Aaron Beashel, Director of Marketing at Launchpad6 explains how the company is thriving with the pay-per-use pricing model of AWS:
Hi Aaron, briefly tell us about your business.
Launchpad6 is an out-of-the-box solution for creating user-generated video contests. It is used by brands and agencies to instantly launch video contests across the web to build brand awareness and engage audiences.
Launchpad6 is based in Sydney, Australia and serves the Australia-Pacific market. Offices in London and Los Angeles service the UK and US advertising markets.
How have you incorporated Amazon Web Services as part of your architecture? What services are you using and how?
The Launchpad6 Video Contest platform runs entirely on AWS Infrastructure.
We host each individual contest sites on multiple Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances across different availability zones and use the Elastic Load Balancing to effectively balance traffic across the instances. This setup provides complete redundancy even if an availability zone was to go down. It also allows us to very easily and very quickly scale client sites by simply firing up new instances based on the machine image.
We also utilize a pool of Amazon EC2 instances to power our video processing servers which work across all client sites, enabling us to very quickly and easily scale resources up and down—keeping costs to a minimum while still allowing for maximum performance.
All videos uploaded to our client sites are stored in buckets using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), again ensuring complete redundancy and keeping costs to a minimum by allowing us to increase or decrease our storage costs at will.
We also utilize the Amazon CloudFront content delivery network (CDN) to cache and stream videos from localized locations around the world, reducing latency, which in turn, reduces buffer time and stuttering.
The Launchpad6 Contest Platform comes with a Simple Setup Wizard which can be used to launch new clients automatically in under 15 minutes. This wizard utilizes Amazon API’s to completely automate the process of creating new instances, load balancers, buckets, and Amazon CloudFront Distributions. For us, this reduces man hours by allowing our existing clients to create sites themselves as well as reducing the time required to setup a new client.
Finally, we also utilize Amazon EC2 instances and Amazon Route 53 to host and run our corporate site, intranet, and marketing material (such as videos & documents). In addition, we use Amazon CloudFront to quickly and seamlessly deliver content to both potential customers and employees around the world, creating both a better experience for users while simultaneously increasing our site speed and helping our Google ranking.
Why did you decide to use AWS?
Prior to switching to AWS, Launchpad6 was utilizing a virtual private server configuration with an Australian hosting company. The problem we experienced with this setup was the bandwidth costs, which, in Australia, are high. The nature of our company's usage (at times we can be running contests for up to 50 clients; at other times as little as 20) made it extremely difficult to commit to certain resource levels.
We chose AWS for a number of reasons:
How has AWS helped your business?
Originally, the thing that really drew us to AWS was the pay as you go pricing structure. With AWS, we don't have to commit to certain resource levels that could go unused nor do we end up in a position where we have to turn away clients because our resources can't handle the load.
Our business was in a unique position. Even though we were a small, cash-strapped startup, we had some of the biggest brands relying on us. AWS allowed us to meet the needs of our big name clients within our small frame budget. Without the amazing infrastructure and pricing model of AWS, I’m not sure Launchpad6 could exist. We look forward to a long and fruitful partnership with AWS.
Can you share any metrics on your usage of AWS to date?
Launchpad6 is considerably better off for using AWS services.
Do you have any future plans to incorporate other AWS solutions?
One of the unique services we offer at Launchpad6 is content moderation, meaning we moderate any videos uploaded to a client's video contest on their behalf. While we do this internally at the moment, it can be taxing on our internal resources. We are currently looking into how we can integrate our content moderation system with Amazon Mechanical Turk to harness the power of a flexible workforce to decrease costs and reduce load on our internal resources.
To learn more, visit http://launchpad6.com/ .
Added October 3, 2011