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Cloud Time


"Cloud computing" can be a terrific and economical way to develop and deliver web software systems. This presentation was written by John Repko, and delivered in a joint presentation with Amazon's …

"Cloud computing" can be a terrific and economical way to develop and deliver web software systems. This presentation was written by John Repko, and delivered in a joint presentation with Amazon's Mike Culver.

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  • 1. Cloud Time Amazon Web Services at Chemidex April 30, 2008 © Copyright 2008 Chemidex LLC 1 Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  • 2. ABOUT CHEMIDEX • Vertical search engine serving the Chemical industry • 70,000+ Users • Millions of page-views per month • Rapid growth, and positioning for even more rapid growth • Planning new offerings, services and markets... Technology In Transition: How Do You Plan For Web-Scale Growth? © Copyright 2008 Chemidex LLC 2 Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  • 3. THE CHALLENGES OF A SUCCESSFUL WEB-ERA BUSINESS • Planning and Managing Growth Source: © Copyright 2008 Chemidex LLC 3 Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  • 4. THE CHALLENGES OF A SUCCESSFUL WEB-ERA BUSINESS • Managing Technology and Infrastructure Sources:, © Copyright 2008 Chemidex LLC 4 Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  • 5. THE CHALLENGES OF A SUCCESSFUL WEB-ERA BUSINESS • Controlling Expenses Source: © Copyright 2008 Chemidex LLC 5 Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  • 6. AWS ANSWERS SOME FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS • How do we budget and plan hardware growth? • How will we handle peak loads? • How can we control costs as we grow? • How can we get / keep a robust web offering? • What do we do if our growth is 500% of what we’re planning? (or 50%)? © Copyright 2008 Chemidex LLC 6 Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  • 7. THE SOLUTION: AMAZON WEB SERVICES AND “CLOUD COMPUTING” • Cloud Computing doesn’t really look like anything -- here’s why it matters – Planning - no more HW or hosting center budgeting, purchasing, installation, or support! – Scalability - if we need 50 servers to handle demand, we can have 50 servers - instantly • Another Memberlink instance can be created from scratch to handle demand in < 10 minutes – Cost • only buy capacity when we need it • demos and new projects - interim hardware • zero-cost (license fee) software stack – Stability • No downtime since we first went live (Jan ’08) • Staging and transparent cutover – Flexibility “Cloud” Computing • Need a server = get a server: $0.10 / hour • Need a GB = get a GB: $0.15/GB/month © Copyright 2008 Chemidex LLC 7 Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  • 8. COULD AWS WORK FOR YOU? HERE’S WHAT WE’VE HAD TO CONSIDER • Platform – Need open LAMP-like stack (Ruby on Rails, for us) – Helpful to be comfortable with open source tools and technologies – Build your platform, then save / clone your image • Administration – UNIX admin skills (still need SysAdmins, but their lives are a lot easier) – Terrific Amazon toolkit for managing your environment - but • Still have to manage your own scalability – Uptime is generally GREAT, but • Still need to be able to “Roll Your Own” backup to / recovery from S3 • Administration recipes getting much better • Services firms springing up • Community – Big, active tech community – Not a lot of books yet – Lots of online materials © Copyright 2008 Chemidex LLC 8 Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  • 9. WHAT IT’S MEANT FOR US • PLANNING... – Hardware: • EC2 = NO NEW SERVERS! • Instantaneous Capacity – Try SugarCRM as a Customer Service System - No Problem! – Need a demo server for a day - No Problem! – Want to experiment with parallel, scalable architectures - No Problem! • Painless cutover - start a new server, and use dynamic DNS to point to it for instantaneous cutover – Storage: • S3 = Economical Backup for Systems and Data • Ability to take on business we might have declined in the past • Easy backup and proven recovery for all digital assets – Asynchronous messaging and flexible data architectures • SQS in evaluation • SimpleDB in evaluation © Copyright 2008 Chemidex LLC 9 Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  • 10. WHAT IT’S MEANT FOR US • ...AND DELIVERY – “Hardware” • We started with a single small server on EC2 $2.40 bill determining if it would work for us • Ran up a • Today 3 servers preparing for production usage • At any given time as many as a half-dozen more in evaluation – “Storage” • Regular nightly backups to S3 • Hoping for Persistent Storage when the beta opens • Infinite drive space potential key for planning future offerings – This is the future of scalable web offerings – “Lock-in” through value delivery rather than proprietary rat-hole • KEY consideration in the event of an acquisition AWS Has Changed How We Plan, Deliver, and Roadmap Future Offerings © Copyright 2008 Chemidex LLC 10 Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  • 11. QUESTIONS? © Copyright 2008 Chemidex LLC 11 Wednesday, February 18, 2009