This article was written based on an interview conducted with Gauge’s Technology Director, Daniel Augustine.
Magento 2 migrations are in full swing and retailers are being forced to choose; make the jump to the new and improved Magento 2 or switch to something else. With this transition comes a variety of questions, ideas, and services that retailers can choose when they decide to work on Magento Commerce. One of which has been at the helm of popular discussions for retailers and agencies alike: the Magento Commerce Cloud.
The nebulous practice of using “the Cloud” has become common for Saas and PaaS systems. These organizations capitalize on both the technical advantages and marketing appeal of “the Cloud”. However, many merchants fail to see some of the restrictions and potential implications that come with keeping your head in the Cloud. So, we are taking a step back and looking at the advantages of staying grounded with Magento Commerce On-Premise.
Let’s be clear, Magento Cloud is great.
It’s important to understand that Magento Cloud is solid. For retailers looking to make the jump into the Magento ecosystem, it is a great starting point—especially if you are unfamiliar with their Platform as a Service (PaaS). If your team lacks a strong development operations (DevOps) culture, the Cloud allows you to get up and running quickly without deep technical knowledge. However, some organizations have business requirements, customizations, and integrations which can become more challenging on Magento Commerce Cloud. This shouldn’t be surprising, as Magento is the platform for highly custom eCommerce implementations. For merchants with sophisticated, complex implementations, the alternative is Magento Commerce On-Premise.
Why Magento Commerce On-Premise might be the better solution for your brand.
So we’ve established the two distinct choices for retailers when they work with Magento Commerce—the Cloud vs. On-Premise. For certain retailers, such as medical or CBD/cannabis brands, the Cloud might not be an option due to HIPPA compliance or other legal complications. Otherwise, the Cloud gets plenty of hype across the board. But what few retailers see up-front is the variety of benefits that come from using On-Premise. Allow us to shed some light on this for you.
Magento On-Premise puts the speed in your hands.
If you don’t know already, Magento 2 is fast—I mean WICKED fast. Straight out of the box, retailers can jump in, hit the gas, and go Mach 10 without much technical overhaul. Granted, you need a team of Magento experts who can replatform you to the system, but hey, that’s why we are here. As any successful retailer knows, speed wins in this new era of eCommerce—chances to improve both site speed (performance) and speed to market (for new features, or resolving issues) are opportunities that all eCommerce directors and teams should be seeking.
If you’re working with the Cloud, your company as a user is restricted when it comes to responding to critical issues. For instance, if you have bad IPs attacking your site or cache errors popping up, the Cloud requires you to submit a support ticket. This ticket is one of many tickets, all waiting to be handled by the Magento support team. If speed to resolution is important, you realize your digital waiting line may be costing you significant dollars and reputational issues. For large stores—ones that do $50+million—the cost of each additional minute to address issues can add up to serious money fast. Even a 10-minute wait in a support queue can translate to eye-watering potential loses.
With On-Premise your support reaction time is in your control. No more waiting in line. You cut right to the front with your internal development team or agency partner. What once took hours or days to fix, now can be resolved in a matter of minutes. This gets your system back up and running without putting your sales on hold or keeping customers waiting. Consider this organizational question, “are you willing to put your revenue and reputation in the hands of Magento Cloud or would you rather control the team and infrastructure responsible for your success?”
Having the ability to address critical issues immediately, allows you to be more methodical and proactive rather than disorganized and reactive. It’s about having control of your system, not the system controlling you.
Keep your Magento home safe and secure.
I’m not much of a betting man, but I want to bet that if you live in an apartment complex or neighborhood you probably have seen a Nest x Yale Security Lock. The digital age has kicked regular locks to the curb, making the smart lock common amongst home and apartment owners. But why do people pick the Nest over a traditional lock? The answer is really simple—it’s more secure. You can register for notifications when someone opens your door, and you can grant guest access remotely. These locks are all about making you feel secure when you are out of the home.
Your Magento store is your home; it is the core of your operation, where you keep your customers comfortable and their information stored tightly in a safe. With On-Premise you have the freedom to choose which security system is integrated into your store, rather than Magento choosing for you. You can update your security processes at any time, just as you can install a new lock on your home. The security of your Magento store shouldn’t be any different.
We have worked with plenty of third-party CDNs but one that consistently delivers is Cloudflare. With them, security breaches are addressed immediately, and that foreign-bot that was bringing your site down is identified and blocked without you moving a finger.
Do not underestimate the importance of security. With On-Premise, you’re wholly responsible for system security. With the Cloud, you’re only responsible for application security (such as platform patches and extension upgrades), while Magento is responsible for infrastructure security. Keep in mind, whether On-Prem or in the Cloud, quarterly Magento patches require a developer to implement and a team to monitor.
Why have the standard when you can get custom?
Imagine if you rolled up to the McDonalds drive-through, and instead of ordering, they automatically give you a number 1 with fries and a Coke. No chicken sandwich. No McFlurry. And worst of all no McNuggets.
Everyone wants the ability to choose. With Cloud you’re ceding your ability to choose, as it relates to infrastructure on Magento. You must use Amazon Web Services as your hosting provider, along with the other services they select for you. If you want to customize your order—that’s too bad, you can’t.
If you’re as skeptical of Amazon as our Technology Director, Daniel Augustine, you might see a conflict of interest when it comes to using their hosting services.
“Many merchants are in direct competition with Amazon, which has proved to be a brutal competitor, using every resource it has in a bid to become “The Everything Store”. Many are not aware that the retail arm of Amazon—Amazon.com—usually operates at a loss, while AWS provides the funds to make it grow. If you’re a merchant competing against Amazon and hosting on AWS, you are literally financing your competition. This isn’t smart business. There are other, equally capable providers for hosting Magento—which don’t line the pockets of retail’s #1 competitor.“Daniel Augustine, Technology Director
For organizations with a strong internal team and high demands, you need choices. With On-Premise, you get to pick the best of breed tools that fit your specific needs. Yes, this comes at a cost, as customized services and solutions tend to be more expensive, but at least those decisions are under your control. For merchants without a lot of complex needs, Cloud may provide exactly what is necessary. But for large retailers, especially those doing multi-store, multi-language, and multi-url, you need options to fuel your growth and provide stability.
What’re the advantages of customization? Besides the simple fact that you are building a foundation tailored to you and your customer’s needs, you’re putting yourself in a position to scale accordingly. Whether it be up or down, customization makes you agile and adaptable, ready to change at a moment’s notice. This dynamic approach keeps you ahead of your competition and unique in your market.
I want to use On-Premise. Tell me, what third-parties would you suggest working with?
We’re glad you asked. In our experience, there are plenty of excellent third-party extensions that you can use, it’s just a matter of figuring out what you need and what will work best for your team. This might mean having conversations with your eCommerce team, developers, and leadership. It could entail speaking with your agency partner about what they would suggest as strong options based on your requirements.
As a team of Magento experts, we have put in some serious man-hours to understand what the best systems are to build out the perfect Magento On-Premise experience for your online retailers. Here’s what we’ve come to:
- 1 Master Database Server with failover Slave Database
- 3 Production App Servers
- Cloudflare – Global CDN & Web Security Filter
- Redis – Fast In-Memory Caching System for Magento
- New Relic APM – Monitor Site Performance (Magento + Server side)
- New Relic Browser – Monitor User Experience (End-Customer side)
- Google Cloud, JetRails, or Sonassi as Hosting Provider
Best of all, with an On-Premise installation of Magento, you can use this setup, a variation of this setup, or any other configuration you wish!
Keep it grounded with On-Premise.
If you want standard and simple, Magento Commerce Cloud has you covered. But if you need and want something different, unique, and all your own, Magento Commerce On-Premise is the way to go. With its flexibility and variety, Magento Commerce On-Premise puts you in the driver’s seat of your eCommerce store. So take your head out of the clouds and make the jump.
Hey, I need to replatform my Magento 1 store to Magento 2, what do I do?
You’re in luck, we are looking for a team ready to jumpstart their M1-M2 project today, and just in-case you were skeptical, we are throwing in a Free Data Migration—worth $15k in value. Just hit that beautiful button below and we will get you started.