Peixe Urbano is a deal-a-day website offering discounts on activities, products, and services in major cities throughout Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Chile. Currently, Peixe Urbano states that it is considered to be the largest group-based deal site in Brazil and one of the country's 50 most-accessed websites.
Alexander Tabor, Peixe Urbano’s founder and CTO, explains that the site began operations with limited resources: “We bootstrapped the creation of the company, meaning we had very little to invest in infrastructure. Though we started small, we were certain that if the service turned out to be a success, it would grow incredibly fast. As such, we needed a solution that was both very small on capital expenditure, as well as highly scalable. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) was the most mature of the available options that met both requirements.”
Amazon EC2 hosts Peixe Urbano’s principal websites, as well as several asynchronous services. Because the company primarily develops with C#, it established the websites using the AWS SDK for .NET, in addition to other Amazon Web Services (AWS) command-line tools.
Today, Peixe Urbano runs an average of 180 Amazon EC2 instances simultaneously. The ability to customize resources in real-time allows the company to maintain website continuity, even during extreme usage spikes. Alexander Tabor says, “We have had variations in traffic levels from one day to the next of as much as 1000%, which the infrastructure was able to support without problems.”
The company reports that it may also consider incorporating Amazon CloudFront as its content delivery network at some point in the future.
When Peixe Urbano decided to launch its site on AWS, it avoided the expense and hassle of investing in physical hardware. Now, instead of worrying about maintaining a traditional data center, it can focus on tailoring daily deals for its various target markets. This business decision certainly worked for the start-up, which is not only Brazil’s largest deal-a-day site, but also one of the country’s most popular websites. “AWS allowed us to launch a site with zero capital expenditure that has grown to a top-50 site in Brazil, all without having to change our infrastructure or architecture,” notes Alexander Tabor.
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