Roamz is a mobile application company that is based in Sydney, Australia. Their application offers real-time personalized recommendations for the cool local spots that are near your current location. Roamz pulls in social data from multiple sources to give users a unique view of social activity occurring at places nearby. The app creates individualized suggestions by aggregating activity on Foursquare, Instragram, Twitter, Facebook, and their own application.
The app was publicly launched in October 2011 at the web 2.0 summit in San Francisco. By March 2012, it had been downloaded over 100,000 times and was featured as the iPhone App of the Week in Australia & New Zealand, new and noteworthy in US & Canada in addition to receiving accolades from technology reviewers around the globe.
Shortly after development began, Roamz investigated setting up their own infrastructure or utilizing some of their investor’s spare capacity. The app’s creators quickly realized that it would need more storage capacity than was available, although just how much more was unknown. Roamz explored the possibility of adding storage, but found that an initial expansion would delay the launch by two months and cost $100,000.
Faced with these hurdles, Roamz began looking for alternatives. This exploration led the company to Amazon Web Services (AWS), which provides scalable and low-cost storage capacity, robust APIs, numerous Amazon EC2 instances sizes, and a global content delivery network.
Roamz is now storing backups and user-generated content in Amazon S3. The content is delivered by Amazon CloudFront, while Amazon Route 53 provides Domain Name System (DNS) services. The app is running several third-party services within Amazon EC2, including the PostgreSQL database management system for its specialized geo-spatial features and the messaging platform RabbitMQ. To ensure high availability, the app is deployed across multiple Availability Zones.
Michael Air, Roamz’s CTO, says, “From the moment we decided to go with AWS, we had servers up that afternoon. No waiting, no upfront capital, and we did not have to spend the $100,000 on storage infrastructure.”
This savings in both time and resources allows the company to focus on the application, rather than server management or administrative tasks. In fact, in March of 2012, the development team introduced Roamz 2.0, which incorporates Google Maps, enhanced social interaction, push notifications, and an improved user interface.
The company is investigating additional AWS offerings to support future app updates, including Amazon EMR and Amazon ElastiCache.
“As our business matures and we need additional services, we look to AWS. Every time we need new infrastructure, we check the AWS website, and they already have the feature or service that we need. This innovation allows us to continue to focus on our business as we grow,” states Air.
You can download the app from the iTunes App Store today.
To learn more, visit http://roamz.com/ .
Added April 25, 2012