Written by Daniel Lindenberger
–– Lead Civic Mirror Programmer
At Action-Ed we’ve recently made the jump from traditional servers to Cloud Computing via Amazon Web Services (AWS), and we couldn’t be more excited about it. We thought we’d share a bit about why, and how this will make for a better customer experience.
As Big as We Need it to Be!
With a class-based simulation like Civic Mirror, we can often go from one or two people looking at the site to a few hundred people furiously trading, posting, and working in their country in a matter of minutes. At times, a single click by one of those people can start a cascade of more than a hundred database requests, and a tremendous number of calculations. This means on any given weekday we range from needing a fairly simple system to an extremely powerful workhorse. AWS Cloud computing has allowed us to increase our server power, and in the near future will allow us to vary our server’s abilities to meet the needs of the moment.
Experimenting Made Simple
The nature of AWS cloud computing allows us to easily make an exact copy of our main server, and try out different things to see what works best. Upgrades to the operating system, web server and other elements of the server become easy to compare and if they don’t work, we simply disappear the new server. We can try different architectures – does one more powerful server work best, or three interconnected servers with different roles? These experiments can be done relatively quickly, and we can easily switch to any configuration that shows improvements.
We’re already seeing substantial improvements from our initial cloud server, and this only means good things for Civic Mirror’s uptime and reliability. Stay tuned, we’ll be unveiling a few new improvements soon to the underlying systems that let Civic Mirror run so many simulated countries across the world all at once.