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The Pros and Cons of Hosting Magento on AWS vs Dedicated Servers

February 25, 2019
Magento Best Practices
Robert Rand
Director of Partnerships & Alliances

Robert is a Magento 1 & 2 Solution Specialist with over a decade of experience in helping merchants benefit from sound E-commerce and Digital Marketing strategies. He’s highly experienced at harnessing the power of E-commerce technologies and solutions to help businesses of all types and sizes grow and succeed and has earned numerous distinctions and accolades from his work with merchants and partner organizations.

Magento AWS vs Dedicated Servers

Magento merchants who want truly dedicated resources that won’t be impacted by other websites will inevitably skip past Shared and VPS Hosting and opt for bare metal dedicated servers or cloud servers. Both provide a form of isolated environment that can be secured and optimized for your specific website.

Those looking at cloud servers will generally look at the more popular cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure, and Google Cloud, with AWS being the most popular of the providers.

With all of the growth in the cloud sector, many Magento merchants have been left wondering if they should be on a platform like AWS, or if it’s all hype. It’s a conversation that our team frequently has with Magento store owners and Magento agencies alike. For your convenience, we’ve put together some Pros and Cons for Cloud providers like AWS and for dedicated servers:

AWS and Cloud Hosting Pros:

For merchants that have unpredictable or frequent large spikes in concurrent traffic, properly configured and managed cloud hosting can provide you with scalability and elasticity to successfully support large bursts of traffic.

AWS and Cloud Hosting Cons:

Properly engineered AWS environments will often cost much more than dedicated servers. In many comparisons, costs are 3x higher. In reality, most merchants can more cost-effectively manage their traffic on bare metal systems, including with load balancers and booster servers for planned traffic increases, such as for Black Friday, or a big flash sale.

Bare Metal Dedicated Server Pros:

A Magento-optimized bare metal platform, without virtualization overhead, will give you a much better total cost of ownership. For the vast majority of merchants, this is the go-to solution. A properly sized and deployed hardware environment provides dedicated resources for all critical services at a fixed, predictable monthly cost.  

Bare Metal Dedicated Server Cons:

If your Magento website traffic patterns are wildly unpredictable, and there are short-term periods when concurrent traffic spikes by more than 1000%, allocating bare metal dedicated servers can be inefficient. You also don’t get to tout “cloud adoption” to executives, investors, and shareholders, even though those clouds have had major outages in recent years.

Magento hosting experts proactively manage, maintain, and support your hosting environment, including by:

– Optimizing your hosting environment for Magento 1 or Magento 2

– Upkeeping hosting software like your Linux operating system and PHP instance

– Maintaining hardware

– Managing offsite backups

– Configuring a Content Delivery Network (we work with more than one, but most commonly recommend Cloudflare for Magento users)

– Setting and monitoring firewalls

– Integrating and optimizing caching (we most commonly recommend Varnish for Magento 2 stores)

– Providing Magento hosting support and troubleshooting

– Load Testing to make sure your site can handle your peak traffic loads

– Load balancing traffic across multiple servers as-needed

– Monitoring for problems, like DDoS attacks

– Conducting Magento Security Audits

– Testing and improving your Magento loading speeds

– Securing your Magento admin by locking down access by IP, and helping to leverage additional security measures, such as two-factor-authentication for Magento

At JetRails, we provide all of these services and more to each one of our clients, whether they’re on Magento-optimized dedicated servers or Magento-optimized AWS hosting. We provide a fully-managed white-glove service for merchants that want a hosting partner that’s proactive and readily available 24/7/365.

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