Based in Melbourne Australia, Loop11 is a remote usability testing tool that enables web developers to test the user experience of any website and identify navigational and usability issues quickly and cost effectively.
Prior to using Amazon Web Services (AWS), Loop11 was working with Rackspace. Toby Biddle, CEO, says, “Loop11 selected AWS because of its flexibility and the ease of spinning up new instances. Our architecture is designed to allow certain modules of the system to reside on individual instances, enabling easier scalability of the system’s higher demand areas. Our previous cloud provider did not allow for the individual modules of the system to be split and, just on the strength of one project, the entire system went down. The recommendation was to increase the server instance size, but this did not resolve the issue.”
base2Services, Loop11’s support partner, provided the experience and expertise needed to select AWS, make recommendations on the system layout, and automate the entire build of the solution for scalability. Currently, Loop11's system architecture is designed around four key locations of elasticity that were identified prior to migration to AWS. These functions have been replaced with distinct servers running from custom AMIs, enabling scalability. Toby describes the configuration: “Data backup and restore systems were written to utilize Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) as the storage and versioning engine. Custom AMIs and Amazon S3 data storage enable an entire test environment to be spun up and terminated on an as-needed basis to minimize costs during development phases. Static content embedded in our customers’ target sites is delivered with Amazon CloudFront to ensure minimal impact to page load times for customers whose locations have an Amazon CloudFront point of presence.”
Loop11’s future scalability plans include:
- Leveraging the backbone of AWS by using multiple outbound proxies in all geographic zones, with proxy selection determined by target system location
- Using Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (Amazon ELB) for front-end server and outbound proxies, based on utilization
- Switching to Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) once the application database storage layer can support it (or when Amazon RDS supports postgressql)
Toby is happy with the results of working with AWS. He explains: “Time to market is the biggest value AWS provides. Meeting the demands of the system is virtually instant with a simple command execution. The architecture set up by base2Services can easily handle the loads we have. This was previously unachievable. Ultimately, AWS gives me peace of mind compared to the previous solution.”
Loop11 is able to scale faster than previously expected. As a result, they are now pursuing bigger clients more confidently than before. In addition, the pricing of AWS suits Loop11. Toby says, “We can add or remove instances as required to meet our market demand and not impact our profit. We can also do this ourselves using the automation scripts developed by the base2Services support team.”
The support team has been critical in helping Loop11 develop its solution. Toby notes, “We wish we had involved base2Services earlier. The help they provided to us was invaluable. They showed us how to streamline the solution and make the most out of AWS. The stress we constantly had over server failures has now disappeared.