Hasbro, the mega producer of games and toys, recently came to Digitaria to help them produce an online marketing campaign around the first-ever Monopoly Here and Now: World Edition. The campaign web site allowed game-lovers worldwide to vote for their city to be included in the game’s new edition.
Looking for an economical solution, Digitaria used Amazon Web Services and open source software to produce the site’s back-end infrastructure from a single Amazon EC2 image. With this, they created and launched a new database, application server, caching server, and load balancer instances all within a matter of minutes.
The Monopoly game Web site was launched and during the 4 weeks of online voting, they received an incredible, unanticipated amount of global press coverage. Fortunately, they scaled to meet the unexpectedly high demand because it was hosted on Amazon EC2. Plus, using AWS cost them half of what it would have cost in a traditional data center.
Chuck Phillips, Director of Technology at Digitaria explains, “In a traditional, non-AWS setup, Hasbro would have had to commit to spending a large sum of money on infrastructure and would only be guaranteed a finite amount of capacity. Also, the site probably would have gone down during the major traffic spikes. AWS enabled us to adjust to the fluctuating traffic caused by the worldwide press exposure without investing in more hardware. When our monitoring software started paging us to notify us that load was increasing, we were able to log in and spin up a few more instances within minutes.”
Digitaria has multiple client success stories similar to Hasbro which showcase Amazon Web Services elastic, always-available nature.
When the wildfires started in San Diego in October 2007, KPBS’s news coverage of the event caused their website traffic to spike and their hosted server became unresponsive. Digitaria’s systems team responded quickly by setting up Amazon EC2 instances as reverse proxies to act as caching servers. The caching servers took the load off of the origin server and allowed KPBS.org to operate efficiently throughout the remainder of the crisis.
Another success story comes from BravoTV (owned by NBC Universal). BravoTV approached Digitaria with a problem. They had developed a social networking application that was to be heavily promoted but didn’t have the hardware necessary to support the site’s anticipated traffic. Digitaria instantly recommended a hosted infrastructure solution using Amazon EC2. In a few days, with no up-front costs, the application TVBigShot.com (a competition where consumers earn points for managing a successful virtual television network) was deployed. The site was heavily promoted through online and TV ad campaigns and scaled successfully in the EC2 cloud. Amazon EC2’s pay-as-you-go model makes it a great solution for time-based campaigns and handling traffic spikes.
These are just a few examples which have made Digitaria believers in Amazon Web Services. Digitaria continues to look for ways they can use AWS’ infrastructure services for their clients and themselves. “We chose Amazon Web Services because of its cost structure and scalability. If a system is architected properly, using these services, one can launch a campaign or application on a shoestring budget and scale the application as needed without requiring a large support team.”Digitaria is based in San Diego with additional offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. To learn more, go to http://www.digitaria.com/ .