Tobias Bräuer, CIO of checkitmobile GmbH, explains how the startup is using AWS to manage its smartphone app, barcoo:
We started checkitmobile GmbH in Berlin, Germany in 2008 to develop mobile phone software. Barcoo is a free app that turns a mobile device into a barcode scanner. It shows consumers everything they need to know to make an informed purchase. The app displays price comparisons, test reports, health, environmental and sustainability information. So far, barcoo has had more than six million downloads in five countries across Europe.
From the very beginning, we decided to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) because it offered everything we needed. We are a start-up, and we were able to start small without the costs of a long-term contract. Also with AWS, we knew that we would be able to expand if we experienced significant growth.
We started with AWS running on one server. Currently, we use up to 20 machines and host our entire production system on AWS. We use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances as a load balancer, web server, for in-memory storage and database storage. We also use Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) for storage and elastic IPs for routing.
Our server system consists of Ruby on Rails, MySQL, and redis (in-memory data storage). The servers use HTML5, CSS3 technology, and RESTFul APIs to deliver all the user interfaces and content to our smartphone clients. To provide fast service, we use browser-based web applications with frameworks like backbone.js. We have a fast user experience and are almost independent of client hardware updates.
AWS allows us to have a flexible server solution that grows with our software requirements and with the number of our users. Our app is mentioned frequently on television, which often leads to spikes in traffic. With AWS, we can use and pay for a big cluster of servers, just for a few hours. Additionally, we can scale the solution to match our requirements within minutes.
A young company needs a great vision to handle requirements that are constantly changing. AWS provides that for us.
To learn more about how AWS can help your web application hosting needs, visit our Web, Mobile, and Social Apps details page: http://aws.amazon.com/web-mobile-social/.
Added August 30, 2012