AWS News Blog

Cost Savings in the Cloud – foursquare and Global Blue

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We’ve received great feedback from customers on the recent AWS price reductions. I’ve personally received a number of great stories from customers who are using AWS to reduce the cost of running their business.

We’ve written up two of these recent cost savings stories as AWS case studies. foursquare Labs, Inc. and Global Blue may be two dramatically different companies in terms of longevity (3 years versus 3 decades) as well as industry focus, but they do have one thing in common they are both saving time and money  by using the Amazon Web Services as an alternative to on-premises infrastructure. Here’s the scoop:

foursquare (new AWS case study) is a location-based social network. Over 10 million foursquare users check in via a smartphone app or SMS to exchange travel tips and to share their location with friends. By checking in frequently, users earn points and virtual badges. To perform analytics across more than 5 million daily check-ins, foursquare uses Amazon Elastic MapReduce, Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, Amazon S3, and open-source technologies MongoDB and Apache Flume. By taking advantage of new Amazon EC2 price reductions and using a combination of On-Demand and Reserved Instances, foursquare saves 53% in costs over self-hosting while maintaining their scalability needs.

Global Blue (new AWS case study) is a multi-national firm that has been instrumental in delivering tax-free shopping and refund points to international travelers for nearly 30 years. The company’s network has helped 270,000 retailers, shopping brands, and hotels in 40 countries. In 2010, Global Blue handled over 20 million transactions worldwide and an estimated 55,000 travelers use their services everyday. To help track the transactions occurring between merchants, banks, and international travelers, the company needed to create more capacity for their business intelligence (BI) needs. As a result of moving to AWS, Global Blue has increased speed, capacity, and scalability all while avoiding $800,000 in CapEx and $78,000 in OpEx costs that would have been spent self-hosting. That’s nearly $1M in cost savings by moving to the cloud!

Companies like foursquare and Global Blue help illustrate not only the cost savings that can be achieved with cloud computing, but also the diverse approaches that can be taken to maximize their performance and scalability.


Modified 1/26/2021 – In an effort to ensure a great experience, expired links in this post have been updated or removed from the original post.


Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr is Chief Evangelist for AWS. He started this blog in 2004 and has been writing posts just about non-stop ever since.