Friday Buzz: Amazon Simplifies Its Cloud

Amazon Web Services, the popular cloud platform, can be tough to jump into due to its high level of complexity. But a new service could help. Also: A brainstorm flipped on its head could be a great icebreaker.

Cloud computing is clearly best exemplified by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It’s the service that has driven much of the cloud’s growth.

Problem is, it’s not easy-to-use and can be overkill if you’re trying to run a blog or host a few photos. So that’s created openings for competitors like DigitalOcean, which has grown significantly off the back of an audience that just wants a simple server rather than a monolithic beast.

Now, Amazon is taking on DigitalOcean at its own game, launching a platform called Lightsail, which—like its competition—offers virtual servers that start at $5 per month. The benefit of this approach is that you can turn a key and get a useful server image (say, if you want to start a WordPress or Drupal site) without all the other complexities of AWS.

The tech firm Bitnami built the images Amazon is using for Lightsail. That company’s CEO, Daniel Lopez, says that Amazon offering this approach comes in handy for developers, who won’t be limited in the long run, thanks to AWS’ broad reach.

“Lightsail is the logical step for Amazon to continue to expand their footprint among developers. It is easy to get started but if you need to scale you have the full power of AWS offering and ecosystem that cannot be matched by VPS providers,” Lopez told ZDNet.

If your organization is thinking of building more cloud-based services but doesn’t want to fully commit, Lightsail can be a great way to get your feet wet.

Brainstorming in Reverse

Generally when you talk about brainstorming, the goal is to build something creative or useful. But what if you flipped that script and tried to build the worst possible idea? Well, you’d have a heck of an icebreaker. On his Conferences That Work blog, meeting designer and facilitator Adrian Segar highlights the value of the concept, conceived by community strategist Jono Bacon.

Judgment call: At Association Executive Management, David M. Patt discusses an in-the-field situation that led him to break a no-refunds policy.

Useful tool of the day: The new service Upscribe makes it easy to collect email addresses from potential newsletter subscribers you’ve attracted via Medium.

Have an iPhone with a battery that seems to suddenly run out of juice? You might want to read up on Apple’s latest recall.

(Lightsail screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!