[OSM-dev] Tile server

malcolm stanley a.malcolm.stanley at gmail.com
Sat Jun 22 16:58:01 UTC 2013

Hey Paul

Thanks for the response.
I've been reading a bunch of different tutorials and they all indicate what
you have mentioned, which is that Amazon is not an ideal environment for
running tile server- like workloads.

The challenge I've run into is that I have a requirement to set up a server
like that;
I don't have access to lots of capex to build a purpose-built server with,
and I don't have a data center to run it in.

Later, if I can get through a proof of concept stage, that may all come,
but for now I need a lower cost and immediately available prototyping
and my options seem limited to public clouds like AMZ, Azure, Heroku, and
similiar offerings.
I understand the performance will be problematic, but I see that
essentially as getting what I am able to pay for at this stage of my

I'd be interested in your thoughts on two things:

a) given the constraints I have, is there a better 'pay as you go'
prototyping environment you are aware of that I could leverage?
b) either for that environment, or for AMZ if that is no better or worse
than any other available option, how would you set up a prototyping
environment capable of delivering query results against a world database
and serving tiles accordingly?

I'm sure there are a lot of people like me that need low cost prototyping
rather than saying 'Amazon is inappropriate', perhaps we need to
collectively develop a guide that says 'here is how you configure one'.
I'm happy to help with that by documenting my own experience if that is
The alternative seems to be a future filled with admonishment and that
seems like it would be less fun for all concerned.

interested in your thoughts...

malcolm stanley

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On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 7:31 PM, Paul Norman <penorman at mac.com> wrote:

> Amazon EBS is extremely slow. Adding more space won’t help. An EBS volume
> is about 100 iops, which is about the same as a single 7200 RPM drive.
> Within EBS your options for better performance are multiple EBS in RAID
> (complicated), provisioned iops EBS (expensive), ephemeral storage
> (reasonable speed, but lost on instance termination).****
> ** **
> EC2 is designed for intermittent load compute-heavy tasks, and is not well
> suited for always on services which require disk speed like tileservers.**
> **
> ** **
> *From:* malcolm stanley [mailto:a.malcolm.stanley at gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Friday, June 21, 2013 7:24 AM
> *To:* Lynn W. Deffenbaugh (Mr)
> *Cc:* dev at openstreetmap.org
> *Subject:* Re: [OSM-dev] Tile server****
> ** **
> I'm doing this on Amazon, so unsure of the physical architecture
> underneath it.****
> but can easily add more space if I need to.****
> ** **
> which it sounds like I might once I start rendering tiles. ****
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