Xero migrates to Amazon Web Services


news New Zealand-based accounting software company Xero has made what it calls the “massive move” to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform.

Stressing that the firm has been in the cloud “from day one”, Xero said on its blog that with the rapid growth of its customer base it has needed to ensure it can scale, deliver product innovation and reduce the potential for service downtime.

According to blog post author Duncan Ritchie, Chief Platform Officer at Xero, the firm is fortunate that it doesn’t have a legacy of desktop software to maintain and support.

“This has enabled us to innovate rapidly and ensure we are constantly able to grow as more small businesses and accounting partners around the world join our growing community,” Ritchie said.

While deciding to move to AWS wasn’t an “easy decision”, he said, the change was necessary to “set Xero and all of our customers up for future growth”.

Xero underwent “several hours of planned downtime” as it migrated shared services from its existing cloud platform to the new one at Amazon.

“For our engineers, it was the technological equivalent of performing open heart surgery,” Ritchie said. “There have been many early mornings and many late nights to help make this happen. But with hard work, we’re now more than halfway there.”

According to the CPO, “most of” Xero’s 700,000-plus customers were not impacted by the move, since the migration had been planned for early on a Sunday morning in Australia and New Zealand.

Unfortunately, he added, a few of the software provider’s ecosystem partners were affected.

Ritchie offered a “special thanks” to those partners who were impacted for being understanding while the firm resolved the issue.

With the biggest part of the move completed last weekend, Xero said it plans to keep customers and partners updated on the AWS migration as it nears completion.

Adam Ferguson, General Manager Engineering and Experience at Xero competitor MYOB, commented: “Xero’s a bit late to the game here. MYOB has been on AWS since 2011 … Two of our biggest cloud-based products, Essentials and Advanced, are both there.”

Ferguson added that MYOB’s experience with AWS has given it “significant advantage” in both innovation and expertise in cloud-service delivery.

“There’s no doubt Xero will see benefit from its move,” he said.


  1. Storage is super cheap but EC2 online for a whole month can get quite expensive. I had to move a small instance to Vultr.

    Cloudfront is a killer though especially if idiots overseas are hotlinking your files but not even using them for anything. Then hard to contact them. Their traffic could become half the cost.

    Then support with Amazon is non existent to try and rectify that. There is no way to add policies to block hosts on cloudfront only S3 or use private links which means the page can’t be static and cached.

    It might reflect subscription costs. I find SAAS quite painful in pricing also and cheaper to run your own thing. This might mean multiple regions and load balanced at least.

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