Flipboard, located in Palo Alto, CA, is one of the world's first social magazines. Inspired by the beauty and ease of print media, the company’s mission is to fundamentally improve how people discover, view, and share content across their social networks.
From the beginning, Flipboard has run its infrastructure on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Greg Scallan, Chief Architect at Flipboard says, “Our service currently runs 100% on AWS in multiple availability zones.” He adds, “We chose AWS because they were able to provide a majority of the solution we needed as we built our data center. Also, we appreciated the flexibility as we tried out various solutions to our business vision.”
Flipboard has incorporated AWS services as follows:
To build their solution, the team used Python/Ruby AWS SDKs in their operational tools and administrative servers. Scallan explains, “We leverage the Java AWS SDKs for core engineering services. We utilize many different languages, choosing the language that best meets the requirements at hand.”
Flipboard has many hundreds of Amazon EC2 instances running and that number is continually growing with their increasing user base and feature sets. Scallan says, “We were able to go from concept to delivered product in approximately six months with just a handful of engineers, in large part because of the ability to deploy within a working cloud infrastructure very quickly.”
Scallan would give the following advice to other developers: “If you plan to deploy in the cloud, embrace and leverage it for what it has to offer, and do not try to shoehorn traditional data center deployment strategies. One of the major perks of being in the cloud is flexibility and leveraging that can do wonders for operational costs.”
The Flipboard team is always investigating additional AWS solutions and is open to using additional products as their needs evolve.
The team has most appreciated the flexibility AWS has offered for prototyping before their first release. Scallan says, “This truly helped us release a working product on a highly aggressive schedule in a market with many emerging players.”
To learn more, visit http://flipboard.com/ .
Added December 21th, 2011