Warning, AWS rant approaching: I've been using EC2 for about 6-7 years, and before that I had 4 servers colocated across the UK for some websites that I managed. EC2 provided me with what looked like a really nice set of value-add features, at roughly the same price as my existing hosting costs, which is why i made the switch. For example, installing a new server to cope with Christmas Holiday load was something i'll never forget as being the most stressful time of my early-twenties, because that meant new hardware. Do i lease it or buy it? If I buy it, i have to source compatible parts and make sure its under the wattage requirements. Then i have to physically get it there, get security clearance, wire it up without unplugging anyone else's stuff, configure the network/firewall, updates, etc etc. And then maybe the site gets no traffic on top of what we expected. Or maybe it still all chokes up and falls over. Or maybe that new heatsink wasn't fitted right. Or maybe someone else in the rack adds another server and pulls out my ethernet cable. Managing real hardware was a huge pain bundled with a lot of uncertainty. The most consistent thing about hosting was the price - you paid for the physical space, and the size of your network pipe.
Then EC2 came along and took all those troubles away for me, and instead I just get billed for what I use - which seemed like a fair deal and massively simplified my life. Sure the month-on-month hosting costs are higher, but you don't have to buy hardware and EC2 is so flexible for scaling up or down. Also, I can do all my IP/domain name/load balancing using their GUI, which was and still is so much better than anything built in to a CISCO router or networksolutions.com has to offer. Spreading static content over their CDN is easypeasy. High Availability means customers are never sat staring at an empty page, and I never get calls at 3am. Making secure databases for customer credit card numbers etc is hassle free, and I know if anything goes wrong I can say I did my bit, blame Amazon. They now do SSL certification too, so thats something i'll be moving over soon too.
So what does any of this have to do with Bioinformatics? Well... nothing. And that's my point really. Most of the services AWS provides have no relevance on how bioinformatic data is processed, but those features jack up the prices because people like myself are willing to pay a little extra on the hosting/storage costs for convenience. If you're not using those services, you think you're not paying for them -- but it's factored in to your hosting costs for sure. Yes you can spin up a compute server and "only pay what you use" - but factored into that cost is the convenience of being able to have immediate access in the first place. I say immediate. It's as immediate as 5MB/s to transfer your data to the server from a local source.
But there is another way to have truly immediate access, and no costs for usage or storage, and a simpler interface. Buy a small compute server with 16cpus, 124Gb of RAM, 1Tb of SSD space and 10Tb of HDD space. The cost for all of this, measured in AWS-years, is about 1.5 years. If you plan on doing Bioinformatics for longer than this, you'd be a lot better off in my opinion just buying the hardware and sticking it under your desk.
There are exceptions. If your usage is very 'spikey', like you need 100cores NOW and none tomorrow, then EC2 will give you that. If you need 50cores today and tomorrow, we'll you'll be paying the same amount as the other guy, and not benefiting from any of that convenience.
In my opinion, the next big breakthrough in bioinformatics will have nothing to do with clouds. It's far more likely to be something to do with clusters of small cheap cpus (like the PINE A64), like RAID was for hard drives - or it will be modern languages like Julia or Rust that work with all the low-level vector instructions the CPUs could use if only the software knew how to use them. Honestly, I have no idea why anyone would pay Amazon for a service that you can provide yourself with at home.