Inconsistent performance on Amazon Cloud.

The Problem

Backwoods had their Magento Enterprise store hosted on the Amazon Cloud (AWS). They were seeing inconsistent I/O performance on the cloud, that often resulted in some page load times that were quite excessive. They were also experiencing inconsistent speeds in some back-end operations.

Additionally, the environment was not fully optimized, not making use of APC caching, MySQL not being optimally tuned, and Redis not set to take full advantage of available memory.

These issues combined with a lack of knowledgeable support over at Amazon when issues arose had them looking for a better solution.

What LexiConn Provided

We set up Backwoods with a powerful dedicated server, utilizing hardware RAID-10 with write-back caching (protected by a Battery Backup Unit), plenty of RAM, and a top end CPU.

Hardware RAID-10 would provide great I/O performance, and the extra RAM would be fully utilized by MySQL, Redis, and their SOLR search system.

We optimized PHP, including APC caching (with continuous monitoring and adjustments to avoid fragmentation or memory resources issues). MySQL was tuned to have an optimal query cache, proper innoDB memory settings, to avoid any slow queries.

Our Content Delivery Network (CDN) solution was put in place, and integrated with their Magento store for faster loading images and files.

The Result

Backwoods immediately saw consistently fast I/O, which avoided any excessive page load speeds, even for non-cached pages. All Backend processes completed quickly. We saw an increase in page load times of 25-40% on average, and no excessive load times were encountered.

The optimized environment has allowed plenty of room for growth without affecting performance. Backwoods has been able to rely on us for help with their Magento store when issues arise, and with our continuous monitoring and adjustments of server side applications like APC, MySQL, Redis, etc... they can rest easy knowing that someone is minding the store's performance.

About Backwoods

Founded in 1973, Backwoods is an Austin-based, family owned and operated outdoor gear and apparel store. Backwoods corporate office is located at 127 E. Riverside Dr. Suite 101, Austin Texas 78704. With eight locations throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Kansas, and all merchandise available for purchase on their website, Backwoods has sold quality products with exceptional customer service for nearly 40 years. Backwoods offers clothing, equipment and expertise to help customers fulfill their travel plans with a range adventures such as hiking, trekking, fishing, climbing, camping, trail running, kayaking, paddling, adventure trips and yoga. In 2004, Backwoods took their mission a step further and created Backwood Adventures, a travel company that provides unique, personal, first-rate experiences. Backwoods Adventures is currently planning trips in six different continents.