MobStac, based out of Bangalore, India, provides a publishing platform that converts website content into a mobile format for smart phones and tablet devices. The HTML5-enabled platform works with a variety of content management systems (CMS) to render website content in a mobile-optimized layout. MobStac works with more than 3500 publishers in over 40 countries.

Since its launch in 2009, MobStac has experienced rapid growth; traffic increased by a factor of ten over a two-year period. As part of its growth strategy, the company planned to market its mobile platform to over 100,000 publishers in India. “We wanted to be able to meet heavy traffic demands without resorting to a commercial or in-house implementation,” says Ravi Pratap, CTO of MobStac. “We decided to move to a cloud environment to be able to scale resources as needed to meet platform requirements.”

After looking for a scalable cloud infrastructure to support its business goals, MobStac decided on Amazon Web Services (AWS). “We believed that AWS could provide a high availability infrastructure that could handle millions of mobile users’ requests for content as well as scalable storage for media assets,” says Pratap.

MobStac worked with Minjar Cloud Solutions, an Advanced Consulting Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN) to build its cloud infrastructure. “The entire process of launching our platform on the AWS Cloud only took 45 days,” reports Pratap.

MobStac uses Linux, Python, Nginx, uWSGI, memcache, MongoDB and MySQL for its technology platform. The cloud infrastructure consists of over 20 instances of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) hosting MobStac platform software components, including the application-programming interface (API), feeds crawling system, and analytics dashboard. To achieve fault tolerance, the company uses Elastic Load Balancing to distribute Amazon EC2 instances across multiple Availability Zones in the US East Region. MobStac also uses Amazon CloudFront to reduce latency to less than 60ms while loading static assets like images and thumbnails optimized for different device form factors. Figure 1 demonstrates the MobStac platform on AWS.

mobstac architectural diagram

Figure 1. MobStac Architecture on AWS

MobStac uses Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) with Read Replicas so that the solution can scale to manage read-heavy workloads. To monitor platform components and AWS resources, MobStac uses Amazon CloudWatch with a hosted Nagios and OpsView solution, deploys Open Source Host-Based Intrusion Detection System (OSSEC) for log analysis and other tasks, and uses Pingdom to measure the availability of service across different regions.

Running on the AWS Cloud allow MobStac to store multiple terabytes of media assets with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and scale to meet heavy traffic demands. “The ability to scale on demand is a critical requirement of our platform and the reason that we chose AWS over an on-premises or dedicated hosting solution,” says Pratap. “Using AWS allows us to scale resources up and down as required to support the business.”

Moreover, MobStac has saved money while expanding its user base. “We are looking forward to increasing our user base a hundred-fold,” says Pratap. “We will continue to work with Minjar Cloud Solutions to leverage AWS best practices to scale our platform while saving thousands of dollars in CAPEX.”

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