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Hosting Sitecore on AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a cost-effective and flexible hosting platform for enterprise applications such as Sitecore.  Sitecore is a popular enterprise CMS and multi-channel marketing software. The architecture of this product is well suited to take advantage of the benefits of the AWS cloud. By using AWS services, including Amazon relational database service (Amazon RDS) and elastic Load balancing, one can operate Sitecore in a flexible and scalable way. A typical Sitecore installation has multiple servers and depending on the traffic served and load requirements the size of the environment is scaled.  Sitecore provides a standardized sizing and deployment topology with details on instance sizing and configuration for Dev, QA, Production and DR on AWS EC2.

Sitecore Installation on AWS

The AWS cloud offers multiple flexible options for hosting and operating a robust Sitecore WCMS. AWS has published a Well-Architected Framework (WAF) that captures best practices and requires following the established best practices for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the hosted solution. Typical activities involved in hosting on AWS include:

  • Network access engineering using VPN, SSH, Dedicated Connection
  • Optimal cloud virtual machine selection based on workload to optimize performance & cost
  • High-availability design through the use of multiple regions and data center availability zones
  • Strong network and access isolation using a multi-zone architecture within a virtual private cloud
  • Cost and performance efficiency using auto- scaling, reserved & spot instance strategies

Key design elements for a typical AWS Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) design for Sitecore hosting is described below.

AWS VPC Logical Architecture Overview

In addition to the Sitecore WCMS application components additional software components will be required to protect the environment. Some commonly required components include:

  • Boundary protection using WAF/IPS and IDS protection
  • Centralized access management with Domain Controller (Active Directory)
  • VPN based access to the environment
  • Logging and monitoring for environment integrity using AWS Config, AWS Cloudtrail, CloudWatch, and associated services

Once the cloud hosting enclave is ready and the application is migrated and operational, it is critical to ensure secure and reliable operations.  The translated instances and types are listed below for the environment. The costs presented are provided as typical estimates but the actual cost will vary depending on actual usage and also specific instance selection based on actual load.

Production

Item Quantity Description Monthly Cost
Prod Management 2 Windows on m4.xlarge $718.84
xDB processing 1 Windows on m4.xlarge $359.42
Prod Delivery 2 Windows on m4.xlarge $718.84
Prod Delivery DR Server 2 Windows on m4.xlarge, 20 hrs / month only $19.64
MongoDB Database 1 Linux on m4.xlarge $174.95
Load Balancers 2 One each for mgmt and delivery $54.90
Storage (Data + OS) 470GB Several EBS volumes for data and OS $86.00
Primary SQL Server database 1 RDS SQL Server Standard, with Multi-AZ, 100gb disk, license included, db.m4.large $1,454.06
DR Database used 20hrs/month 1 RDS SQL Server Standard $21.84
AWS Data transfer costs 10gb/mont Estimated data transfer costs $0.81
Backups / snapshots $80.00
TOTAL $3,689.30

QA

Item Quantity Description Monthly Cost
QA Management 1 Windows on m4.xlarge $359.42
xDB Analytics 1 Windows on m4.xlarge $359.42
QA Delivery 2 Windows on m4.xlarge $718.84
MongoDB Database 1 Linux on m4.xlarge $174.95
Jump Server 1 Windows on t2.large $98.09
VPN Server 1 Linux on t2.micro $9.52
NAT / NAT Gateway 1 Linux on t2.small $19.04
Storage for all instances 356GB OS + Data disks $43.60
Load Balancer N/A N/A $18.60
SQL Server Standard 1 db.m4.large, Single-AZ, with 80gb disk, license included $724.37
Directory Service 1 Microsoft Active Directory $292.80
TOTAL $2,818.65

Dev

Item Quantity Description Monthly Cost
Dev Delivery/mgmt/xDB server 1 Windows on m4.large, 70% utilization $126.20
Storage (Data + OS) 130GB EBS Volumes $13.00
MongoDB Database 1 Linux on m4.xlarge $174.95
Dev SQL Server 1 db.t2.small, SQL Server standard license 100% utilization with 20GB data $107.71
TOTAL $421.86

Cold DR

Item Quantity Description Monthly Cost
DR Delivery/mgmt/xDB server 1 Windows on m4.large utilization $63.10
Storage (Data + OS) 390GB EBS Volumes $39.00
MongoDB Database 1 Linux on m4.xlarge $87.48
DR SQL Server 1 RDS SQL Server Standard, 100gb disk, license included, db.m4.large with 20% $363.66
TOTAL $553.24

 

Important NOTES:

  • The costs provided above do not include Sitecore licensing costs.
  • The QA environment hosting fee can be reduced by shutting the instances when not used. The current cost estimate is provided assuming 100% utilization.
  • Additional savings of around 20-25% can be achieved by using Reserved Instances and performing simple optimization of the environment including monitoring utilization.

 

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