I only scratched the surface of what's available. At the most fundamental level, RightScale is a configuration and monitoring dashboard for controlling servers and images on Amazon's EC2. This was some pretty cool stuff here: Sitting at my laptop in my office, I was able to remotely control a set of virtual servers that live on Amazon's cloud.
In the past, companies had to either build their own huge operations centers to house all their hardware, or they had to outsource it to a company that housed all of it, the latter of which required the companies to pay high prices not only for using the hardware, but also to make sure somebody was there to configure it, run it and monitor it.
With a product like RightScale, now programmers can manage the servers themselves as they would if they owned them, except now the servers have the extreme power of being on Amazon.com's cloud. Sitting at my lowly little laptop, I can run the equivalent of an entire operations center. Think of the possibilities.
Senior Editor Jeff Cogswell can be reached at [email protected].