AWS Case Study: BandPage
BandPage, based in San Francisco, California, began when former band manager, J. Sider wanted to create an interactive experience for musicians and their fans. Their Facebook application, released in 2010, allows musicians to share biographies, tour schedules, photos, and Twitter feeds through their Facebook pages.
Building on the success of the Facebook application, which serves millions of fans each month, today BandPage is a full-featured solution for musicians to manage their online presence. BandPage is the central location for musicians to post content and then push the information out to their Facebook page, website, and blog— including new websites generated by the application. More than 500,000 musicians, from garage bands to Rihanna and 50 Cent, use BandPage.
Musicians were quick to see the value of the service and BandPage grew so fast that scaling immediately became its number one priority. When Avril Lavigne launched a new single exclusively on BandPage on New Year’s Eve, 2010, it caused the server load to increase by 400%. This spike in demand put tremendous pressure on the company to keep up.
Why Amazon Web Services
BandPage’s original service provider did not have the full set of tools necessary to move as fast as demand required, so BandPage turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS). As Chief Technology Officer, Christopher Tholen explains, “The breadth of the AWS offering and the robustness of the tools allowed us to do a fast and efficient implementation.”
BandPage’s development, staging, and production environments are based completely in AWS. BandPage uses a broad range of services, including sixty Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances with Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes and Elastic Load Balancing. BandPage also uses Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR) for large-scale data processing, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES), Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS), and Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS). BandPage also uses Amazon CloudWatch to monitor AWS resources.
In addition, BandPage relies on Amazon Route 53, a scalable Domain Name System (DNS) web service. Says Tholen, “Amazon Route 53 is the final piece of the networking puzzle for running our entire stack on AWS.” Amazon Route 53 is a key component because it easily integrates with other AWS services, including Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), for distribution of heavy traffic. Amazon Route 53 provides low latency for DNS queries through a global network of servers. As a result, music fans searching for a specific band or artist are routed to the nearest available DNS server for the fastest, most-reliable connection to the BandPage application.
Tholen credits Amazon Web Services with helping their company expand rapidly while maintaining a simple system that readies them for future growth: “To us, the value of Amazon Web Services is undeniable—we can double our server capacity in 20 seconds. In a high-growth environment like ours and with a small team of developers, it's very important for us to trust that we have the best support to give to the music community around the world. Five years ago, we would have crashed and been down without knowing when we would be back. Now, because of Amazon Web Services’ continued innovation, we can provide the best technology and continue to grow.”
To learn more about how AWS can help your web infrastructure needs, visit our Web, Mobile, and Social Apps page: http://aws.amazon.com/web-mobile-social/.