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Understanding Magento Cloud Hosting

Magento Cloud Hosting

Magento has recently released a whitepaper entitled “Understanding Magento Cloud Hosting”. It lays out an informative, high-level description of Cloud Computing and discusses Tenzing’s Magento Cloud offering (which we’ll get to later).

But let’s start at the beginning – the white paper devotes time to providing and discussing the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition and essential characteristics of Cloud Computing (in the section aptly entitled What is cloud Computing?). I believe this section is an extremely important read if you are not entirely familiar with these concepts. According to the NIST definition;

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

I am  singling out this area because, while it fortunately may not be as common as it used to be, there are frequent conversations about this ‘Cloud’ stuff where the participants have no shared, much less accurate, definition of the subject matter: one party may be discussing a ‘cloudwashed’ product, while the other is simply substituting the word ‘virtualization’ with the word ‘cloud’.

In contrast, for those who use a Cloud Computing platform (as defined by the NIST definition let’s say) in such a way as to exploit its unique value proposition, the conversation would be much different: it’s not about products or mere technology, but capability and enablement.

…Now back to the white paper.

The whitepaper describes Tenzings managed Magento solution on a Public Cloud platform – which I’d like to explain in a little more detail. Tenzing is a consumer of Amazon Web Services (AWS), and while Tenzing’s managed Magento solution does consume IaaS, it also consumes higher-level AWS services and uses standard reference architectures and engineered designs that strive to exploit the potential of the Cloud Computing model.

For instance, as the demand put on a Magento site is dynamic (obvious, given the nature of the web), why should resources, where no other constraints[1] exist, be static? In such a scenario front-end resources can be dynamically scaled up and down according to demand. It is no longer becomes necessary to incur the cost of purchasing resources that will be over-provisioned for the majority of its life cycle.

The Tenzing Managed Magento on AWS solution employs common patterns and best practices such as ‘design for failure’ by utilizing multiple Availability Zones and automated fail-over by default. As mentioned, the managed Magento service also consumes services such as CloudFormation, RDS, Elasticache, CloudWatch and others. In this way deployment is rapid and standardized, operational management is consistent, and the benefit of continual AWS enhancements is inherited.

For Tenzing customers, standardization and the minimization of operational overhead means more competitive pricing for the services managed. Using this tested, standard, and known ‘stack’[2] as a starting point also means a high level of expertise and rapid and continual enhancements can be provided to Tenzing customers, and not only at the AWS layer. Tenzing’s Advanced Managed Services can also be ‘plugged-in’ and integrated to provide even greater value for such things in the areas of performance and security.

The public cloud computing model enables many capabilities that were previously not easily accessible. However, while now available with only a credit card, optimal design and implementation around such technologies tend to differ greatly when compared to on-premises or traditional approaches.

Just as Tenzing has evolved to become a partner that provides ‘more than managed hosting’, the Tenzing Managed Magento on AWS offering  is designed with the recognition that cloud computing is more than just newly-branded traditional products and virtualization, and is continually enhanced to deliver the unique promise of cloud computing.

Editors note – Thanks to our Senior Systems Architect Dave Anand for his insight and expertise into this topic.

[1] An example of a common constraint in this scenario is the application licensing model

[2] In this case, ‘stack’ is defined as the grouping of supporting components such as operating system, etc.

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