6 common reasons to use Amazon’s Cloud for Magento hosting

Raphael Thiel —  October 3, 2012 — 3 Comments

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Summary

The configuration of an e-commerce shop like a Magento shop is essential, because we live in a world where every millisecond counts and we need this to be proved on every traffic peak. The customers/consumers have become increasingly impatient and if your shop has a slow response time it has a negative effect on your conversion rate. As an online merchant you need to make sure that your Magento shop can grow by changing the server and e-commerce configuration quickly if your business need this.

A Magento shop itself is designed to meet and exceed these requirements. You get the most flexible and powerful e-commerce platform which can be scaled easily in a growing business. But only a perfect hosting configuration ( server and server os), which is configured exactly on your Magento shop, is the key to an easy scaling when your business grows.

Only with an optimized configuration „high performance server setup (multi server environment)” and improved response times of Magento you are able to have more than 5 million catalog views and 400.000 orders per day! The result of the optimization leads to an increase in capacity to accommodate, higher number of visitors, better conversion rate, lower hosting costs through improved hardware efficiency.

Overview

Through different testings and under the background of more than 5 years of experience with our customers, we found an optimal combination of data caching, hardware and software configuration to improve the response times as well as greater processing power for supporting a large number of page views and orders per day.

The most important Amazon services for Magento hosting

  1. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

    Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud delivers scalable, pay-as-you-go compute capacity in the cloud.

  2. Auto Scaling

    Auto Scaling allows you to automatically scale your Amazon EC2 capacity up or down according to conditions you define.

  3. Elastic Load Balancing

    Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances.

  4. Amazon CloudFront (CDN)

    Amazon CloudFront is a web service that makes it easy to distribute content with low latency via a global network of edge locations.

  5. Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)

    Amazon Relational Database Service is a web service that makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud.

  6. Amazon Route 53

    Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) web service.

  7. Amazon ElastiCache

    Amazon ElastiCache is a web service that makes it easy to deploy, operate, and scale an in-memory cache in the cloud.

  8. Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)

    Amazon S3 is storage for the Internet. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

1. Flexibility

One of the most important features of Amazon AWS is its flexibility. The  communication of all AWS services are working together perfectly. AWS offers a great API which brings an ability of creating new instances ( server ), loadbalancer, external database ( RDS ) and storage ( NFS ) on demand.  You can use all these services just in the moment they are created. In case you need more server power, memory and space you can just change the instance type and you´re done. Server managing was never easier and faster.

2. Deployment Speed

Traditional standard hosters always take a provision for their service. Often new server are ready after 48-96 hours. Getting more memory or hard drive space is mostly not possible, because you must rent the server for a long term. Using amazon means starting immediately and testing your new Magento instance instead of waiting:)

AWS + Magento shrinks the deployment time dramatically. Doing a copy of an Amazon machine instance ( Image ) as backup or as test system can be done by just a click.  This could be important when you´re running big promotions or you just need to update your Magento.

3. Performance

The speed of AWS is just fantastic. The performance of the „Elastic Block Storage“ is similar to S3, but it offers more features. Based on a hourly rate you get Xeon-class performance EC2 Compute. You get a higher reliability than most standard hosters (data center) world wide offer.

Also you should know that amazon invest millions in their datacenter to provide best infrastructure.  If there is an issue you are still online with a reduced capacity.

An example for this was the „outage“ which happened in the Amazon datacenter „Northern Virginia“ where a cluster of AWS ( Primary server farm in USA ) went down after a electricity failure. This affected Reddit, WordPress.com and a lot of other major sites. But all this sites were still online with a „read-only“ mode until Amazon cloud resolved the problem.

Having a similar problem by a standard hoster means getting a downtime. Only by a true cloud hosting like AWS you get enough separation between processing and storage that your Magento shop can remain online and continue revenue even with reduced functionality. We support many customers world wide on Amazon AWS and we never experienced problems because its redundancy.

It´s like having a raid array of SSD´s attached to a particular server. Incredible bandwidth ( near by unlimited) and a storage system that is capable of vast scaling, with the reliability of 99.99%.

4. Lack of knowledge

One of the main reasons for many people not using Amazon AWS is a lack of knowledge.

Of course, Amazon´s EC2 is not the same like the traditional hosted solution. Out of this reason a lot sysadmins and other IT professionald are leery of using EC2. Nobody likes to risk costs associated with “playing around” to figure it how AWS works. But don´t worry about that! We can manage this for you.

Once the settings are done ( maybe by our service ) you do not need to change your setup. The costs for the hosting is very calculable, because you pay only for the up time. Also you can use the AWS calculator to estimate all costs through Amazon AWS.

5. Pricing

If you take Amazon AWS for hosting you only have to pay the services you take for the time they are running.  Especially if you have a large Magento shop you can tune your server infrastructure, based on traffic or other facts.

If you have a traditional hoster you mostly pay a 12-24 Month plan; also if your business changes. We have learned that trends, traffic and demand are dynamic and the same should go for the hosting.

AWS helps you to keep costs low by scaling your infrastructure on your business needs.

5. AWS Security

At a high level, Amazon taken the following approach to secure the AWS infrastructure

  • Reports, Certifications, and Independent Attestations. AWS has in the past successfully completed multiple SAS70 Type II audits, and now publishes a Service Organization Controls 1 (SOC 1) report, published under both the SSAE 16 and the ISAE 3402 professional standards. In addition, AWS has achieved ISO 27001 certification, and has been successfully validated as a Level 1 service provider under the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS). In the realm of public sector certifications, AWS has received authorization from the U.S. General Services Administration to operate at the FISMA Moderate level, and is also the platform for applications with Authorities to Operate (ATOs) under the Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Program (DIACAP). We will continue to obtain the appropriate security certifications and conduct audits to demonstrate the security of our infrastructure and services. For more information on risk and compliance activities in the AWS cloud, consult the Amazon Web Services: Risk and Compliance whitepaper.
  • Physical Security. Amazon has many years of experience in designing, constructing, and operating large-scale data centers. AWS infrastructure is housed in Amazon-controlled data centers throughout the world. Only those within Amazon who have a legitimate business need to have such information know the actual location of these data centers, and the data centers themselves are secured with a variety of physical controls to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Secure Services. Each of the services within the AWS cloud is architected to be secure and contains a number of capabilities that restrict unauthorized access or usage without sacrificing the flexibility that customers demand. For more information about the security capabilities of each service in the AWS cloud, consult the Amazon Web Services: Overview of Security Processes whitepaper.
  • Data Privacy. AWS enables users to encrypt their personal or business data within the AWS cloud and publishes backup and redundancy procedures for services so that customers can gain greater understanding of how their data flows throughout AWS. For more information on the data privacy and backup procedures for each service in the AWS cloud, consult the Amazon Web Services: Overview of Security Processes whitepaper referenced above.

Conclusion on Amazon AWS & Recommendations

Only a proper configuration of Magento with the appropriate hardware capabilities and software configuration will lead to a significant improvement in overall system performance.

With the datacenter of Amazon you get the flexibility for configuring the hardware by best price. In case of expanding international, Amazon offers world wide datacenters, that guarantees the same flexibility and safety world wide.

We have a long experience in many different projects and we can highly recommend the Amazon cloud for hosting a Magento shop.

Here are the main arguments for hosting your Magento on Amazon AWS:

  1. Price

    Starting with a small solution and low costs

  2. Flexibility

    If your business grows, we can scale the hosting through some clicks in minutes.

  3. Redundancy

    The complete AWS system is redundant so you must not be afraid of getting hardware problems.

  4. Security

    It starts by the architecture of the Amazon datacenter and ends in high end firewalls, everything is state-of-the-art for making sure that your shop, your customers and all your data is save.

Are you interested in a High Performance Solution for Magento?

A good internet business starts with a perfect server setup.

We offer different packages to guarantee the highest performance for magento.

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3 responses to 6 common reasons to use Amazon’s Cloud for Magento hosting

  1. I agree 1))%. No question AWS is the way to go. The benefits are really to many to list, but the flexibility and cost are probably number one. The availability of data centers around the world and the increasing number of data centers really makes AWS a good choice for any market.

    On thing that is really great about AWS is that they are constantly lowering their prices. They’ve probably lowered prices 6 times over the last 2-years.

    If all of the performance optimizations are configured (op-code cache, static content caching, etc), Magento really runs well on EC2. Security is great as well. The days of relying on companies to setup dedicated servers are a thing of the past with systems like Amazon Web Services.

    One of the things Raphael mentioned is peoples’ trepidation or hesitation to try something new. AWS couldn’t be easier to use. Just like anyone with an iPhone, the thought of switching to and Android device will just scare them into staying with their iPhone. But in reality, within a day anyone can get a handle on it.

    Yep. Gotta love Magento on the EC2. Good write-up!

  2. Santhosh Bhamboure January 18, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Provided information was very helpful

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