Yola News 2

Scaling on Amazon EC2 with RightScale

SynthaSite is hosted on Amazon’s EC2 utility computing infrastructure; which supplies Linux Virtual Machine building blocks you can “rent” by the hour. Using these; its possible to build an on demand scaling system; without the upfront cost & effort involved in setting up your own data center.

Experiencing heavy load for a few hours? Just fire up another 2 webservers. Load gone? Shut them down again. Total cost – a few dollars.

Whilst the Amazon infrastructure is excellent, the management tools are all command line based, and can be a bit daunting to the uninitiated.

Several third party tools have emerged to create a friendlier interface to EC2. Of these, our favourites are the Firefox plugins EC2UI & S3Fox, and RightScale’s EC2 web interface.

RightScale’s interface is a great place to get started. Their logical interface is full of tips & prompts on what to do next; so you can get your first EC2 instance up and running in almost no time.

Far from being just a simple tool to get you going; RightScale grows with you to become your “EC2 server farm” dashboard. They provide a number of standard building blocks that every scalable solution is going to need – Replicated MySQL servers, DNS & load-balancing blocks for running multiple webservers, auto-scaling – launching / terminating instances based on load triggers.

Further, for those times when the standard building blocks aren’t enough, Michael, Thorsten & team are also available to help with architecture advice & custom solutions. In our dealings with them we’ve found them extremely knowledgeable, helpful and professional – a pleasure to work with.

So, if you’re thinking of using EC2 for your next scalable web app; have a look at RightScale and see if you can’t shortcut the process of turning a bunch of VMs into a workable, scalable system.