Compared to the on-premises infrastructure that we used,
AWS is at least 70 percent more cost-effective.
Mirza Bilal Vice President of Software Engineering, Jumpshare

Jumpshare, which launched in the United States in 2012, delivers advanced file-sharing, file-viewing, and collaboration capabilities to enterprises. The startup, headquartered in California, enables companies to collaborate in real time and view files in hundreds of formats online without having to download third-party apps to view different file types. Jumpshare has small teams of product developers working in Pakistan and the United States.

At an early stage in its service development, Jumpshare ran bare-metal servers to develop code in an on-premises data center. With its service yet to go ‘live’, the company knew that its on-premise architecture wouldn’t be able to support the service’s eventual launch. “Only with the cloud could we achieve the IT cost-effectiveness that we needed as a startup company,” says Mirza Bilal, vice president of software engineering at Jumpshare. “In addition, the cloud offered the instant scalability that we would need when the numbers of people sharing their files with our service begin to grow.”

Jumpshare wanted to work with a cloud-service provider that not only offered scalability and cost-effective IT but also managed services. “We wanted to dedicate as many IT personnel as possible to driving service development and offload administration wherever we could, in areas such as managing the underlying infrastructure for servers, storage, and network,” says Bilal.

Jumpshare founder Ghaus Iftikhar, had prior experience with Amazon Web Services (AWS) when he ran his first startup on AWS in 2007 while still in college. “The consensus was that AWS offered the scalability, performance, and services to make the launch of Jumpshare a success,” says Bilal. What’s more, Jumpshare felt that developing its service on AWS would be made easier by the documentation that AWS makes available. “If we had a question around an AWS service, it wouldn’t be difficult to find the answer online,” Bilal comments.

The company migrated the Jumpshare service from an on-premises infrastructure to the AWS Cloud in time for its launch. Says Bilal, “The migration to AWS was very easy. Everything was up and running in no time. We simply set up a machine along with the code base on the AWS Cloud and that was it. We did all the work in-house.”

At the heart of the AWS infrastructure supporting Jumpshare are Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances. “We use Amazon EC2 instances ranging from t2.micro to c3.2xlarge,” says Bilal, “from the smallest instance for our network server to some of AWS’s biggest instances for our file-conversion server.”

Jumpshare also uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store preview images of the files being shared. Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) stores data relating to user profiles. When users request to share a file, the file is uploaded, and then the Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) schedules processing by the file-conversion server. Other AWS services the company uses are Amazon CloudFront—to maximize data speeds between its servers and customers’ endpoints, such as desktops—and Amazon CloudWatch, to monitor service performance and collect log files.

By launching its service on the AWS Cloud, Jumpshare significantly reduced the costs of its IT. “Compared to the on-premises infrastructure that we used, AWS is at least 70 percent more cost-effective,” says Bilal. “It has meant that, even with the limited budget of a startup, we have been able to create an infrastructure that can scale to support 500,000 users.” Furthermore, because Jumpshare had chosen a cloud-based infrastructure, it could easily scale the Jumpshare platform as demand for the service rises.

With the managed services in AWS, Jumpshare was also able to reduce the amount of staffing resource needed for basic IT administration. For example, because of its shared security model, AWS is responsible for the compute, storage, database and networking operations—reducing management workloads for Jumpshare. Says Bilal, “We gained a secure and resilient underlying infrastructure and reduced IT management time by 30 percent with AWS.” The savings in administrative workloads have resulted in fewer personnel deployed for management tasks—freeing up IT staff for further development work. “We have also reduced staff costs for IT administration by 30 percent with AWS, and we can focus more resources on service innovation,” Bilal adds.

Since launching the Jumpshare service, downtime has virtually disappeared. “Uptime has been at 99.99 percent with AWS,” declares Bilal. For Jumpshare, this is crucial because the company faces strong competition in its market—and if customers lose faith in Jumpshare, they can quickly move to another file-sharing provider. According to Bilal, Jumpshare has a solid IT infrastructure on which it can extend the capabilities of its service. “The reliability of the AWS Cloud, the ease of management, and the breadth of the AWS services available provide a foundation on which startups can thrive. On top of this, we have found that AWS is constantly developing new services that not only give the AWS Cloud more value but also make it even more cost-effective.”