With the growth of the site, the need for computing power also increased. When Ping.sg realized that a single 1U dedicated server could no longer cope with the heavy traffic they were experiencing, they knew it was time to upgrade. They had to choose between a new, more powerful server or a move of their infrastructure to the cloud.
U-Zyn Chua, owner and primary developer of Ping.sg says, “We chose the cloud for better expandability and flexibility in the long run. After evaluating a few cloud computing providers, we selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) so we could have the ability to fine tune our server and architecture ourselves to better suit our needs and requirements.”
Ping.sg started with two small Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances with Linux, one intended to act as a Web server and the main compute server with various daemons and services running, while the other acted as a dedicated database server. However, after running it for day, and with some experimentation, they realized that Ping.sg performed much better by running all services on a single high CPU medium instance, which costs the same as two small Amazon EC2 instances, but with more CPU power than the pair of small instances.
The Ping.sg architecture incorporates Amazon services as shown in the diagram above.
Chua says, “The services and API that Amazon offers allow us to program automatic daily incremental backup via Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) snapshots, and to push our static data to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) —something we were not able to do before switching to Amazon.”
With 80% of their visits coming from Singapore, and over 95% from Asia, Ping.sg was overjoyed when Amazon announced its launch in Singapore in April, 2010. They quickly shifted from U.S.-East region to Singapore region and immediately enjoyed a speed boost due to the significant reduction in network latency: they report ping times dropping from ~250ms (U.S.-East) to less than 30ms (Singapore).
Chua comments, “Besides the cost savings, by having our infrastructure on the cloud, especially with Amazon, we are happy to know that we are able to acquire more compute resources as demand grows and we will be able to scale both vertically and horizontally very easily. On top of that, the availability of Amazon in different regions all over the world and its content delivery network (CDN) capability is also in line with our plans for further expansion outside of Singapore and into other regions.”
To learn more, visit http://ping.sg/ .