Sunday, December 11, 2011

Windows Azure, [not grand] finale

It appears that while Windows Azure has a lot of good points (for example, the idea of PaaS is pretty good, since Web Roles look not that much different from the fabled Heroku deployment), the built-in limitations (like 20 cores limitation per account) and the inability to run different OSes (custom Windows images via VM Role are fine, but we need Linux also) will make our migration much harder. In fact, we only need Windows for application servers, Linux runs everything other just fine and is much easier to staff. So, while Azure looked fine in the first place, it looks like Amazon Web Services would be our choice (yes, it has its own bad limits like 2Gbps EC2->EBS bandwidth cap, yet it appears to be more flexible).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

7 million hits and transfer billing

A week ago we had 7 million daily hits on one of our websites and today we have it another time, another small, yet important milestone for us =)
I'm happy we aren't growing exponentially though, even linear growth with limited resources wasn't that easy to handle in terms of performance and (unsurprisingly) staffing.
The biggest headache this far though was media storage, which currently has several terabytes of images stored on our hardware with over a hundred TiB served per month (yes we aren't THAT big yet), and that we're looking forward to move somewhere like Windows Azure, but the estimated transfer bills are, well, shocking: ten times more expensive than we pay now. I wonder if transfer prices will drop soon. While storage is really getting cheaper (hard disks are getting cheaper, well they were until that flood), there is no visible driving force that could cause transfer rates go down.