Cantina leverages the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) to host their marketing site, internal prototype, and development servers; and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for file asset delivery. Groovy on Grails and MySQL Server were used to build their Website, and Cantina has created a plugin for Grails to interact with Amazon S3.
The company recommends Amazon Web Services (AWS) to its clients because, as Matt Chisholm, President and CEO of Cantina says, “It is the right technology to solve the problem.” In particular, says Matt, “The suite of AWS technologies provides a very flexible set of tools to attack a wide array of server resource problems. On-demand and reserved instances provide flexible billing models for hosting, and [Amazon] S3 and Amazon Elastic Block Storage [Amazon EBS] provide flexibility in storage solutions.”
For example, Matt explains how Cantina worked with Combined Jewish Philanthropies to create a destination site to serve the greater Boston Jewish community. The mission was to make it easier for more people to participate in Jewish life. Cantina helped JewishBoston.com deliver on this promise. The client used Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2, and the site included viral features (like Twitter and Facebook integration), social functions (blogging), and utilities to acquire members, share community activities and content, and facilitate communication. The weekly digest (a personalized e-mail of a member or organization’s interests) serves relevant and geo-based content.
The Cantina team has learned some valuable lessons throughout the development process. For example, Matt advises, “It is important not to think of your hosting strategy as ‘provisioning servers,’ but rather as a process that defines how and when you add resources to your hosting infrastructure. Defining a tested, reusable template (through Amazon Machine Images (AMIs)) is key to reaping the full benefits that the dynamic nature of [Amazon] EC2 has to offer. Consider your backup data lifecycle at the same time you think about server architecture to have a cohesive plan for your hosted resources.”
Cantina is an AWS advocate. Matt Chisholm notes that they will continue to leverage the Amazon suite as appropriate to its clients needs. He says, “The AWS suite is the right choice in many instances, and aligns with our commitment to bringing the right solution to the technology problem to ensure the success of our clients’ initiatives.”
To learn more, visit http://www.cantinaconsulting.com/ .