Madhouse is one of China's leading mobile marketing services providers, connecting advertisers with publishers of mobile media in Madhouse’s advertising network. Founded in 2006 and based in China, Madhouse is one of the industry's first China-based mobile advertising companies to set up branches in foreign countries. Madhouse is a founding member of the Asia-Pacific branch and board member of the global Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) as well as a global mobile advertising co-chair of the Commission, which is responsible for the development and delivery of mobile advertising standards.

With India’s digital marketplace rapidly expanding, Madhouse decided to enter the Indian mobile advertising market. But without a local team in place or a ready-made mobile advertising service network, the company faced some challenges. Normally, Madhouse would put a technical team in place and build a data center—but the Indian market was growing so quickly that the company had no time to lose. “We had to act fast,” says Dingxin Yong, Vice President of Research and Development. “If we had built a data center, we would have spent months of development and debugging before we were ready to launch our services. We didn’t have time to waste, and we didn’t want to make the investment in hardware when the cloud could solve our problem.”

Madhouse’s priorities were stability and scalability: the service had to be reliable, available, and accessible for rapidly growing numbers of users. After careful research, the company decided to use Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build its mobile advertising service system. “AWS has a strong reputation in the industry and thorough SLA metrics,” Yong says. “We needed to ensure smooth implementation of our system and expand quickly into new markets, and we needed to reduce upfront investment and shorten our deployment time. Using AWS helped us do all of that.”

Madhouse selected the Asia Pacific (Singapore) Region to host its mobile advertising system and quickly started planning and deploying the AWS Cloud. From the initial project planning to the system’s official launch on May 31, 2012, took less than four weeks.

Madhouse uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) as the infrastructure for its deployment environment. The use of Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) and Auto Scaling allows the company to automatically scale the number of Amazon EC2 instances used for handling data traffic. The company also uses Amazon CloudFront to deliver content globally, at low latencies and high speeds for optimal end-user experience.

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), which is used for basic advertising data and system reports, provides a fast and stable channel for bringing existing MySQL applications into the AWS Cloud. The company uses Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) as dual storage systems for storing system logs.

With Amazon CloudWatch, Madhouse's China team is able to monitor Amazon EC2 resource consumption, including CPU usage, disk reads and writes, network traffic, etc. By monitoring AWS resources, the company can easily adjust related applications and hardware devices to meet business needs.

Madhouse was able to reduce its costs by 30 percent while setting up a mobile advertising network infrastructure in a new market within four weeks. “AWS is the best choice for companies that need to reduce upfront hardware investments and support rapid deployment,” Yong says. “With AWS providing lower costs and innovative ways to try new solutions, IT infrastructure is no longer a bottleneck.”

The speed with which Madhouse was able to deploy the AWS Cloud represents a significant savings in time to market for the company. “Building a new platform using traditional IT infrastructure can take weeks or months. Launching a new compute instance on AWS, however, only takes a few minutes,” Yong says. “With AWS, our development cycle is five times faster than it used to be.”

In addition to shortening the time required for preliminary preparation, AWS allows domestic teams to operate systems remotely, reducing the cost of recruiting and training local technical staff. Using AWS also helps enable Madhouse to dynamically adjust the company’s overhead. The company’s experience with AWS has been positive. “AWS will certainly be the first choice for our other overseas expansion projects,” Young says. “AWS provides us with a degree of efficiency that is without precedent in the history of the company.”

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