After showing Microsoft an initial prototype of the service, the Microsoft team was enthusiastic and wanted to launch the service as quickly as possible. The AirMe team knew they needed an infrastructure solution that they could deploy quickly and had massive scalability.
AirMe decided to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) and today, the photoWALL web site and server side computing run entirely on AWS. Phil Easter, CTO and Founder of AirMe, recalls, “Amazon Web Services allowed us to create a dynamic, highly scalable ecosystem that would be difficult to duplicate in a traditional server farm, co-location premise. AWS has unique technologies like SQS and EBS that allowed us to architect a new mobile media mash up platform. Add in, auto scaling and load balancing with a CDN…this is not your father’s data center!”
photoWALL uses the entire suite of AWS infrastructure services: Amazon EC2 (with Auto Scaling, Elastic Load Balancing, CloudWatch, and Elastic Block Store), Amazon S3, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon SimpleDB, and Amazon SQS (see Architecture Diagram 9/17/09).
Shortly after the release of Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), the AirMe team realized the huge cost and management savings if they converted their MySQL servers. Easter says, “The easy instance and storage upgrades made the decision a no-brainer. The cut-over from one write and two read servers to one RDS instance required four simple configuration changes taking approximately 5 minutes.” After the change, their query times improved by 100%. See Architecture Diagram 10/27/09 for photoWALL’s revised architecture with Amazon RDS.
Easter summarizes, “We chose AWS for the low cost but what we like best about AWS is the ability to instantly turn on new servers with no need to plan. AWS allows us to focus on the business and user experience, not needing to worry about adding new racks, buying more servers, figuring out how to get more bandwidth, etc. Without AWS we would not exist – not due to lack of knowhow, but due to time to market!”