CloudFlare in front of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) webserver(s).

So you have setup one or more websites on one or more Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. There might be a few drawbacks that can easily be mitigated:

  • Amazon EC2 instances might not be very close to the location where most visitors come from, causing increased latency.
  • Having a single Amazon EC2 node is a bit fragile, configuration errors, webserver reloads and reboots will cause downtime.
  • Amazon EC2 machines (just as any other (Linux) machine) might be a bit vulnerable to attacks.
  • Traffic spikes might cause slow loading of pages.

The solution to these and other problems is free and easy to implement, it's called CloudFlare. This product is described by CloudFlare like this:
CloudFlare protects and accelerates any website online. Once your website is a part of the CloudFlare community, its web traffic is routed through our intelligent global network.

So far my experience is very good.

Implementation takes 15 minutes or so. It's easy, simply register your site at CloudFlare, pickup all existing DNS records and change the nameserver (NS) records for a domain to nameservers at CloudFlare.

All (web) traffic is routed through CloudFlare from that moment onward. This help to:

  • Save traffic to a webserver/loadbalancer. CloudFlare gives away this bandwidth for free, thank you!
  • Speed up websites by implementing caching and compression.
  • Reduce the number of hops from a visitor to the website. The website is actually served from any of the world-wide locations hosted by CloudFlare.
  • Show the original website (with a warning) is the webserver is down.
  • Reduce comment-spam by filtering out or challenging potential spammers with a Captcha.

All in all, a great service that's very easy to implement and maintain.

Comments

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References Red Hat Certified Architect By Robert de Bock Robert de Bock
Curriculum Vitae By Fred Clausen +31 6 14 39 58 72
By Nelson Manning [email protected]