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Cloud to the rescue? How I learned to stop worrying and love the cloud

Knowledge level: 
Coding and Development

As cloud based systems get cheaper and more robust, how can we take best advantage of them?

Our site,, needed to upgrade servers and storage. We were faced with an interesting problem: lots of files from all over the world. How best to serve, store and process them using several web servers without breaking the bank, performance or our site?

Our problem was split into two parts. Servers and Storage. For servers we assessed a few providers (Amazon and Rackspace). For storage we looked at NFS, Mountable block level storage (EBS), API based storage/CDN (S3, CloudFiles) and GlusterFS.

What the talk will cover :
- Our approach, research and conclusions on the servers / storage issue.
- Our testing of the above
- What worked and what you can copy to make your site faster and more scaleable.

What it will not cover :
- Software scaling : Varnish / Memcache / APC - etc, thats a whole talk on its own.
- Server setup (we use puppet btw).
- DB / SQL optimization etc.

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