The Power of the Zoey Cloud

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Introducing the Zoey Cloud

Zoey’s infrastructure is informed by years of experience in building, hosting and tuning Magento sites. This allowed us to reshape Magento into a fast, secure and scalable SaaS platform by rewriting many of its components to run better on our cloud.

We’re also using many of today’s most advanced virtualization technologies so that every Zoey store runs in a single discrete elastic virtual environment. We have broken up the monolithic nature of the application into micro-services, allowing us to pull performance from multiple systems across our infrastructure and our integration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

In our NYC Data Center, we run all of our computation and cache nodes in an OpenStack environment backed by special storage hardware. This hardware combines the speed of solid state drives (SSD) for file-system caching and the dependability of enterprise-grade hard disks for data storage.

From behind a load balancer, every store serves its own users and doesn’t share an installation with any other store. Multi-layer caching served by Redis, sharding of ancillary services to dedicated clusters, and content distribution network (CDN) integration allow us to shave so much computational heft off the application, that what used to take an entire array of dedicated hardware, now runs efficiently inside a lightweight LXC container on our OpenStack private cloud.

Even SQL databases are sharded off for performance. Rather than build one massive cluster and have every store compete for resources, each SQL server is dedicated to a specific group of instances which connect to it over our 10Gb internal network. These databases are backed up twice daily and saved both onsite and offsite. Even if an entire SQL cluster failed, we could restart your instance on another container, copy over your latest DB backup and you would be back to selling. This process takes minutes and would not be possible using traditional Magento hosting techniques.

The Advantages of the Zoey Cloud over Traditional Magento Hosting

Zoey’s cloud delivers significant advantages over traditional Magento hosting. The largest is that as a SaaS platform, you’re getting many Magento features without having to manage hosting, security and updates. By moving to Zoey, these merchants are getting back hours of time and tens of thousands of dollars that can now be re-allocated to marketing, operations or R&D.

Our partnership with AWS gives additional flexibility to businesses outside of the United States. AWS’ global presence allows us to host a Zoey store in any one of AWS’ availability zones. Choosing your hosting location ensures that the primary market you serve sees the fastest possible site speeds.

While anyone could host a Magento site on AWS, the difference is that Zoey actually has rewritten the core of Magento to use the services that AWS offers. Not only can you host your store on any data center that AWS offers, but it will also leverage the native services of AWS to create a true micro-services architecture. Replicating this functionality using traditional Magento hosting would be almost impossible and require a total rewrite like Zoey.

The load balancing, clustering, caching and CDN we use further allow us to deliver your site at high speeds, while also ensuring stability, regardless of the number of visitors or where your site is hosted. Replicating the performance we give to every Zoey client for $89/month using traditional Magento hosting would simply not be possible. It would require thousands or tens of thousands of dollars per month, not including all of the time needed to accomplish this.

Beyond giving our customers a robust infrastructure, we also reinforce it with 24/7/365 monitoring to ensure security and uptime. This monitoring also allows our Developer Operations team to tweak our entire infrastructure stack or a single store to respond to increases in load or anything that a specific store needs. Zoey is able to quickly migrate sites from one computing cluster to another, scale up resources for additional traffic, thwart third party security threats, handle DDoS mitigation and so much more. Replicating this functionality would require hiring a dedicated team of dozens of Engineers, Network Operators, System Administrators and many more talented people. By the way, if you’re one of them, we’re hiring!

While everything we’ve accomplished so far is a testament to years spent hosting and tuning the performance of Magento sites, we’re not content to stop innovating. As time goes on we will continue to push the limits of what’s possible to make the application even more powerful and stable.

The Future of The Zoey Cloud

The future for Zoey is bright. Merchants are amazed at what they can do with Zoey when compared to other less powerful SaaS platforms like Shopify and Bigcommerce. Additionally, when they compare the cost and time required to launch a custom Magento site versus a Zoey site, the value is obvious. This encouraging reaction from merchants inspires us to continue innovating and advancing Zoey’s technical infrastructure.

The next big improvements to Zoey’s technical infrastructure will focus on three key initiatives:

  • Leveraging more public cloud offerings, like AWS, which allows us to improve the stability and performance of Zoey without adding any additional complexity of our own
  • Serving all media (photos, videos, images files) via CDN and ending the practice of saving media inside app instances
  • Rebuilding more components of Magento Community Edition to operate on stateless clusters

Stay tuned for updates as we progress through these initiatives. We can’t wait to show you what we’re building!

- Steve Hayman, VP Technology

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