Signed up to trial Aliyun, the Chinese IaaS cloud, but found out that they currently aren't provisioned for pay as you go, on demand in the US (or Hong Kong, or Singapore). Monthly contract rates are available, so they have capacity, just odd allocation, considering the competition.
Without actually benchmarking, cost seems comparable to an AWS t2.medium instance with similar specifications: 2 core, 4Gb.
"whenever someone tells you that few companies use or need real-time, they’re likely referring to settings where human decision-makers are in the loop (“human real-time”). That misses the mark because the true impact of these technologies will be in applications with no humans in the loop. As UC Berkeley Professor Joe Hellerstein noted a while back, 'real-time is for robots.'"
a rule of thumb for systems design from Gall's book Systemantics: How Systems Really Work and How They Fail. It states:
A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.
"...machine learning specific risk factors and design patterns to be avoided or refactored where possible. These include boundary erosion, entanglement, hidden feedback loops, undeclared consumers, data dependencies, changes in the external world, and a variety of system-level anti-patterns."