We’ve spoken a lot lately about what we have: Andy talked about the millionth download of BlueOrganizer. We happily discussed our new SmartLinks plugin for blogs. We talk often about our widgets for top lists.
We’re proud of what we have. Of what we’ve built.
What we don’t talk about too regularly is what we don’t have. We don’t have any servers.
When I went to Alex’s place I expected to see a room filled with servers. I saw a Macbook Pro.
We don’t have any servers. Instead we use Amazon S3 for all of our needs. It’s a wonderful service and invaluable to us. It’s a major piece of the IT puzzle that we don’t have to concern ourselves with. It scales to fit our need. As BlueOrganizer user numbers took off, we could rely on S3 to address our needs.
Nick Carr writes about how this model uses computing assets more efficiently and how it renders IT invisble to the users:
Currently, according to Scoble, some 15,000 people have launched their own channels through Mogulus - and none of them could care less that their work is being stored and processed by Amazon.
Scoble writes about the effect that a service like S3 is having on tech startups in general:
The world has changed. Now ANYONE can build an Internet company and get it up to scale. No more spending nights inside data centers trying to keep servers running.
An equally important point occurs at the cross-section of Scoble’s and Carr’s points: there are a significant number of customers who do care that the data is being stored and processed by Amazon and that there isn’t a bunch of unknowns spending their nights inside data centers trying to keep servers running: big companies.
The axiom “nobody gets fired for buying IBM” captures the traditional challenge faced by start-ups trying to sell into bigger companies. Risk associated with the start-ups data center undoubtedly factoring into the aversion. Now there’s piece of mind offered by having a big, trusted name like Amazon handling the critical data - a surprise benefit of using S3.
We have a lot of things to be proud of, one of which being what we don’t have: servers. If you’d like to hear more about our experiences drop us a line - we’re happy to help.