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Matterport Uses AWS to Offer 3D Experiences and Reduce Compute Costs by 70%

2019

Matterport, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider, helps professionals in a range of industries create better visual experiences by creating 3D models of built spaces. Customers use Matterport’s Pro2 camera or compatible third-party 360 cameras to take digital images of spaces, capture visual and depth data, and upload the images to the Matterport Cloud to create detailed 3D virtual models. Using these virtual models, everyone from architects to real estate professionals to insurance appraisers can take advantage of the most accurate depiction of a physical space.

Matterport’s application requires a large amount of compute capacity. “We are typically processing thousands of customer models per day, and the volume is continuously growing, so we needed the ability to scale to support that,” says Simon Wynn, senior vice president of software engineering for Matterport. Since its founding in 2011, Matterport has used Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enable scalability, relying on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for on-demand compute capacity and a proprietary batch-processing solution to process customers’ 3D models.

As the company’s business has grown, however, Matterport needed even more scalability. “Our business is growing quickly,” says Leo Sutic, principal engineer for Matterport. “Our systems were not scaling well and were not durable enough to satisfy our customers’ requirements for fast, reliable processing of their models.” Matterport also sought to reduce costs as data volume expanded. “We spent a lot of time maintaining our proprietary environment, which took too much time and added to our costs,” Sutic says.

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CustomerReferences_QuoteMark

The reduced costs we achieve using Amazon EC2 Spot Instances help us directly improve our business."

Simon Wynn
Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Matterport


Using AWS Batch and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances for Automation and Cost Savings

To solve its scalability and cost challenges, Matterport began using a microservices architecture based on the Kubernetes container-orchestration system running on Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS).

More recently, the company started relying on AWS Batch job queues to process 3D models uploaded to AWS. “Using AWS Batch, we have automated the uploading and assigning of job queues for 3D models,” says Ameet Patel, director of cloud infrastructure engineering for Matterport. The company also started running its Matterport Cloud 3.0 application environment on Amazon EC2 Spot Instances to reduce costs. Amazon EC2 Spot Instances are spare compute capacity that is available at large discounts compared to the cost of On-Demand Instances.

Scaling to Process Tens of Thousands of 3D Models Daily

As a result of using AWS Batch and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, Matterport now has the scalability it requires to meet customer demand. “Without the automation of AWS Batch, it would have taken us more than a year to create our containerized application environment,” says Patel. “Instead, it only took a few months. Now, relying on AWS Batch, we can automatically process tens of thousands of 3D models a day without our customers having to wait a long time for their completed models.”

Reducing Costs by 70% and Delivering New Services

Using Spot Instances, the company has achieved its goal of lowering its compute costs. “We have reduced our costs by 70 percent using Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, which saves us more than $1 million annually,” says Wynn.

Because it is spending less money on compute, Matterport can offer more flexible pricing to its customers. “The reduced costs we achieve using Amazon EC2 Spot Instances help us directly improve our business,” Wynn says. “For example, we recently introduced a freemium pricing model, including a free tier where customers don’t pay fees when creating 3D models. We have also begun offering support for third-party 360 cameras including the Ricoh Theta V and Insta360 One X. We could not have offered these new capabilities without the cost savings we realized through our use of AWS.”

By taking advantage of AWS, Matterport can continue to improve service delivery for its application. “We have more and more international customers, so our platform needs to be up and running 24/7,” says Wynn. “As we keep moving into a containerized approach running on AWS Batch and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances, we will be able to optimize the performance of our platform while ensuring the highest availability and also reducing costs. We can better serve our customers and grow our business by using AWS.”

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Architecture

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About Matterport

Based in California, Matterport is a leader in immersive 3D technology solutions. The company offers a cloud-based platform for professionals to easily capture, edit, and share 3D models of physical spaces. These virtual tours are presented in the Matterport proprietary, photo-realistic, digital media format.

Benefits of AWS

  • Scales platform to process tens of thousands of 3D models daily
  • Reduces compute costs by 70%, saving more than $1 million annually
  • Created new application environment in several months instead of 1 year
  • Delivers new services and price offerings to customers

AWS Services Used

Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.

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AWS Batch

AWS Batch enables developers, scientists, and engineers to easily and efficiently run hundreds of thousands of batch computing jobs on AWS. AWS Batch dynamically provisions the optimal quantity and type of compute resources (e.g., CPU or memory optimized instances) based on the volume and specific resource requirements of the batch jobs submitted.

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Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

Amazon EC2 Spot Instances let you take advantage of unused EC2 capacity in the AWS cloud. Spot Instances are available at up to a 90% discount compared to On-Demand prices. You can use Spot Instances for various stateless, fault-tolerant, or flexible applications such as big data, containerized workloads, CI/CD, web servers, high-performance computing (HPC), and other test & development workloads.

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Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance. This means customers of all sizes and industries can use it to store and protect any amount of data for a range of use cases, such as websites, mobile applications, backup and restore, archive, enterprise applications, IoT devices, and big data analytics.

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