Tim Dietrich

Custom Software Developer

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FileMaker Server 13 on Amazon EC2

Late last week, I decided to experiment with running FMS13 on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. I was curious to see what the performance would be like, and what the cost would be. Here's what I found...

I ended up setting up two instances, both running Windows Server 2012, in Amazon's US East (Northern Virginia) Region. (Note that I'm based in Richmond, Virginia.)

The first instance was an "m1.large" configuration with 4 ECUs, 2vCPUs, 7.5Gb Memory, 2 x 420 Gb storage, and Moderate network performance. Performance for clients connecting with Pro and Go seemed to be about the same as I had been getting with FileMaker Server 12. Performance over WebDirect was decent, but still a little slow.

I then setup a second instance, an "m1.xlarge" configuration with 8 ECUs, 4vCPUs, 15Gb Memory, 4 x 420 Gb storage, and High network performance. Performance for all clients - including WebDirect - is just insanely fast. It is the kind of speed / responsiveness that I've always wanted for Pro and Go clients, where it actually feels as though the database is hosted locally. And the kind of response that I'm seeing over WebDirect is what I think many of us are looking for. It still feels different, and a little awkward - but at least it works.

The "gotcha" with EC2 is its cost. The "m1.large" instance costs $0.364 per instance hour, which works out to around $270 per month. The "m1.xlarge" instance costs $0.728 per instance hour, which works out to around $540 per month. (If I could get the "m1.xlarge" instance at the "m1.large" price, I'd be thrilled!)

I hope this info will help others, and maybe get a conversation started about EC2.

-- Tim

Note: I've also posted this over on the FileMaker Developer Community ("TechNet"). If you're not already signed up, be sure to check it out.