Migrating to AWS Lowers Website Costs by 30%


An Ideal Website Host

MilesWeb, based in India, builds, hosts, and manages websites for companies around the world. These include informational websites, blogs, personal websites, and e-commerce websites. The company differentiates itself from competitors by offering 24/7 technical assistance that helps maximize uptime for more than 10,000 customers.

The Need for Greater Flexibility

Since launching in 2012, MilesWeb has bought or leased on-premises servers located in hosted data centers to run its customer websites. Chinmay Dingore, co-founder and executive director of MilesWeb, says, “One of the challenges we faced was downtime, which once added up to 12 to 16 hours over a period of six months. This level of interruption was unacceptable to our customers with high-traffic, e-commerce websites.”

Other challenges included 24 to 48 hours just to add a new server and 2 to 4 hours to attach additional storage. Says Dingore, “If I wanted to add RAM to a server, I had to ask the data center if they had the RAM available and then schedule a downtime for it to be installed. It was convoluted and time-consuming.” He continues, “There were additional costs like firewall servers for security—which we also had to manage,” says Dingore. “We wanted to reduce our operational overheads and gain a more flexible infrastructure.”

“We’ve reduced our infrastructure management costs by 30 percent from the migration.”

Chinmay Dingore, Co-founder and Executive Director, MilesWeb

Cloud Offers a Way Out

Dingore had read about Amazon Web Services (AWS) and learned that the members of the MilesWeb IT team were already familiar with the AWS Cloud. He saw that with widespread AWS Regions and multiple Availability Zones, MilesWeb could host virtual servers on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances in countries, such as India and the United States, that are halfway around the world from each other and still stay compliant with local data regulations.

Furthermore, firewalls built into Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) environments—in which customer websites would sit—gave Dingore the security assurances he required. “Besides firewalls, Amazon VPC provides us with a high level of security down to the subnet level. The difference between AWS and our hosting providers is that we have greater command over which ports are open with AWS. We are now able to control data connections and flows more effectively to reduce the risk of security breaches."

A Solution for Thousands of Websites

MilesWeb migrated most of its 8,000 websites to AWS in roughly 30 days, using a Linux-based web-hosting management tool called cPanel. Migration was done during weekends when website traffic decreased. MilesWeb moved websites from a total of 30 on-premises servers to the AWS Cloud— approximately 30 TB of data. Comments Dingore, “Migration was a straightforward process, with minor scripting, to transfer accounts from our servers to AWS.”

MilesWeb moved the websites to next-generation Amazon EC2 M5 Instances, which offer a balance of compute, memory, and networking resources for a broad range of workloads. The company also adopted Amazon Lightsail, a service that includes virtual machine (VM) instances, static IP addresses, server monitoring, solid-state disk block storage, firewall protection, and DNS. Dingore says, “The service is easy to use, and the pricing is transparent. You choose a plan that reflects how much memory, processing speed, and disk space you require, plus the amount of data you expect to be processed.”

Website Latency Down by 30%

The company has seen network latency reduced by just less than a third after moving to AWS. “In the past, we would have customers complain about latency impacting the user experience,” says Dingore. “It took 5 to 6 seconds for a website to load, but, since moving to AWS, load times have been cut to 3.5 to 4 seconds—a reduction of around 30 percent.”

Management Costs Fall by 30%

MilesWeb has also reduced IT management time now that it no longer administers leased and colocated servers. The MilesWeb IT team controls its AWS infrastructure through a single management console. Using the console, the team can scale storage, add load balancers, and join multiple VMs for extra performance. “We manage every aspect of our AWS infrastructure using the console,” says Dingore. “We’ve reduced our management costs by 30 percent from the migration.”

Zero Downtime for Customers

Since migrating its websites to AWS, MilesWeb has faced zero downtime—ensuring customer websites are available 24/7. A reason for this high availability is the redundancy available with AWS. The business uses AWS instances across India, Canada, Australia, the UK, and the US. It also makes use of the snapshotting service available to clone servers.

A New Service Growing at 15% a Month

Today, MilesWeb is leveraging its AWS experience to offer its customers a management service. Dingore believes the service can meet the IT needs of many of its customers, most of which don’t have in-house IT personnel. For these customers, MilesWeb will manage migrating customers’ existing cloud or on-premises servers to AWS and oversee their day-to-day operation. “We launched the service just a few months ago, and we’re already seeing 10 to15 percent growth month-on-month,” says Dingore.

Learn More

To learn more, visit https://aws.amazon.com/websites/