Paul McKellar, Owner and Founder of Socialmoth talks about his Facebook application powered by Amazon Web Services.
What is your title and main job function? Keyboard slave, organizing bits.
Describe your Facebook applications. Socialmoth Secrets is an anonymous group confessional. You can see which confessions came from friends, but not which friend made the confession. We have had over 900,000 installs with a peak of over 80,000 daily active users.
How have you incorporated Amazon Web Services as part of your architecture? What services are you using? I’m using about all of them, Amazon S3 stores all my pictures and DB backups. EC2 runs all my servers. I love the queue service (Amazon SQS) and pay service (Amazon FPS) but haven’t done anything with them yet.
Why did you choose Amazon Web Services? I don’t have to talk to sales people when I want a computer to run a task. I can have a computer just for 2 hours to do some maintenance work and I can start work at 3am if I have an idea.
How has AWS helped your Facebook apps succeed? EC2 allows me to test out new deployments more quickly, without taking down my apps. I can test nginx vs. apache for hours and keep my apache version fully working until I’m sure my new deployment is working correctly.
Have you learned any valuable lessons during this process? Program for your environment, and users.
Do you have any future plans to incorporate other AWS solutions? Or use Amazon EC2 and S3 in other ways? Yes, my new project is using EC2 for a non-Facebook app. I’m interested in testing out queue (SQS) rather than what I use now, which is implement all my queues in SQL, which is a pain because I have to migrate the database every time I need a new attribute.
Is there anything else you would like to add? Amazon was quick to respond to me when I needed more than my 20 instances for EC2. They upped my limit so I could handle a traffic spike without problems.