Admittedly it’s a little more than a year! Here’s a look back on the time I’ve been running my AWS-hosted server.
I moved away from the fine folks at Media Temple back in mid-2020 and built my own server running on AWS. If you want to read more about that, take a look at my blog post.
Moving my websites to AWS – July 2020
The state of play
To be brief, things are great. I haven’t suffered any server-level catastrophes that has required a response from me, I hope that continues!
Performance and reliability
General server performance remains generally good. Using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, my websites run between 80-90 on mobile, and between 95-100 on desktop. I want to do more to improve mobile performance, this will be something I’ll look at soon.
Certificates are auto-renewing without issue, although the initial site provisioning process is a little flaky.
I’ve been using Uptime Robot to monitor website reachability (on five minute polling intervals). From the data I have, uptime (excluding maintenance windows) has been hitting a “five nines” service level (equivalent to just over five minutes downtime in a year).
Only one issue so far
I was closely monitoring the server health for the first year, and I did discover an issue with disk usage. I discovered a logging error (maybe a bug) that was causing email message logs to swell up into huge, multi-gigabyte archives. This led to a couple of disk warnings, and I had to manually clear it several times before I was able to identify and fix the root cause. Once it was pugged, I’ve not spotted any issues.
Some monthly stats
I’ve exported out some stats from Cloudflare, average monthly stats over the last six months:
- Total requests: 6,200,000
- Bandwidth out: 34 GB
- Visits: 380,000
- Page views: 1,600,000
The cost of running the server has worked out considerably cheaper than the previous hosting company. Using reserved instances brings costs down considerably:
- EC2 on a no upfront for three years
- RDS on partial upfront for three years
Operational costs for the server is sitting around £20/m with this structure, and includes things like provisioned storage.
A note on domains
All of the domains I look after directly are now registered with Cloudflare. I closed my GoDaddy and Fasthosts accounts in early 2022 after Cloudflare opened up .co.uk registrations.
Cloudflare provides a considerably cheaper alternative for registrations, sometimes reducing renewals to as much as 1/3 of their initial costs. I pass on these savings to my customers.
As ab example, GoDaddy wanted to charge me £11.99 for a .co.uk domain, Cloudflare charged me $5.24 (and provide a fully private registration as standard). Pretty much a no-brainer.
Eventually the server operating system will be end of life, so I may need to migrate to a new box if in-place upgrades aren’t a thing. Right now, I don’t think I would change anything, other than maybe optimise some file / folder structures, and look for ways to improve the certificate renewal process. The LTS period isn’t up until at least 2030, so I’ll have some time to figure anything out.