Kdan Mobile Case Study


Founded in 2009, Kdan Mobile provides mobile applications and online services for digital content creation. Its flagship applications include Animation Desk Cloud, NoteLedge Cloud, PDF Markup Cloud, Pocket Scanner Cloud, and Write-on Video Cloud. These applications enable users to create and share projects and content across Android, Apple, and Windows devices. The business has offices in Taiwan, China, and the United States.

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With AWS, we ensure high-quality, consistent access of our mobile applications to customers, with availability levels at 99.999%."

Kenny Su
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kdan Mobile

The Challenge

Kdan Mobile started by delivering its mobile applications using an on-premises data center. However, the organization needed its customers to be able to access applications and content from any device, at any time, across a range of markets. The company’s existing infrastructure had reached capacity supporting 1.5 to two million users, and the Kdan Mobile technology team was not convinced it could support forecasted growth of up to 10 million users without considerable upfront capital investment. Kdan Mobile also lacked desired systems—such as data backups to identify and resolve infrastructure issues—that meant it took longer to fix outages than if these tools had been available. Furthermore, the team sought to provide robust security for user and corporate data to minimize the risk of theft or leakage.

Why Amazon Web Services

Kdan Mobile chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) because AWS services would enable the business to optimize its infrastructure and deliver new applications to meet client demand. Using AWS would enable Kdan Mobile customers to access its applications from any device at any time. AWS also provides infrastructure capable of scaling to support the company’s anticipated fivefold growth in customer numbers, and incorporates multiple layers of security to prevent unauthorized access to infrastructure, applications, or data. Finally, AWS operates its infrastructure in a range of global markets, supporting Kdan Mobile’s plans to enter new markets and minimizing latency that could disrupt the user experience. Kdan Mobile completed its initial migration to AWS in 2013, and now operates its AWS infrastructure in multiple Availability Zones in the US East (Northern Virginia) Region.

During the last three years, Kdan Mobile developed its cloud environment using a range of core AWS services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances to provide server capacity and Elastic Load Balancing to distribute traffic. Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) is used to block external Internet access to create a safe environment for data processing, while Amazon CloudFront provides rapid access to Kdan Mobile applications for users distributed across a range of geographic locations. Amazon CloudWatch enables Kdan Mobile to monitor when server instances are overloaded and adjust server capacity to accommodate higher traffic generated as a result of marketing events.

“As our knowledge of the technology grew, we decided to use the serverless infrastructure of AWS to support the development of a ‘push’ mobile phone system,” says Kenny Su, founder and chief executive officer at Kdan Mobile. In this serverless structure, AWS would take care of operating system maintenance, capacity provisioning and automatic scaling, as well as code and security-patch deployment for Kdan Mobile. “We received feedback from AWS on our proposed architecture featuring these services and undertook some fine-tuning as a result. With AWS, our engineers can focus on developing new features to improve the product,” says Su.

The Benefits

Kdan Mobile has achieved a wide range of benefits using AWS. These benefits include the company being able to support growth from 1.5 million to 10 million users over three years, and scale its infrastructure to support demand peaks from marketing campaigns. These peaks can now be managed without Kdan Mobile having to invest considerable capital in purchasing and maintaining infrastructure capacity that will remain idle during periods of lower demand. “Our server structure is based on Amazon EC2 plus Elastic Load Balancing to provide flexible capacity,” says Su. “We can monitor server loads through Amazon CloudWatch and predict higher traffic peaks, and adjust server capacity accordingly.”

Kdan Mobile is now able to diagnose and resolve any infrastructure issues before they impact customers, minimizing potential disruption, while the multi-layered security of AWS provides robust protection against data loss, theft, and leakage.

“With AWS, we ensure high-quality, consistent access of our mobile applications to customers, with availability levels at 99.999 percent,” says Su. By deploying infrastructure across multiple Availability Zones, Kdan Mobile can ensure its applications are available in the event of a failure in one or more of the zones in which it operates.”

Kdan Mobile plans to push on with additional AWS services in the future, such as Amazon EMR, Amazon Machine Learning, and Amazon Kinesis to group users more effectively. “We plan to use Amazon Machine Learning to help us group users by their consumer behavior. This enables us to tailor our marketing activities to individual groups’ demands and tastes.”

About Kdan Mobile

Founded in 2009, Kdan Mobile provides mobile applications and online services for digital content creation.

AWS Services Used

Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud.

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Elastic Load Balancing

Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple targets, such as Amazon EC2 instances, containers, IP addresses, and Lambda functions.

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Amazon VPC

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) lets you provision a logically isolated section of the AWS Cloud where you can launch AWS resources in a virtual network that you define.

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Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally.

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