Dylan Tuttle's picture

Hi, I'm interested in installing WordPress on AWS. I'm thinking about using theTurnKey Linux AMI, but I have a few questions:

  • What are the advantages of the TurnKey Linux AMI over AWS CloudFormation templates? From the website I've gathered that automated backup and updates and firewall configuration are the two main advantages. Is there anything else that I'm missing?
  • Is there any reason to prefer the 32-bit AMI over the 64-bit version?
  • Are there any performance issues I should be aware of? My primary concern is speed.

Thanks in advance.

Jeremy Davis's picture

I will answer your questions in order:

  1. I have never used CloudFormation templates... So I can't really offer a feature by feature comparison. However following a quick browse (courtesy of google) I can note a few obvious advantages:
  • As you mention, TKLBAM (automated backups) and preconfigured AWS security profile...
  • Additionally TKLBAM can be used to migrate your WP data to a TKL appliance running somewhere else (other than Amazon - i.e. a local machine/VM, another cloud provider that supports TKL, etc.)
  • The option to launch and monitor your appliance with the Turnkey Hub which simplifies the launching process.
  • Pre-configured auto security updates - TKL appliances are pre-configured to auto install Debian security updates nightly. (Note: that this only applies to software available from the Debian repos and does not include WordPress itself - you still need to take care of WordPress updates.)
  • Webmin - a (preinstalled) web based Server admin UI
  • Webshell -a (preinstalled) web based shell - can be convenient if you want to do something from the commandline - you can do it from your browser...
  • Numerous additional software/OS tweaks e.g. the inclusion of etckeeper (a app that auto version controls all etc configs).
  • Possibly other things that I have missed... :)
  • No - As a general rule 64 bit appliances offer marginally better performance for most apps/services (I have seen Apache benchmarks that suggest under specific situations Apache runs far better on 64 bit). They also allow usage on high memory instances. As a general rule I always use 64 bit appliances these days (except locally where I often run 32 bit VMs).
  • Not that I am aware of...
  • Dylan Tuttle's picture

    Thanks! I'm a newbie, so I definitely need help with system administration. I take it that if I want to launch with Turnkey Hub that I should sign up through the website instead of the AWS Marketplace. Would you say it's a good value?

    Jeremy Davis's picture

    However as a self confessed 'newbie' I think you will find the Hub far more intuitive and nowhere near as complex as the Amazon Control Panel.

    Additionally it will depend on what server size and how many servers you want to run. Like many things, if you are running multiple servers then you can save money. Also if you are new to AWS then the 'free tier' may be an option. TBH I am not a huge fan of it as it only allows a single micro instance (which in my experience, don't handle load very well and will under some circumstance 'lock-up' (due to CPU throttling performed by Amazon on Micro instances) but it could be a cheap/free way to test TKL on AWS?!

    Without knowing your intended usage scenario; the 'Silver' plan (see all the plans here) is probably the best long term way to go (once you have tested and decided that you wish to use TKL/AWS for the long term hosting of your site) as it allows you to purchase 'reserved instances' from AWS (which can save you a lot of money by pre-paying).

    Dylan Tuttle's picture

    Thank you. This is a big help. I just started with the free tier, so I will start with the free evaluation and see how far that gets me. I suspected that there might be a performance issue with the single micro instance. I don't have much traffic, but I hope to change that. The pricing for the plans seems a little steep, but I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. Thanks!

    Jeremy Davis's picture

    I am assuming that the issue is a permissions one (which a number of people have experienced). I have spoken with Alon (one of the TKL core devs) about this and there is a (security) rationale for the permissions being set the way that they are. But assuming that you are willing to relax permissions a little then have a look at this TKL 'Issue'. Hopefully that will get you going...

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