Idealstack is the Perfect Way For Startups To Get Started on AWS

When you create a startup - the best & fastest way to get up & running is to build your app in a framework like Laravel, Lumen or Zend, then host it on AWS using Idealstack. 

You can access all the power of AWS - scalability, clustering, autoscale, and all of AWS's other services, running in your own AWS infrastructure, and without have to invest in building and maintaining a complex network of your own, or having to train developers in new ways of working.

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Why AWS?

AWS is perfect for startups - only pay for what you need, scale to as big as you want, and access over 100 different AWS web services to make it much quicker to build your app. The rich library of services that AWS offer let you access best-practice solutions to almost any technology need.  Almost every internet startup builds on AWS for this reason.


Why Idealstack?

AWS is hard!  Especially when you're just starting out - you need every second of developer time to show up in your product, not months spent trying to wrangle AWS to get it up and running.

With Idealstack - you develop your PHP app just like any PHP developer is used to working - write your code locally, then deploy it over SFTP, over SSH (eg using tools like PHP Deployer) or using continuous deployment tools like Jenkins or AWS's own CodeBuild (we've written an article on using CodeBuild with Idealstack)

Idealstack abstracts away a lot of the 'hard problems'  you need to solve for a startup, for instance:

  • Devops - we provide pre-configured docker images that do what you need without needing to build it yourself
  • Managing and updating servers (or EC2 instances) - Idealstack uses the stock Amazon-provided "ECS Optimised AMI", & runs everything in docker containers (which we manage).  When there's any kind of OS update new instances and containers automatically replace your live ones
  • Safe configuration changes - when making a config change to the server, new containers are created with that config, added to the cluster, and only when they pass healthchecks do they replace the old containers.  If your containers can't pass healthchecks the change will rollback.  There's no downtime for your app in this process
  • Autoscaling - add new capacity automaticaly when need and remove it when it's not needed.  No more guessing how much capacity you'll need!
  • Clustered sessions (using DynamoDB) 
  • Deployment - use SFTP, SSH or any "standard" deployment tool.  Although we use Docker for you to create isolated environments for your apps, you never need to deal with Docker.  Idealstack manages it for you; and you just upload your code and it works

You own your Hosting, not us

Frame 7.pngIdealstack uses your own AWS account to host your application.  You have full control, and if (god forbid!) you should ever outgrow idealstack, you can migrate off our platform.  Cancelling your Idealstack account does not destroy your hosting cluster in AWS - you own that, not us.

You'll obviously lose access to the magic that we've created (eg our simple hosting console, our docker containers and our custom autoscale system), but you probably had to build those anyway - at least you can start from something that works.


All the flexibility of AWS

The beauty of using Idealstack & AWS together is that you have all the power of AWS at your disposal.  So one day, if you need it, you can do things that neither you or we even considered.  No other hosting system out there can match this flexibility.

Here's just a few examples:

  1. Use your client's log data to create metrics, dashboards and alerts with the click of a few buttons using CloudWatch.  You can create metrics around 500 errors, 404 errors, bandwidth consumed per client and many more things we haven't thought of yet
  2. Connect AWS Shield or AWS WAF to provide better security to websites
  3. Connect AWS Cloudfront to provide a CDN
  4. Use ElasticCache to provide Redis or Memcached for caching
  5. Use ElasticSearch to improve your sites search.
  6. Create Alexa skills that interact with your client's websites
  7. Use the AWS API's yourself to enhance the Idealstack system in ways we never imagined

There's many many more, that's the point - you have absolute freedom to develop new services or solve your unique problems, that you can never get on any other type of hosting.

You don't have to retrain your team or rewrite your apps

Unlike most other means of deploying apps on AWS, Idealstack works like a normal PHP hosting console.    If your team are capable of using tools like Cpanel or Plesk, or hosting providers like Godaddy, they're capable of using Idealstack with little or no training.  Idealstack can be a drop-in replacement for your existing systems or can co-exist alongside them, without providing another confusing tool for your team to work with.  At the same time you can use all the power of AWS, when you are ready for it and the time is right.  As a startup, you need to produce an MVP as soon as possible, not waste your time on tooling, servers, and training your team.

Support for all modern PHP frameworks

We built Idealstack in Laravel, which we'd strongly recomend for any startup as it was built with startups in mind and has modules to handle lots of tricky but non-differentiating features like billing and email.  We run Idealstack on Idealstack, so we can vouch for it being a great platform for Laravel on AWS.  But any other framework, like Zend, Symfony, CakePHP and native code works just as well.  

//How do I use highly-available sessions across my cluster using DynamoDB?
// It happens automatically, just use normal PHP session functions:
$_SESSION['Normal Session Stuff'] = 'Easy!';

//How do I send email using AWS's Simple Email Service?
// Just use normal PHP mail functions:
    "Here's an email through SES!",
    "Just sent you this with the normal PHP mail command");

//How do I read and write files on a highly-available clustered file store?
// Just use normal PHP file IO:
$file_contents = file_get_contents("myfile.txt");
file_put_contents("myfile.txt", "How easy was that");

//How do I connect to a clustered, highly available mysql-compatible database?
// Idealstack sets all this up for you, 
// including the alias 'database' for your db hostname
$mysqli = new mysqli('database', 'your_user', 'your_pass', 'your_db');

//How do I compress and minify the output of my PHP
// app to get higher performance and google rank?
// mod_pagespeed does it automatically:
echo "<!-- Do nothing, it happens automatically with google's mod_pagespeed -->";

//How do I make my app autoscale?
// It'll happen automatically:
$todo = null;

We're a PHP-based startup ourselves, so we'd be happy to have a chat about how you're planning using AWS