Web servers and VPS’s

May 23, 2014

What are MageFlow web servers?

A MageFlow web server is a Magento-optimized web stack that can be built in almost any Linux virtual machine (or private server).

The MageFlow stack includes Nginx, PHP-FPM, MySQL, caches, debugging, and testing tools – everything necessary to deploy high-performance Magento solutions.

What’s the point?

When deploying a Magento website you usually have three options for building your stack and managing your infrastructure (not including self-management or shared hosting, which are not viable options for businesses):

  • Hire a systems administrator – Very expensive or unpredictable. Not a good option for most.
  • Get a Magento managed server – Great for large Magento websites. High cost and low flexibility. Providers include Rackspace, Peer1, and others.
  • Use a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) – Lower cost. Vendor lock-in. Little control over infrastructure. Providers include Engine Yard, Heroku, Pagoda Box, and others.

None of these are ideal solutions for an average Magento business. We decided to create a Magento-specific platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that doesn’t lock you into any specific infrastructure provider. You can use almost any hosting service and your web servers will operate independently from MageFlow – giving you complete control over your infrastructure and applications.

You will need at least one web server to create Magento instances with MageFlow. You can create almost any number of instances in one web server – however, this is very dependent on the performance of the infrastructure (i.e. number of CPU cores and RAM available in your virtual machine).

What are virtual private servers?

A VPS is a virtual machine sold as a service by an Internet hosting company. A VPS runs its own copy of an operating system, and customers have superuser-level access to that operating system instance, so can install almost any software that runs on that OS. For many purposes they are functionally equivalent to a dedicated physical server.

Read more http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_private_server

What kind of virtual private server (VPS) do I need?

First, make sure it’s a Debian 7 Linux (amd64 or i386) server. We will add support for other Linux distributions later.

Performance and cost:

  • Testing servers can be as small as 1 CPU core and 512MB of RAM (you’ll need more memory if you have several Magento instances in one server) which you can get for as low as $5/month;
  • Small Magento sites can get by with 2 CPU cores and 4GB RAM starting at around $40/month;
  • Average Magento sites usually have at least 6 CPU cores and 12GB of RAM starting at around $150/month;
  • Large Magento sites can have server clusters with load balancers and separate web and database servers. This is usually a managed service or a highly scalable PaaS.

How do I get a virtual private server (VPS)?

There are many great VPS providers. We cannot recommend any specific service. However, we have been testing MageFlow with Digital Ocean, Linode, Gandi, RamNode, BuyVM, and VPSCheap. We’ll add more to this list as we try out new services.

Soon, MageFlow will also enable Amazon Web Services integration so you will be able to create EC2 virtual machines very easily. You just need an AWS account. We’ll let you know once we’re closer to releasing it.

Still confused?

You can always get in touch with us by using the in-app messenger or contacting support.

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