The 512MB Limitation?

Will The Temp Storage Limit Impact You?

Finding An Alternative Without Hard Limits

Can You Increase The 512MB Limitation?

Avid Lambda users know that a quick email to the support team will allow them to up certain account limits. Unfortunately, the 512MB placed on the /tmp directory is a hard limit, meaning it cannot be increased no matter how many please you make to the support team.

Will The Temp Storage Limit Impact You?

Many users can get by with the 512MB limitation for quite some time. In reality, it’s one of those little things that go unnoticed until it causes a problem, and the issues it does cause can drastically slow work processes or even make completing certain tasks impossible.

For instance, many users that need to upload fully designed PDFs easily exceed the 512MB limitation, but there are a handful of other file types that might also bring you to the frustrating conclusion that it’s time for a new solution.

Finding An Alternative Without Hard Limits

Simply put, if you have a need to exceed the 512MB hard limit AWS Lambda places on the /tmp directory, you have to choose an alternative that doesn’t give you such a limit.

The Iron Solution

When Lambda was first released, it was quickly recognized by the Iron.io team as an almost identical product to IronWorker, with some caveats. If you’re not familiar with IronWorker, it’s much the same as Lambda, but with higher limits and a longer history.

At the time of Lambda’s release, IronWorker already had 4 years of production under its belt and had long been running on multiple clouds, including AWS, Rackspace, and Microsoft Azure along with your on-premise and private cloud solutions.

What’s more, IronWorker supports every major programming language and, to top it off, it has higher limits than Lambda does, which is certainly pertinent to the situation you currently find yourself in.

Comparing Apples to Apples

The limits are of primary concern to people who find themselves frustrated with Lambda, and IronWorker doesn’t disappoint. For instance, while Lambda’s default memory size is 128MB with a range of 64MB to 1024MB, IronWorker starts out with a higher default of 320MB and a higher range of 320MB to 2048MB.

Beyond that, IronWorker is able to offer a timeout limit of up to 60 minutes with long-running workers also available, compared to the timeout limit of Lambda that sits at just 60 seconds. Add to that IronWorker’s other features, like its ability to support on-premise deployment, scheduling, and dedicated private clusters, and making the switch is simple.

Interested in learning more about how IronWorker stacks up to your current constraints in the AWS Lambda environment? Want to get advice from our team about how the simplicity and benefits of switching over to an Iron solution? Reach out to our friendly support staff to get answers to all of your questions and get started with the transition to ironclad serverless computing.

Looking for an AWS Lambda alternative?

Speak to us to learn about overcoming the issues associated with Lambda

On Prem Software Overview

What is “On Prem” Software?

“On prem” is short for “on premises.” On prem used to be the commonplace approach for software deployment before cloud computing was available. This term often comes up during conversations about the cloud. That’s why understanding exactly what on prem is and how it relates to your IT infrastructure is important.

What is “On Prem”?

On prem refers to the hardware and software that your organization handles on site. You have the physical servers in your own buildings. The software is installed on this equipment or workstations. In some cases, the software and equipment are at a dedicated data center located close to the office’s location.

On prem is the traditional approach for business software and hardware deployment. Before networking technologies and the internet became commonplace, people used to access software through the workstation it was installed on. Your organization handles the procurement, implementation and maintenance of on-premises technology.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is technology that you can access remotely through a third-party service provider. You connect to applications, platforms and hardware resources over the internet. The cloud service provider sets up and maintains all the equipment needed to power this technology.

Cloud technology has transformed the way organizations approach their software and hardware deployments. They didn’t have a choice when it was only on-premises solutions. The cloud is a mature and viable option for many use cases.

What is the Hybrid Cloud?

The hybrid cloud covers IT infrastructure that uses cloud resources for part of its operations and on prem solutions for others. This approach seeks to take advantage of the best parts of the cloud and on-premises.

The cloud-based part of the hybrid cloud may be divided between the public and private cloud. Public cloud solutions are those that require the user to access it via the public internet. A private cloud is hosted on equipment that your organization controls. You connect to the resources on the private cloud through your company’s internal networks. Or, you connect to them through a firewalled connection to a dedicated data center.

On Prem vs. Cloud vs. Hybrid: Pros and Cons

Each IT infrastructure model has its strengths and weaknesses. The right configuration for your organization depends on your priorities. Here are the key things to keep in mind during this decision-making process.

Cost

Cost is one reason that companies frequently choose the cloud. The cloud service provider pays for the upfront equipment costs needed to host the application or platform. They also shoulder the ongoing development costs to keep their cloud software up to date and relevant in the marketplace. If something goes wrong with the solution, their team fixes it.

You pay for cloud-based services via a monthly fee or a pay-as-you-go model. The lower total cost of ownership can help smaller organizations gain access to the same resources that enterprises use.

If you choose on prem software, you need to pay upfront for the servers and equipment needed to support its deployment. The software provider typically charges a license fee for each installation of on prem software. The software developer often provides customer service for the application itself. But your IT department has to handle any issues related to the underlying hardware. If the software developer updates the application, you have to pay an upgrade fee or another license cost.

The hybrid approach is more expensive than a purely cloud configuration. That’s because you have on prem hardware or software somewhere in the equation.

Technology

Another area where the cloud stands out is in technology upgrades. Many cloud service providers have a continual development process for their software. They handle the testing and deployment process themselves. As a result, you don’t have to schedule software installation around busy projects and other initiatives that don’t work well with downtime.

You may have limited ongoing support for on prem software. Feature updates can be few and far between. Also, you may need significant resources to upgrade your copies. If something goes wrong during the software roll-out, you could face a large-scale drop in productivity. Or, you may face another detrimental effect. You may have to rely on custom development to get the features that you need to remain competitive and run your operations smoothly.

Security

On prem software has the advantage of being located completely in house. You set the security standards that everyone in your organization must follow. No third-party provider has access to your data, which improves its privacy. Also, this may be necessary for certain regulated industries. You also eliminate the need for going across the public internet to connect to your software.

However, your IT security budget may not be as large as that of the cloud service provider. If they’ve invested in better security resources than your organization has, your software may end up being safer in the cloud. Encryption can help you protect your data as it transmits from your business network over the public internet to reduce your risk.

The hybrid configuration is the real standout feature when it comes to security. You can reserve your sensitive data and hold it on on-site databases so that it remains completely under your control. Software and data that are suitable for the cloud can be split off to third-party services for access to enterprise-level security measures.

Scalability

The cloud excels at scalability, which is one of its greatest advantages. Many cloud applications and platforms allow you to increase and decrease your capacity with a few clicks. Provisioning is almost instant and allows you to quickly react during periods of unexpected growth. You may end up paying less per user once you reach certain subscription thresholds.

In contrast, on prem software scaling is an arduous task. Your IT team must procure and set up the necessary servers and hardware to meet the maximum demand for your network resources. If you don’t have enough equipment on hand, you have to locate a supplier for a rush order.

Your business network may need to go down while you’re upgrading your systems. This downtime can negatively impact the sudden surge of demand you received. Depending on the scale that you’re dealing with, your in-house IT team may not have enough people to test everything thoroughly before pushing it live. If demand goes down, you still have a lot of servers sitting around and gathering dust.

Availability

The cloud uses distributed, software-defined resources that lend themselves to an environment with a lot of redundancy. Your access to cloud-based software is not impacted by a single point of hardware failure. This is because failsafes will direct your request to an available server instead. In the event of a natural disaster at your office location, the cloud has the advantage of being in a geographically diverse location. The service provider may have data centers all over the world to avoid weather patterns and other circumstances knocking out access to their software.

On prem software may lack enough redundancy to prevent unexpected downtime. It entirely depends on the budget that you have available to set up these backup systems. You also need to test the backups to ensure that they will work when you need them.

The hybrid cloud can use a combination of public and private cloud services, as well as on prem software, to create a highly available system. But it would drive the cost up if you had to rely on a lot of on-premises resources to accomplish this goal.

Compliance

Your industry may have regulations that dictate the types of technology that you can use. If you must retain full control and physical access to your servers, then the cloud would be a poor choice for this use case.

Some cloud-based providers offer services that accommodate strict regulations and compliance measures. For example, you commonly see HIPAA compliant cloud solutions for the healthcare industry.

On prem can make many types of compliance easier. That’s because you’re not involving a third party in your adherence to these regulations. You don’t have to worry about whether they are also following all guidelines. If you use cloud technology and your provider fails to meet the requirements, then you may be the one getting the fine.

Control

The prospect of giving a third party access to sensitive data and trade secrets doesn’t go over well in certain industries and markets. You may also have issues with giving up significant control over your IT resources to the cloud provider. Critical business systems may be too important to trust to someone else. If you’re in that situation, then retaining an on prem or hybrid cloud approach can be the best option.

You control everything from start to finish with on prem software. You’re working with your equipment and your people throughout the process. The flexibility is particularly helpful for organizations that have highly specialized needs that aren’t served by non-custom software. You have full visibility with every aspect of your on prem software. This advantage can aid the decision-making of those in leadership positions.

Final Thoughts

On prem software and cloud-based software both bring their own benefits to the table. You don’t need to choose either one or the other if certain characteristics make both sound attractive to your organization. The hybrid cloud approach allows you to choose the elements of the cloud and on prem software that work best for your organization.

The software and hardware that you use should help you achieve your business goals. During your evaluation process, keep your priorities in mind when you’re making your selection.