Located in Mountain View, California, Peel Technologies wants to revolutionize the way that viewers watch television. The venture-backed startup builds solutions for smart phones and tablets to personalize television programming, enable universal remote control capability, and facilitate social interaction.
Peel was looking for a cloud vendor that could provide a wide range of services at low cost and allow them to innovate quickly. The start-up was also concerned with scalability, performance, reliability, and availability, as well as documentation and support. “We were looking for a platform that would enable Peel to scale to millions of users, while also providing a high level of performance,” explains Matson Wade, Director of Engineering and Cloud Architect at Peel Technologies.
“We have been using AWS from day one and did not seriously consider any other options,” says Wade. Peel started using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and then leveraged AWS Elastic Beanstalk as a quick way to deploy and manage their applications. Using AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Peel was able to cut down their development and deployment time to a minimum. Wade explains, “As a startup, we need to innovate quickly and gain our customers’ trust by building a scalable and reliable platform. AWS Elastic Beanstalk helped us achieve both goals.”
Over the last year, Peel added Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Relational Database (Amazon RDS), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES), Amazon CloudWatch, Elastic Load Balancing, and Auto Scaling.
Peel uses Java, Python, and C++ for development, and Wade describes the developer-level support plan this way: “In our opinion, the level of support provided by AWS is the best in the industry. We’ve found the AWS Support team to be knowledgeable and responsive to all of our issues.”
Using AWS, Peel can design and deploy a new platform feature in only a few months – a record release time for the company. In one case, Peel only had a two-month window to introduce a highly interactive new feature. The company used Amazon DynamoDB with the AWS Elastic Beanstalk application just days after it was available to the public, and was able to deliver the interactive feature on time with the required level of real-time performance.
“AWS has helped our business across the board for all of our features,” says Wade. “We've had greater than ten-fold increase over last year in the number of Peel users and we’re continuing to grow. Our platform has evolved tremendously, yet many of the major AWS services, such as Amazon ElastiCache, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon CloudSearch, that we’ve incorporated into our platform didn’t even exist a year ago—and this innovation happens as AWS continues to reduce its prices.” Peel intends to start using Amazon CloudSearch and expand its use of Amazon DynamoDB.
Additionally, Peel had the opportunity to meet with AWS solution architects for feedback on improving AWS services. “We were able to personally meet around a conference table with solution architects to give our suggestions for areas of improvement—most of which were already being addressed,” says Wade. “You won’t get that level of attention from any other cloud vendor.”
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