Adam Rifkin, Co-Founder of Renkoo, tells us about running their popular Facebook applications on Amazon Web Services.
What is your title and main job function at Renkoo? I am one of the founders of Renkoo, and responsible for all decisions made in the company. I oversee the business decisions; my co-founder and CTO, Joyce Park oversees the technical and product decisions. Together we decided to use Amazon Web Services.
Describe your company and environment you work in. Renkoo is a three-year old company with 12 employees, mostly engineers. We develop web applications; Booze Mail and Haikoo Zoo are two applications we have developed on the Facebook Platform incorporating Amazon Web Services. Booze Mail is a way to send virtual drinks to your friends on Facebook, and since launching in July 2007, it has become very popular with over 5 Million installs—and over 1 Million drinks sent per day. Whew!
How have you incorporated Amazon Web Services as part of your architecture? What services are you using? We are using EC2 to host our application, web servers, and databases. We also use S3 for backups and storing logs for metrics.
Why did you choose Amazon Web Services? We didn’t know how much demand for our applications there would be when we were building them, so deploying on EC2 was cost-effective while our applications served only a few users, but flexible enough to add machines when our applications scaled to millions of users within a few months.
What were you using as a solution before implementing Amazon EC2 and S3? How was the transition process unto AWS? Originally, we bought our own hardware and our own rack in a co-location data center in Silicon Valley. Then, we transitioned to a hybrid architecture that uses both EC2 and our own hosted servers, which enabled our transition to be relatively quick.
How has AWS helped your Facebook app succeed? As our Facebook apps have grown to millions of users, EC2 let us deploy new machines as needed. The service scales with the application when we need it to.
Do you have any future plans to incorporate other AWS solutions or use EC2 and S3 in other ways? We’re looking into using Mechanical Turk for some of our future applications.
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