Monografias.com is a community-built content site with tens of thousands of original essays and publications contributed by independent authors. With over 2 million unique visitors per day, it is the largest educational site in Spanish and is popular in Mexico, Spain, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, and Argentina.

With the rapid growth of their site, the technical team was spending precious time and money on their infrastructure to keep up with demand. Fernando Negro, Chief Technical Officer, recalls, “We were using a dedicated hoster for more than 10 years. But in order to get better pricing, the hoster required a 12-month minimum contract. Our choices became nearly permanent and we were constantly under- or over-estimating the hardware needed, which always resulted in overpaying for our infrastructure. When the time came to renew our contract, we decided to migrate our entire infrastructure to AWS, to take advantage of the benefits in performance, flexibility and the bottom line.”

Today, this large Latin American website is run entirely on AWS. “An invaluable benefit has been the change from a fixed-cost to a variable-cost infrastructure. We have reduced our costs over 50 percent in peak activity times, and we forecast an additional 20 percent savings during normal activity.”

In addition to saving money, using AWS has also improved Monografias’ development processes. “With AWS, we can switch to a faster or more affordable instance in only 5 minutes," Negro says. "Thanks to the flexibility afforded to us by AWS, our research and development processes have changed radically. We can now test and simulate without even thinking of infrastructure we must acquire. Regardless of size, we can use the different Amazon EC2 instances to study the processing needs and the usage benefits of our developments. Both our prototypes and our actual projects can be online quickly, giving us a time to market on par with much larger companies. Overall, our staff hours have been reduced by about 30 percent, thanks to the ability to manage instances, publishing and testing all in a centralized fashion.”

Monografias.com is using Amazon EC2 for its application, database, and dynamic content servers. Negro says, “Since we can organize and distribute our services in different instances without depending on physical servers, we’ve greatly improved the speed, traffic, and quality of the service we provide our users.” Monografias.com also uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) for frontend master copy, static content, and backups. “Thanks to Amazon EBS, Amazon S3, and snapshots, our backup and storage planning has been greatly improved.”

“The improvements in flexibility, performance and cost-savings we see with AWS are amazing," Negro says. "We haven’t been as excited about our capacity to innovate as a business and compete on a global scale since the beginning of the web. We want to encourage everyone who hasn’t tried cloud-computing solutions to give them a try. It is not difficult to get started with migrating just one or a few secondary services, just to get a feel for the way it works and start seeing the benefits while learning this new platform. We love the quality and quantity of products AWS is offering.”

To learn more about how AWS can help run your websites in the cloud, visit: http://aws.amazon.com/websites/.