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Q&A on our AWS migration

Q&A on our AWS migration

Sounds like a David Attenborough documentary, doesn’t it? Well, we think it’s even better, and that’s why we’ve worked so hard over the last few months to prepare for it. Starting next week and continuing over the next few months, we’ll be migrating our customers to our new hosting environment: Amazon Web Services (AWS).

You’ve probably already seen some of our communications about the move, but don’t worry if you haven’t—this blog post covers everything you need to know, from why we’re making the move to what it means for you as a customer.

Why the move?

We want our customers to have the most robust and scalable platform for their businesses, and we believe moving to a cloud computing service is the best way to achieve it. You’ve already seen the benefits of cloud computing in the way you can access your services from anywhere in the world, and make rapid resource changes in response to your customers’ needs. We want the same, so we can deliver the best possible experience to our customers—to you.

So what’s AWS?

AWS is a cloud services platform that offers on-demand hosting, storage, processing power, and applications. Instead of buying rack space in a data centre and setting up our own physical servers, we have fully automated processes that help us configure and scale virtual servers to our needs.. With cloud computing, we don’t need to buy a new server or upgrade our existing servers when we need more disk space; we simply change its configuration and let our automation take care of it. And AWS is growing every day, giving Neto access to tools and services that will improve our processes and products. (That’s a fairly simple description, and AWS is not just one thing, but a lot of things. So if you want the full story, it’s best to see what Amazon has to say about it.)

AWS sounds good for Neto, but what does it mean for me?

Good question! For our customers, the move to AWS means you’ll get consistently reliable performance and security as we grow our customer base and deploy new and improved features. Capacity will scale with the demand for services, so your customers always get the best possible experience. And we’ll be able to roll out new features seamlessly, using continuous deployment practices that won’t interrupt your services.

Are there risks with the move?

Switching to a cloud solution actually reduces some risks, by enabling us to respond more quickly to problem that arise.

Amazon provides clear design principles for building AWS environments, and the Neto Engineering teams have put a lot of effort into ensuring we follow industry best practices for operations and infrastructure management. One of these teams is the newly formed Site Reliability Engineering team, which focuses on improving the performance, availability and resilience of the Neto platform. We’ve also given a lot of consideration to maintaining our current security practices on AWS, and even improving them where new tools and services make this possible.

Will this make customer control panels faster?

Our move to AWS is more about scalability and future performance than about current performance—as we grow, we want to ensure we can always respond to demand spikes and make sure the services are available when you need them. So we don’t know exactly how much faster the control panels will be than they currently are, but we do know that our customers (and yours!) won’t experience the slow-downs and down-times usually associated with demand spikes.

That sounds great! What do I need to do?

Very little—Neto will be doing all the heavy lifting! We anticipate that some customers will be temporarily offline as we switch you over to AWS but will endeavour to make the process as smooth as possible.  We’ll perform the migrations in batches to ensure there is minimum disruption and check that everything has gone smoothly before we move onto the next batch. We’ll schedule these migrations between hours of low traffic during weekdays and we’ll let each customer know the details as we get closer to your specific date. And, of course, we promise to keep you informed of any changes that may affect you.

We’re excited about this move to AWS and the innovation and scalability it will deliver to all of our customers. We hope you’re excited, too, but if you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us answer any and all of your questions.

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