Welcome!

Recurring Revenue Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Xenia von Wedel

RSS Feed Item

Running a production site on the Amazon EC2 / SDB / S3 services stack

Over the past few months or so I’ve been working on rewriting my web application engine to go from running on a virtual dedicated server at a hosting company to running an instance on Amazon EC2 instance. Additionally, I decided to take a risk on Amazon SDB and despite its many flaws, eschew MySQL completely and utterly.

One thing I like a lot about Amazon’s service stack is that it forces you to think about scalability problems right up front. If you design with MySQL on a VPS, it’s easy to get into using a lot of the features that don’t scale – so you make a mess for yourself down the road.

There were several challenges to running a site completely on Amazon’s stack:

  • Amazon has a large distance between their small nodes and the next size up node. – The small nodes are pretty weak by themselves, you wouldn’t want to base a website on a single node by itself. This forced me to design the architecture to work from day 1 on ‘n’ servers.
  • EC2 still has no load balancing API – They should add this, but to get around it we use DNS round robin assignment, which is pretty much good enough for assigning servers that should never be under huge loads anyways.
  • SDB is slow. Everything about it is slow. Also it has its own features that don’t scale very well, such as ‘starts-with’ < this runs slowly.
  • The data model you want for SDB is different than one you want for an RDBMS. Because you can’t join or index, you want to be thinking about denormalization of your data quite quickly. This also means migration from MySQL to SDB is tricky.
  • EC2 payloads are annoying to change – Marc created a script that on instance startup pulls down all the required software for a server from SVN, finds the other servers for dns round robin-ing and for memcaches, and starts up apache.

To move over to Amazon required a migration on our relatively small database of 100k or so rows. This however expanded to around 250k rows on SDB, and required about a million SDB requests to accomplish.

As I wanted to move the site without a lot of downtime, I wrote the migration script to run on ‘N’ servers. When I started the migration up, I ran 20 server instances, and ran the script on all of them. Each segment of the migration took about 2 hours to run, so without EC2’s easy scaling capabilities the site would have been required to be down for 2 days instead of 2 hours.

So far the new Amazon EC2/SDB code base has been up for 3 days. All data is in SimpleDB, from user logins to the friend network graph, despite mysql’s ease of use I’m glad to be rid of the database as a potential bottleneck that could bring the entire site down – something that happened too frequently on my last project.

Overall the site migration went quite smoothly, and we’ve been running for a couple days now without incident. The site has created about 40k html pages, extensive use of memcache means most pages will load in 200ms under a bit of pressure, and best of all costs are reduced and completely trackable.

Now my job is to focus on growing traffic. My new site only has about 7k daily visitors, whereas my previous effort swik.net has about 30k, so I have a ways to go.

Read the original blog entry...

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
CloudEXPO has been the M&A capital for Cloud companies for more than a decade with memorable acquisition news stories which came out of CloudEXPO expo floor. DevOpsSUMMIT New York faculty member Greg Bledsoe shared his views on IBM's Red Hat acquisition live from NASDAQ floor. Acquisition news was announced during CloudEXPO New York which took place November 12-13, 2019 in New York City.
OpsRamp is an enterprise IT operation platform provided by US-based OpsRamp, Inc. It provides SaaS services through support for increasingly complex cloud and hybrid computing environments from system operation to service management. The OpsRamp platform is a SaaS-based, multi-tenant solution that enables enterprise IT organizations and cloud service providers like JBS the flexibility and control they need to manage and monitor today's hybrid, multi-cloud infrastructure, applications, and wor...
The Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence (MSAI) provides a comprehensive framework of theory and practice in the emerging field of AI. The program delivers the foundational knowledge needed to explore both key contextual areas and complex technical applications of AI systems. Curriculum incorporates elements of data science, robotics, and machine learning-enabling you to pursue a holistic and interdisciplinary course of study while preparing for a position in AI research, operations, ...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
Tapping into blockchain revolution early enough translates into a substantial business competitiveness advantage. Codete comprehensively develops custom, blockchain-based business solutions, founded on the most advanced cryptographic innovations, and striking a balance point between complexity of the technologies used in quickly-changing stack building, business impact, and cost-effectiveness. Codete researches and provides business consultancy in the field of single most thrilling innovative te...
Atmosera delivers modern cloud services that maximize the advantages of cloud-based infrastructures. Offering private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions, Atmosera works closely with customers to engineer, deploy, and operate cloud architectures with advanced services that deliver strategic business outcomes. Atmosera's expertise simplifies the process of cloud transformation and our 20+ years of experience managing complex IT environments provides our customers with the confidence and trust tha...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
Intel is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in the Silicon Valley. It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, and is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs). Intel supplies processors for computer system manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Intel also manufactu...