The company has used Amazon Web Services (AWS) since its inception. Mikkel Jensen, Co- founder and Head of Operations at Issuu says, “Just about every server we have is running in the cloud. The only thing we have hosted outside AWS is our mail servers. This is due to the blacklisting of the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) IP ranges in many mail systems; however, with the advent of Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES), we'll probably soon be running 100% in the cloud.”
Jensen notes that there were several factors that prompted Issuu to use AWS:
Issuu’s setup incorporates many of the services offered by AWS, including Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon EC2, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon SimpleDB (Amazon SDB), Amazon Route 53, Amazon Elastic Block Storage (Amazon EBS), Amazon Elastic MapReduce, and Amazon Identity and Access Management (Amazon IAM).
“Web servers are running on Amazon EC2 with central data stored on Amazon S3,” says Jensen. “Document processing is also handled on Amazon EC2, with instances loosely coupled through Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) for easy scaling. Document metadata is stored in Amazon SDB, and Amazon Elastic MapReduce is used for batch processing statistical data.”
Erlang, Java, and Python were used to build this solution.
Regarding Amazon Route 53, Jensen comments: “Besides excellent response times, the one thing that sets Amazon Route 53 apart is its focus on cloud computing. The ability to manipulate DNS records through an API comes in very handy when working with auto-scaling systems.” He adds, “The low price and the fact that you only pay for what you need make Amazon Route 53 suitable for Websites of any size.”
Jensen appreciates the low risk involved in choosing AWS. He says, “There are no up-front costs, and many services are even free to try out. In addition, the use of standard technologies makes it easy to move out of the cloud if needed.”
Issuu hopes to incorporate additional AWS services in the future, such as Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES); Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) (perhaps as a replacement for Amazon SDB); and Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS).
Jensen notes that the greatest benefit of AWS to Issuu is its ability to scale. He says, “Here at Issuu we feel very confident that we can match any requirements to database, computing power, or storage capacity that the future may bring. Our decision to build on top of AWS has meant we don't need to hire DBAs or hardware specialists. Instead, we can focus on our main task of creating great services.”
To learn more, visit http://issuu.com/ .
Added May 31, 2011