Simple Helix chooses CloudFlare to ignite white-hot Magento performance

by Peter Dumanian.

Today’s guest blogger is George Cagle. George is a system administrator at Simple Helix, a CloudFlare partner.

Some months ago, we made a big bet on partnering with CloudFlare for performance improvements and website security for our Magento hosting customers. Customer experience is core to our business and relying on another company is a major deal. CloudFlare is now included in Default–On mode for select Simple Helix hosting plans and can be added to any existing plan. The results have been great and we wanted to share a couple successes with the rest of the CloudFlare community.

Testing the waters

The first thing one notices after melding their site with the worldwide CloudFlare CDN network is just how fast a website becomes. In Simple Helix’s testing, we found that proper CloudFlare implementation can yield 100% speed increases, and an even faster 143% speed increase when paired with the Railgun™ web optimizer for dynamic content.

Adding CloudFlare will certainly improve performance, but it can also significantly improve security through the Web Application Firewall feature. The security benefits of having the CloudFlare service can be seen after just the first few days of adoption as outlined below:

 Total number of threats mitigated by CloudFlare in a week

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The results provided insight: "CloudFlare helped break down the problem in an elegant way that made threat assessments much easier for our customers to digest and make well-reasoned decisions based on the information presented" said Brian Rorex, systems administrator at Simple Helix. CloudFlare protects sites from some of the most common maladies that plague the modern Internet like overly-aggressive crawler bots, botnet attacks, and DDoS attacks.

Getting results

Given our happiness with the performance of the CloudFlare service, we have chosen it to respond to some unique performance challenges of our customers with much success. One such Simple Helix client is a popular fashion accessory company that let us know that they were launching a high-traffic media campaign that would increase traffic significantly for several days. We responded by putting them on CloudFlare as their first step in bolstering the company's infrastructure in preparation for the big day. When the tweet finally hit the internet and the traffic ramped up, CloudFlare and the servers hardly broke a sweat, reducing the effective bandwidth usage at the origin by almost 70%.

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Another Simple Helix customer with a popular apparel store routinely saw 300-500% spikes in traffic during regular sales events. Nesting their web servers behind the CloudFlare CDN evened out the traffic to an almost flat bandwidth usage graph and provided an 83.4% bandwidth savings at the origin server.

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Simple Helix is one of the leading hosting providers serving the Magento e-commerce market with over 100,000 domains. Our customers vary from mom and pop shops to internationally recognized brands. A young, rapidly growing company, Simple Helix is constantly on the look-out for new technology that will improve the quality of service for their customers and set them apart from the pack.

We’re excited to make CloudFlare a standard part of setup at Simple Helix. This means that our customers get the performance and security benefits of CloudFlare without any additional work. If you currently run an eCommerce store that could take advantage of what we have to offer, please contact the Simple Helix team to find out which plan is right for you.

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