Gavin La Rowe at ChalkLabs explains how the company is benefiting from their use of AWS to meet their large-scale data needs:
Hi Gavin, briefly tell us about your business.
ChalkLabs is a specialized software development company located in Bloomington, IN, that focuses on novel high-performance computing, data mining, and visualization solutions for large-scale data problems.
How have you incorporated Amazon Web Services as part of your architecture? What services are you using and how?
AWS is a primary target for our large-scale data needs when we need to scale up rapidly or meet memory, CPU, or GPU requirements. We use Amazon EC2 for scaling out our high performance computing capabilities and sometimes use Amazon EBS for storing data on the cloud during large-scale data mining operations. In particular, we regularly use the 4xlarge memory instances, high performance computing instances, and cluster compute instances.
Why did you decide to use AWS?
We did not have the internal firepower to do the type of processing we wanted to do for Elsevier’s ScienceDirect data set and it was cost prohibitive to purchase the needed resources. The high performance computing and high memory instance types, AWS user documentation, and ease-of-use were primary drivers for using AWS.
How has AWS helped your business?
AWS provides a cost-effective, time sensitive, large-scale data processing solution that is typically only available to enterprise-class businesses. If you have the technical know-how, AWS is a great equalizer.
Can you share any metrics on your usage of AWS to date?
Most recently we used AWS for calculating similarity scores and large-scale data modeling. Using multiple AWS HPC instances in parallel for a large-scale data mining algorithm, we achieved 95% run-time optimizations in both processes:
Do you have any future plans to incorporate other AWS solutions?
Absolutely! Part of our data processing regime hinges on sustainment and evolution of the high performance instance types offered by AWS. Please keep iterating and evolving those services.
To learn more, visit http://chalklabs.com/ .
Added February 9, 2012