Holiday firm gets multiple benefits from Amazon cloud

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Holiday firm gets multiple benefits from Amazon cloud

Karl Flinders

Holiday firm HolidayExtras.com has halved IT hardware costs in half and accelerated its web performance by moving systems and infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The company decided to move to the cloud in 2009, beginning with moving its e-mail to Google Apps.

HolidayExtras.com then spent nine months moving its IT infrastructure to AWS. The company says it has improved response times for the HolidayExtras.com website and cut IT hardware costs in half. It can now expand its infrastructure at the click of a button.

Using agile methods, the project to move to Amazon used the latest AWS technology such as Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) and Relational Database Service (RDS), as they were made available.

The project involved transitioning 10 quad core blade web servers and two 1 Terabyte  MySQL databases to 12 web servers (across three availability zones).

"This move was prompted by our business strategy and the vision of developing hassle-free customer technology,” said Nilan Peiris, chief marketing technology officer at HolidayExtras.com. “Our senior management team and the board of directors agreed that Amazon Web Services would allow us to transform our business model whilst improving agility across the company.”

“Historically we spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on hardware and software that was needed to support our peak volume. We now have an IT spend that scales elastically with volume as a cost of sale. This gives us money and time to focus more on our customers.”

To ensure redundancy, HolidayExtras.com has architected across three availability zones in AWS’ EU West Region.

Electricity supplier Haven Power recently began using Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud to provide cost-effective access to more computing power than it will ever need as the firm grows rapidly.

 

Achieving rapid scale through the cloud with AWS
 A pharmaceutical company was testing a new product and required the equivalent of a 30,000-node supercomputer to run molecular modelling. To be able to build a super computer it contacted a company known as Cycle Computing. The firm had to launch the system across three Amazon Web Services regions simultaneously - US West (California), US East (Virginia) and EU West (Ireland). There was 30TB of memory available on the compute nodes, which could hold the entire raw Wikipedia database five times over. To build a system of this scale traditionally would take many months and millions of dollars. By using AWS, Cycle Computing was able to build the supercomputer in hours and at a cost of less than $10,000, or $1,279 per hour. Read more details here.

 

 


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