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Echelon Fitness Achieves Elastic Scaling to Meet 1,000% Annual Growth on AWS


Echelon Fitness provides state-of-the-art exercise equipment through which users in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom access live, on-demand, studio-quality workouts. The fitness application was built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2017. When Echelon Fitness saw exponential growth in 2020, it turned to AWS Premier Consulting Partner Onica to optimize its infrastructure. As a result, it reduced costs and improved performance and security for millions of global users.

Woman uses Echelon Connect stationary bike in her living room

We knew that by using AWS, we could maintain a quality user experience even if we grew exponentially. AWS enables small companies like ours to enjoy a backend system of the same quality that billion-dollar companies have."

John Santo
Chief Technology Officer, Echelon

Optimizing on AWS

Echelon Fitness launched its full streaming solution and iOS and Android apps in 3 months. “Without AWS, we wouldn’t have been able to grow as fast and as reliably as we have,” says John Santo, chief technology officer at Echelon. “It doesn’t take long to add modalities to our system.”

The Echelon Fitness user base grew 1,000 percent year over year from 2019. As the company expanded, it had to meet regional security regulations. Its live stream video delivery had to handle high demand, yet the fitness video streams crashed even with just 1,200 attendees.

To scale and increase security, Echelon teamed up with cloud-native services provider Onica. “We provide advice, direction, and hands-on delivery so organizations become more efficient. We were able to correct the scaling issue and introduce savings opportunities as well,” says Jeremy Bendat, vice president of business development and partnerships for Onica. Echelon saved $25,000 per month through optimizations identified by Onica.

Increasing Security and Availability

Echelon Fitness uses automatic scaling groups through AWS Elastic Beanstalk, a simple-to-use service for deploying and scaling web applications and services. In December 2020, the company hosted over 2 million classes, compared to 800,000 classes in 2019. It went from offering 4 live classes a day to 20–50.

These live classes were distributed globally using Amazon CloudFront, a fast content delivery network service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to users globally with low latency and high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment. Now Echelon's virtual classes can handle 10,000 or more attendees without issue.

Onica aided Echelon in implementing a disaster recovery plan using Amazon S3 Glacier, a secure, durable, and low-cost cloud storage for data archiving and long-term backup. Amazon S3 Glacier enables automated, encrypted, restorable backups and a lifecycle plan that places older data in cold storage. “The system separates our data storage, so our customers’ fitness data is safe,” says Santo.

Expanding and Adding Capabilities

Echelon Fitness opened new headquarters and a technology facility, where it plans to build a studio for class creation. In 2021, the company received funding from Goldman Sachs to help further its users’ experience, and Echelon launched a new leaderboard with enhanced interactive features based on customer feedback in March.

Echelon continues to work with Onica to integrate AWS machine learning services into its live stream network to gain user insights and build a recommendation engine that can suggest new content and classes to users based on their previous selections. Onica is also helping Echelon improve the service by adding subtitle information to videos and streams.

With the help of Onica and AWS, Echelon has expanded exponentially and cut costs while providing a global interactive community fitness experience. “We can take on more work,” says Santo. “Our customers see more features and know we’re listening to them. That’s important for our company’s trajectory.”

To learn more about Echelon's journey to the cloud, check out the video here.

About Echelon Fitness

Echelon Fitness provides fitness mirrors, bikes, rowers, and treadmills that connect to a globally accessible, interactive community fitness experience through live and on-demand studio-quality workouts. It serves the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Benefits of AWS

  • Supported 1,000% year-over-year growth in 2020
  • Delivered a full streaming solution in 3 months
  • Increased live classes from 4 to up to 50 per day
  • Saves $25,000 per month
  • Hosts over 2 million classes in 1 month compared to 800,000 classes in 2019
  • Handles 10,000 or more attendees per virtual class

AWS Services Used

AWS Elastic Beanstalk

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an easy-to-use service for deploying and scaling web applications and services developed with Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker on familiar servers such as Apache, Nginx, Passenger, and IIS.

Learn more »

Amazon S3 Glacier

Amazon S3 Glacier and S3 Glacier Deep Archive are secure, durable, and extremely low-cost Amazon S3 cloud storage classes for data archiving and long-term backup.

Learn more »

Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment.

Learn more »

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