Created in 2008, the company is based in Vancouver, Canada, and presently has 50 employees. Recently passing the million-user threshold, HootSuite is rapidly gaining popularity, with growth especially prevalent in North America, Japan, Western Europe, Brazil and Indonesia. HootSuite states that it currently serves 2 million users with approximately 150,000 daily active users who send millions of social updates per month to fans and followers around the world via social networks.
HootSuite has used Amazon Web Services (AWS) since its inception. Although many reasons contributed to the decision to use AWS, a crucial reason was the feature set. Amazon's quick iteration schedule and competitive pricing was another key factor for HootSuite. Simon Stanlake, Chief Technology Officer of HootSuite elaborates: "HootSuite utilized AWS from day one to take advantage of flexibility and easy scalability, and has not hosted any services outside of this environment. This strategy is especially ideal for start-ups experiencing rapid growth who need to scale rapidly while minimizing capital outlays. Additionally, the low setup costs enabled quick scaling while minimizing capital expenditures, again very important to boot-strapped start-ups."
The AWS solution encompasses a collection of products. All of HootSuite's production servers and satellite sites – such as blog.hootsuite.com, learn.hootsuite.com, and translate.hootsuite.com – run on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). The capability of Amazon EC2 to automatically scale up or down according to usage ensures reliability for HootSuite's users. The company also uses Amazon CloudFront for serving static files for product pages, blog posts, and email newsletters, as well as Amazon Route 53 for Domain Name System (DNS) to effectively manage APIs.
Migration to Amazon Route 53 has been highly successful. The DNS API provided by Amazon Route 53 (as well as the low TTL) enables HootSuite to implement its dynamic host provisioning architecture, thereby enhancing automatic scalability based on real time server load. Stanlake describes the importance of this feature: "With the low TTL we can now move a hostname to a new IP, and have it globally live in about 5 minutes instead of 30. Even better, inside the cloud, these changes are virtually instant, regardless of TTL settings. We would recommend Amazon Route53 to anyone attempting to automate their instance provisioning process; it makes hostname-to-instance mapping a breeze, and it improves our resilience to architecture changes. Plus the API allows us to create systems to manage DNS instead of dealing with 3rd party Web interfaces."
With the exception of several internal development machines, all HootSuite processes run on AWS, including the staging environment. According to Stanlake's estimates, the company has seen 25% cost savings in man hours and equipment due to the flexibility, scalability, and efficiency that AWS provides. He explains: "Using AWS provides significant flexibility to experiment and rapidly scale our operations for increasing demand. Additionally, the ability to effectively monitor and deliver high performance Web applications in a secure and reliable environment allows us to concentrate on building our business and serving customers rather than managing a server farm. With Amazon's active community and market leader position, we have felt confident in our decision each step of the way."
To learn more, visit http://hootsuite.com/ .
Added July 18, 2011