The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), home of the Indianapolis 500, has been entertaining racing fans since 1909. Today, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts three industry-leading motor sport events: The Indianapolis 500, Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, and the Red Bull Indianapolis MotoGP race. To meet the demands of their growing fan base, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway built an online platform to stream their live events.

As an entertainment company, IMS’s first priority was providing relevant, accessible content to their visitors. But, with over 3.1 million online visitors, IMS’s Online Services team had a challenge ahead of them.

“Originally, we were working with an ISP to configure, manage and setup a server farm of over 50 servers. As we grew, we started looking for more cost-effective solutions. We looked at several major ISPs, CDNs and national computer manufactures,” says Adrian Payne, Manager of Online Services for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Streaming the IndyCar races live online causes huge spikes in site traffic so we selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) based on being able to quickly scale and have full control over the computing resources. Paying for only what computing resources needed is a significant cost savings during large spikes.”

Today, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) serves indycar.com and indy500.com through web hosting, live video streaming, and live timing and scoring applications. “We mirror our websites in Amazon EC2 and scale up as needed during events. It allows us to use only the servers we need and save costs by monitoring servers remotely. In May (during Indy500), we were able to save over 50% in costs. One of the major cost savings was not having staff members on location at our ISP,” recalls Payne.

IMS also uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) service to house all digital images dating back to 1909. They currently store 100,000 high resolution images and are in the process of transferring their entire library over to Amazon S3.

IMS uses AWS throughout their application life-cycle process, from concept development to live production. “AWS has allowed us to inexpensively test new applications without the costs of purchasing new servers. This has lead to large deployments of our new Live Timing and Scoring system as well as our Live Video Streaming. Our developers are able to start small Amazon EC2 instances to do proof of concepts. The successful ones are then rolled into production and merged onto larger instances. This wasn’t feasible under the model of purchasing new servers for conceptual ideas.”

“AWS has allowed us to grow our business to meet an explosive demand for our live events. We have been able to bring new applications to market in weeks instead of months,” concluded Payne.

To learn more about how AWS can help with your streaming needs, visit our Digital Media details page: http://aws.amazon.com/digital-media/.