Hey guys,

Has anyone used AWS Elastic Beanstalk with Spree? If so what are your
thoughts on it compared to Heroku? I've seen a lot of information about
Heroku on here as a PaaS solution and its ease of deployment and so on but
haven't seen anything about Elastic Beanstalk. Is AWSEB worse, same or
better to use over Heroku or the other PaaS platforms. The ability to auto
scale your instances seems nice and it seems cheaper

I guess I'd like to know the pros and cons with hosting a Spree store using
Beanstalk. Also does anyone have any feedback on AWS OpsWorks?

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  • Robert Kasanicky at Feb 27, 2013 at 8:42 pm
    I gave EB a quick and arguably shallow try shortly after the Ruby support
    was announced. I'm sure it is feasible to run Spree on EB, however don't
    expect it to work out of box. I personally gave up on it due to my low
    appetite for working with Amazon Linux and dreadful performance of EC2
    servers below c1.medium.

    Anyway, here's my lessons learned:

    - You have to store your images in S3, that's perhaps obvious and
    applies to Heroku as well
    - You'll need to customize the EB AMI to include additional packages
    like imagemagick and in my case also postgres libraries required by the pg
    gem.
    - I stumbled upon the fact that EB automatically runs assets:precompile
    on deployment which I don't want to do in production and couldn't find an
    easy way to explain that to EB at the time being. Btw. if you're using
    small or micro instances you'll need a lot of patience waiting for
    assets:precompile to finish. Also the startup times are no fun. It gets
    better with c1.medium but that's not a cheap setup anymore, especially when
    you need to pay for a database server and load balancer as well.
    - Last but not least you'll need to configure SSL - either force Spree
    to forget it's default SSL concerns entirely and deal with SSL only on the
    Elastic Load Balancer, or further modify the EB AMI to include certificates
    and let Spree work as usual

    Hope that helps
    Robert

    On Wednesday, February 27, 2013 5:43:09 PM UTC+1, Allen W. wrote:

    Hey guys,

    Has anyone used AWS Elastic Beanstalk with Spree? If so what are your
    thoughts on it compared to Heroku? I've seen a lot of information about
    Heroku on here as a PaaS solution and its ease of deployment and so on but
    haven't seen anything about Elastic Beanstalk. Is AWSEB worse, same or
    better to use over Heroku or the other PaaS platforms. The ability to auto
    scale your instances seems nice and it seems cheaper

    I guess I'd like to know the pros and cons with hosting a Spree store
    using Beanstalk. Also does anyone have any feedback on AWS OpsWorks?
    --
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  • Allen W. at Feb 27, 2013 at 11:57 pm
    Hi Robert,

    Thanks for all that info. Since I've never used either Heroku or EB, I
    guess I'm just wondering which would be the best for pretty much a fully
    managed site after setup. For the points you gave below, how do they
    compare to Heroku? I know its a must to use something like S3 for image
    storage but don't you have to include imagemagick on Heroku as well? I
    also hear that setting up SSL can be a pain in the rear on Heroku.

    I also understand Heroku has a bunch of Add-ons but from what I see, EB is
    cheaper overall when you compare the 2 (I think). I'm not sure if there is
    a way to compare like for like as far as Heroku web dynos to instances.
    For example is 5 web dynos equal to c1.medium (I just threw this out there
    cause I'm not sure yet)

    I guess I'm trying to figure out why people are choosing Heroku over EB.

    Thanks and much appreciated.
    On Wednesday, February 27, 2013 3:42:21 PM UTC-5, Robert Kasanicky wrote:

    I gave EB a quick and arguably shallow try shortly after the Ruby support
    was announced. I'm sure it is feasible to run Spree on EB, however don't
    expect it to work out of box. I personally gave up on it due to my low
    appetite for working with Amazon Linux and dreadful performance of EC2
    servers below c1.medium.

    Anyway, here's my lessons learned:

    - You have to store your images in S3, that's perhaps obvious and
    applies to Heroku as well
    - You'll need to customize the EB AMI to include additional packages
    like imagemagick and in my case also postgres libraries required by the pg
    gem.
    - I stumbled upon the fact that EB automatically runs
    assets:precompile on deployment which I don't want to do in production and
    couldn't find an easy way to explain that to EB at the time being. Btw. if
    you're using small or micro instances you'll need a lot of patience waiting
    for assets:precompile to finish. Also the startup times are no fun. It gets
    better with c1.medium but that's not a cheap setup anymore, especially when
    you need to pay for a database server and load balancer as well.
    - Last but not least you'll need to configure SSL - either force Spree
    to forget it's default SSL concerns entirely and deal with SSL only on the
    Elastic Load Balancer, or further modify the EB AMI to include certificates
    and let Spree work as usual

    Hope that helps
    Robert

    On Wednesday, February 27, 2013 5:43:09 PM UTC+1, Allen W. wrote:

    Hey guys,

    Has anyone used AWS Elastic Beanstalk with Spree? If so what are your
    thoughts on it compared to Heroku? I've seen a lot of information about
    Heroku on here as a PaaS solution and its ease of deployment and so on but
    haven't seen anything about Elastic Beanstalk. Is AWSEB worse, same or
    better to use over Heroku or the other PaaS platforms. The ability to auto
    scale your instances seems nice and it seems cheaper

    I guess I'd like to know the pros and cons with hosting a Spree store
    using Beanstalk. Also does anyone have any feedback on AWS OpsWorks?
    --
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  • Allen W. at Mar 1, 2013 at 3:32 am
    Thanks again for your reply!

    If I understand what your saying, even with the cheapest EB setup, it wont run a Spree store properly but 1 web dyno from Heroku might be OK until a increase in traffic?

    I guess I need to investigate further. If there is anyone out there currently hosting on Elastic Beanstalk, I'd love to hear about your experience

    --
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  • Randy Terbush at Mar 1, 2013 at 6:32 pm
    Allen,

    I'm new to Spree and have not hosted on Heroku or EB but I can offer the
    following and will have more info to share in the coming weeks regarding an
    EC2 deployment I am working on.

    1. I have not problem (and frankly prefer) having full access to
    configuration of the AMI for configuring SSL, ImageMagick, etc.
    2. I've been development on a micro image and have found
    it surprisingly responsive. The comments about performance of instances
    sizes smaller than "medium" does raise some concern but I figure that if I
    need to scale the environment, that means the store is making money. The
    ability to scale easily is of course the selling point of being on a system
    like AWS.
    3. I've been able to get helpful advice here in the community to deal
    with challenges of deploying and controlling asset precompile, etc.

    So the summary is that I am blissfully naive but am pushing forward with an
    EC2 environment and am happy to share my experience.

    On Thursday, February 28, 2013 8:32:10 PM UTC-7, Allen W. wrote:

    Thanks again for your reply!

    If I understand what your saying, even with the cheapest EB setup, it wont
    run a Spree store properly but 1 web dyno from Heroku might be OK until a
    increase in traffic?

    I guess I need to investigate further. If there is anyone out there
    currently hosting on Elastic Beanstalk, I'd love to hear about your
    experience
    --
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  • Allen W. at Mar 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm
    Hi Randy,

    I completely agree with #2 below but of course the start up cost may be a
    little bit cheaper on Heroku over EB. Are you planning on using EB when
    you move forward. I think would be great to document any issues you run
    into or just setup instructions for the rest of the community. I'm very
    intrigued with using EB with its auto scaling feature as well as I believe
    it comes configured with load balancing and S3.

    The only issues I could think of is that you would only be able to use
    Passenger. (At least from what I have read online) It seems we would be
    out of luck on using Unicorn, Thin, Rainbow, etc.. if that is what you
    wanted.

    Oh and I agree this community is great and provides a lot of info but I'm
    assuming it may be more difficult to receive answers to questions if most
    people aren't using EB over those who have used Heroku
    On Friday, March 1, 2013 1:32:27 PM UTC-5, Randy Terbush wrote:

    Allen,

    I'm new to Spree and have not hosted on Heroku or EB but I can offer the
    following and will have more info to share in the coming weeks regarding an
    EC2 deployment I am working on.

    1. I have not problem (and frankly prefer) having full access to
    configuration of the AMI for configuring SSL, ImageMagick, etc.
    2. I've been development on a micro image and have found
    it surprisingly responsive. The comments about performance of instances
    sizes smaller than "medium" does raise some concern but I figure that if I
    need to scale the environment, that means the store is making money. The
    ability to scale easily is of course the selling point of being on a system
    like AWS.
    3. I've been able to get helpful advice here in the community to deal
    with challenges of deploying and controlling asset precompile, etc.

    So the summary is that I am blissfully naive but am pushing forward with
    an EC2 environment and am happy to share my experience.

    On Thursday, February 28, 2013 8:32:10 PM UTC-7, Allen W. wrote:

    Thanks again for your reply!

    If I understand what your saying, even with the cheapest EB setup, it
    wont run a Spree store properly but 1 web dyno from Heroku might be OK
    until a increase in traffic?

    I guess I need to investigate further. If there is anyone out there
    currently hosting on Elastic Beanstalk, I'd love to hear about your
    experience
    --
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  • Robert Kasanicky at Mar 1, 2013 at 11:24 pm
    I guess I should clarify my performance whining about EC2. I actually ran
    Spree on a micro instance (not EB) for a couple of weeks, so strictly
    speaking it definitely works (Nginx+Passenger to be specific). However
    waiting a few minutes for your Spree store to restart is no fun, and assets
    precompilation times seemed infinite (I switched to precompiling locally,
    IMO it's a good idea regardless of server performance).

    Now I run Spree on HPCloud extra small and it's a big relief, restart times
    went down to seconds. I ran a few phoronix tests for CPU, IO and memory
    speed on both EC2 Small and HP Extra Small and the HP performance was
    consistenly multiple times better in all benchmarks I tried. Actually the
    extra small HP server performed better than my arguably still high-end i5
    laptop.

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