“In 2012, we ran about 360 million video ads a month, and today we process more than 15 billion. Thanks to AWS, we run 40 times more ads than what we could have handled five years ago.”
Yuval Pemper Senior Vice President of Engineering, Innovid

Innovid is an award-winning video-marketing platform – the only one purpose-built for video. It helps its clients deliver more effective video marketing by reaching more screens and more channels than competitors and with richly personalized, data-driven videos. Established in 2007, and with a footprint in nearly 30 countries, Innovid’s clients include more than 200 of the biggest advertising agencies and brands in the world, including Bank of America, Best Buy, Citi, Comcast, L’Oréal, Microsoft, P&G, Walmart, Sprint, and Toyota. They use Innovid’s solutions to create immersive, data-driven video experiences and increase return on investment through real-time analysis of video ad performance. Innovid operates from its headquarters in New York, with additional offices in Australia, Israel, the United Kingdom, and across the United States.

With a growing customer base and ballooning budgets for digital video advertising, Innovid needed to ensure it could provide a consistent service capable of expanding on-demand across multiple regions. “Most of our clients are large enterprises with operations around the world,” says Yuval Pemper, Innovid’s senior vice president of engineering. “To deliver our services, we need a highly available and elastic IT environment.”

By 2012, the company’s physical infrastructure wasn’t able to meet the demands of Innovid’s growing customer base. “As our demand soared, we needed to find a route that would properly support our scaling requirements,” says Pemper.

Innovid decided to move its infrastructure to the cloud and soon started experimenting with Amazon Web Services (AWS), migrating one application at a time from rented physical servers to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). “We liked the capacity we gained by using Amazon EC2, and we could see that it would give us the scale we needed with less effort,” says Pemper. “Next, we decided to explore some other services from AWS.”

The company took advantage of Amazon Redshift to provide the main building block for its analytics. “We began using Amazon Redshift when it was in beta,” says Pemper. “Other cloud data warehouse options were prohibitively expensive, but when we used Amazon Redshift, we were struck by the speed and scale it gave us for the price. The value is unbelievable.”

Keen to benefit from other emerging services, Innovid started using Amazon Aurora shortly after its release. Pemper explains how connecting with AWS experts at AWS re : Invent in Las Vegas helped Innovid complete the migration from its MySQL database to Amazon Aurora. “The migration wasn’t without its challenges, but we could see the benefits we’d get once the configuration was right,” says Pemper. “The advice we got at re : Invent was great. We went back to work after the event and successfully migrated to Amazon Aurora without any downtime.”

With the company’s current infrastructure on AWS, data from advertisements is collected on Amazon EC2 instances, and the log files are uploaded onto Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). These are then processed on Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR) and subsequently pushed to Amazon Redshift and Amazon Aurora.

Previously, Innovid’s developers would have to write code to process data log files, but when Amazon Athena was released, this task “became a breeze,” says Pemper, because the team no longer had to manually process files. “We just point Amazon Athena to Amazon S3, and we can instantly query any raw data.”

For technical support and advice, the company uses AWS Enterprise Support. “We don’t like bureaucracy,” says Pemper, “so getting access to the right expertise at critical times is invaluable.”

In the last five years, Innovid has seen significant growth in the volume of video ads its platform handles. “In 2012, we ran about 360 million video ads a month, and today we process more than 15 billion,” says Pemper. “Thanks to AWS, we run 40 times more ads than what we could have handled five years ago.

“What we’ve done with our lean development team wouldn’t have been possible without AWS,” Pemper continues. “Moving to Amazon Aurora was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. It’s boosted performance and helped us eliminate a number of time-consuming manual tasks such as replication and backup.”

Innovid has also built a reliable environment using AWS, ensuring consistent service to the advertising agencies and brands that use its video marketing platform. “By relying on AWS, we can easily run from multiple geographic regions using the same tools. We started in the Virginia region and quickly set up in Oregon for failover. We then added California, and recently Ohio. It’s a really simple approach to high availability, but it works efficiently and without a lot of effort.

“We’re very happy with our experience with AWS,” Pemper concludes. “It’s a great choice for firms like ours that have lean development teams. The support is there to help with migration, and the benefits from using managed services are tremendous. AWS helps us to focus on what matters: Delivering cutting-edge video technology to our clients.”

Learn more about digital marketing on AWS.