Caching in the Cloud with Amazon ElastiCache
Today’s guest post comes to you from Omer Zaki, a Senior Product Manager on our Data Services team. Omer’s post talks about how our customers have put Amazon ElastiCache to use in a wide variety of applications and environments.
We launched Amazon ElastiCache last year to make it easy to deploy, operate and scale in-memory caches. The service continues to grow and weve been pleased with the number of customers who have come on board. They tell us that they find the convenience of on-demand growing and shrinking of cache clusters, replacing failed nodes, and protocol compliance with Memcached appealing. Our customers use ElastiCache for diverse tasks such as read caching of query results both from relational and non-relational data stores, caching results of computation and data intensive web services, and storing HTML fragments for fast access. Some customers use ElastiCache as a staging area for writes they eventually commit to their backend data stores.
Today we want to share with you how some of our customers are using ElastiCache. Here you will find the best practices they have adopted and what has helped them decrease their costs and improve performance.
Airbnb, the popular social vacation rental marketplace, uses ElastiCache for caching at multiple layers spanning HTML fragments, results of expensive DB queries, ephemeral session data and search results. Airbnb started using ElastiCache to handle the rapid growth of their service. Tobi Knaup, Tech Lead at Airbnb told me:
Managed services like ElastiCache let us focus on the core of our business. Our operations team consists of only two full time engineers. Running a site like Airbnb with such a small team would be impossible without services like ElastiCache. Spinning up and maintaining nodes in our cluster is fast and easy.
Healthguru is one of the leading providers of health information and videos online. Faced with increasing scalability and performance challenges, the company switched to ElastiCache. For more information about their architecture and how they use ElastiCache, please refer to our new Healthguru case study. Khaled Alquaddoomi, SVP of Technology, Healthguru had the following to say:
Switching to Amazon ElastiCache, which took less than a week to implement, saves the team at least 20 hours per week. Furthermore, the impact on performance was a 92.5% improvement in average response times.
PlaceIQ, a location-based intelligence company, provides next generation location intelligence for mobile advertising. The company uses ElastiCache to improve its average web service response times by caching responses to URIs acquired from back-end services. For a detailed look at PlaceIQs architectural diagram, see our new case study here. Steve Milton, CTO & Co-Founder, PlaceIQ told me:
After deploying Amazon ElastiCache, PlaceIQs average end-to end response time for its web services improved by 83%. We are saving $1,000 per month in direct costs. Amazon ElastiCache allows us to improve our service response times rapidly and economically for our customers. This in turn allows us to serve customer demand with fewer backend servers reducing our cost.
Tokyo Data Network
Tokyo Data Network (TDN), an affiliate of Mainichi Newspapers in Japan, managed the live scoreboard website of Meijinsen Professional Shogi (Japanese Chess) Players Championship. To handle peak demand, TDN used ElastiCache to help scale traffic from 600 hits/second to 4,000 hits/second. More details can be found in the new case study here. The Technical Team at Tokyo Data Network described their experience as follows:
We chose AWS (ElastiCache) to handle heavily fluctuating user traffic. The number of paid subscribers is on the rise, and on championship match days, which draw a great deal of attention, user traffic increases to dozens of times greater than normal. Because its difficult to predict traffic in advance, whenever a popular match was scheduled our engineers would constantly try to manage loads. Despite this, our servers were sometimes overwhelmed and the site would go down.
Be sure to read the new Asahi Shimbun case study:
If you have not yet used ElastiCache we have a 60 day free trial. We are constantly improving our service and if you have specific feature requests or want to tell us about your use case please let us know by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org or posting to our forum. We are eager to hear about your experience with ElastiCache.
Thanks for reading!