As an entertainment company, IMS’s first priority was providing relevant, accessible content to their visitors. But, with over 3.1 million online visitors, IMS’s Online Services team had a challenge ahead of them.
“Originally, we were working with an ISP to configure, manage and setup a server farm of over 50 servers. As we grew, we started looking for more cost-effective solutions. We looked at several major ISPs, CDNs and national computer manufactures,” says Adrian Payne, Manager of Online Services for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Streaming the IndyCar races live online causes huge spikes in site traffic so we selected Amazon Web Services based on being able to quickly scale and have full control over the computing resources. Paying for only what computing resources needed is a significant cost savings during large spikes.”
Today, Amazon EC2 serves indycar.com and indy500.com through web hosting, live video streaming, and live timing and scoring applications. “We mirror our websites in Amazon EC2 and scale up as needed during events. It allows us to use only the servers we need and save costs by monitoring servers remotely. In May (during Indy500), we were able to save over 50% in costs. One of the major cost savings was not having staff members on location at our ISP,” recalls Payne.
IMS also uses Amazon S3 service to house all digital images dating back to 1909. They currently store 100,000 high resolution images and are in the process of transferring their entire library over to Amazon S3.
IMS uses Amazon Web Services throughout their application life-cycle process, from concept development to live production. “Amazon Web Services has allowed us to inexpensively test new applications without the costs of purchasing new servers. This has lead to large deployments of our new Live Timing and Scoring system as well as our Live Video Streaming. Our developers are able to start small EC2 instances to do proof of concepts. The successful ones are then rolled into production and merged onto larger instances. This wasn’t feasible under the model of purchasing new servers for conceptual ideas.”
“Amazon Web Services has allowed us to grow our business to meet an explosive demand for our live events. We have been able to bring new applications to market in weeks instead of months,” concluded Payne.To see the action, go to http://www.indycar.com or http://www.indy500.com .