started in 2006 as a blog aggregator and a community for bloggers and blog readers in Singapore. They have enjoyed tremendous growth and the company says that the site currently aggregates more than 100,000 blogs from around the region, while continuing to grow.

With the growth of the site, the need for computing power also increased. When 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 says, “We chose the cloud for better expandability and flexibility in the long run." chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) after evaluating a few cloud providers. "We wanted to have the ability to fine-tune our server and architecture ourselves to better suit our needs and requirements," Chua says. 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 a day, the team realized that 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 provides more CPU power than the pair of small instances.

Ping Architecture Diagram

Figure 1: Architecture Diagram

The services and API provided by AWS enables to program automatic daily incremental backup via Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) snapshots. The company can also push its static data to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). "That's something we were not able to do before switching to Amazon," Chua says.

With 80 percent of visits coming from Singapore and more than 95 percent from Asia, was overjoyed when AWS announced its launch in Singapore. The company quickly shifted from the AWS US-East Region to the AWS Asia Pacific (Singapore) Region. immediately enjoyed a speed boost due to the significant reduction in network latency: ping times dropped from ~250ms (U.S.-East) to less than 30ms (Singapore).

“Besides the cost savings, by having our infrastructure on the AWS Cloud, we are happy to know that we are able to acquire more compute resources as demand grows," Chua says. "We will be able to scale both vertically and horizontally very easily. On top of that, the availability of AWS in different regions all over the world and its content delivery network (CDN) capability is in line with our plans for further expansion outside of Singapore and into other regions.”

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