The huge advantages of cloud computing, such as scalability and connectivity, have shifted the whole Internet-of-Things industry into the clouds. Asset tracking, as one of the IoT applications, is not the exception. Let’s see how the latest cloud products can help you to stay competitive and get prepared to the fast market growth.
Basics: Clouds vs Hosted vs On-premise
First of all, to avoid mixing two different terms ‘Cloud’ and ‘Hosted’ we specifically stress that we’re talking here about the real cloud infrastructure, such as offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), the largest cloud ecosystem on market today.
Why run GPS tracking software in clouds? Simple because it combines the benefits of hosted and on-premise solutions. On the one hand, you do not need to buy own server hardware, which cost a lot and needs to be maintained. Thus you cut initial spendings and won’t be limited with the server capacity in future.
On the other hand, since the software runs in the cloud, provide by third party, you neither depend on the software vendor anymore. Instead you only rent required server capacity, where Navixy Cloud software can be deployed in just a few clicks.
Let’s take a closer look at Navixy running on AWS – a cloud computing platform provided by Amazon. In this case the entire server infrastructure is served by Amazon, while the resources you are using (such as CPU, RAM, database, connection throughput, etc.) can be easily scaled up or down in accordance to the number of tracked assets – right from the AWS Console.
OK, you don’t purchase own servers, save your money on their colocation, repair and upgrade. Instead you get billed regularly by AWS for the resources in use. But is that cheaper or more expensive? Basing on our statistics and recommended instance types we’d say that the costs are comparable.
Estimating your spendings on clouds
Let’s take an example: a company that needs to track a hundred of vehicles or employees. For 100 assets and Navixy ‘Enterprise Edition’ we recommend to choose the t2.medium instance type with 500GB SSD storage for database. With AWS simple calculator you can estimate your monthly fees:
It looks quite reasonable for it’s just a little more than an average price for server colocation in data center (about $70/month for 1U in the rack).
Now let’s take a much larger project. Imagine you are a GPS tracking provider offering services to customers with total amount of 10,000 tracked assets. In that case it would be something like m4.2xlarge instance type, with 8xCPU, 32M RAM, 4000GiB for database and High speed connection. We get the following estimation:
You can decrease this amount up to 30% by choosing special billing options, e.g. 1- or 3-year commitments and upfront fees. Also for larger projects we recommended to use special elastic products from Amazon, such as EBS – Elastic Block Store for databases: it provides better availability, reliability and lower price.
We gave some tips on how to estimate and save your costs. However, the most remarkable and important advantage of using clouds is not the price, but their amazing flexibility. Whenever it’s required you can increase or decrease the amount of resources, change their type, configuration or completely abandon. That’s absolutely not possible with own servers. So we might say that in the long-term you do save your costs, but in another way – by not wasting your money due to the unavoidable mistakes in capacity planning.
Deploying in Cloud is simple
To help our customers to leverage cloud technologies, we offer a special product called Navixy Cloud. It’s available in both editions: ‘Provider’ for service providers and ‘Enterprise’ – for corporate end users. Since Amazon’s market share is the largest today, we’ve prepared ready-to-use Amazon Machine Instances (AMI) and published them in the AWS Marketplace.
Using machine images greatly simplifies the installation process. In fact all you need is to choose the EC2 instance type according to your requirements. The virtual server will be launched in cloud with all necessary software components already installed – the whole process takes just a couple of minutes.
If you want to try how it works, you can get a free 30-day trial. Although for experienced users the setup process according to our instructions is ridiculously easy, we admit that some may require more assistance from us – and our support team will happy to help. Moreover, as an Administrator of AWS account you can create a temporary sub-account for us and we’ll make the installation and configuration together with you.