Assessing the Potential Benefits of Hosting Maryland’s Basemap in the Cloud

This partnership with the Maryland State GIO, the Center for GIS (CGIS) at Towson University (TU) led a project to assess the value of making Maryland’s latest basemap data available in Amazon’s Cloudbased web services. MD iMap is Maryland’s public-facing enterprise GIS infrastructure. We compared the load handling capability of the current MD iMap hosting environment with an Amazon EC2 hosting environment built around a recommended Large server instance. This test intended to quantitatively compare, the Amazon Virtual core EC2 compute units with CPU capacity on MD iMap servers to clarify this important architecting parameter and provide a recommendation for a server instance size suitable as a basis for hosting MD iMap services in EC2. Additionally, we tested the server scaling capabilities for cost of ownership analysis. We determined that a Large EC2 instance was not robust enough to meet the peak demand that MD iMap occasionally responds to. For a variety of methodological reasons we were not able to quantify the differences between current MD iMap server CPU capacity verses EC2 compute units of the Large instance. While an estimated cost of ownership was completed showing MD iMap’s traditionally hosted infrastructure having a lower cost over a 6 year period, there are many ways in which Amazons cost could be brought down by fine tuning testing that was beyond the scope of this project. The most savings in Amazons costs would be wrought by rebuilding GIS services, applications and architecture completely around Amazons hosting services. The project is completed.

Final Report -- White Paper

Interim Report

Center for GIS at Towson University


Ardys Russakis



Mark Helmken

Michael Bentivegna

Barney Krucoff
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