PostDot Technologies Case Study
Established in October 2014 by three cofounders and headquartered in California, PostDot Technologies markets an API-testing and development tool called Postman. This tool was launched on the Google Chrome Web Store in 2012 as an app and is now used by three million developers worldwide. Postman is also available as a native application on Mac, Windows, and Linux. A paid version designed for more experienced developers—Postman Pro—enables collaborative development, documentation, and monitoring of APIs.
I don’t think any other cloud provider can deliver the flexibility AWS gives us. We can spin up a new service in a day flat. All our developers have to do is create the application logic. Once they do so, we can go to beta within a day and production two to three days after that."
Cofounder and Chief Technology Officer, PostDot Technologies
The eventual founders of PostDot Technologies started developing the Postman app in 2012 to streamline the process of developing, managing, and maintaining APIs. In 2014, they established PostDot Technologies in Bangalore, India to formalize development of Postman and grow its customer base. They realized the business needed a more dynamic and flexible infrastructure for its development, testing, and production activities, and an on-premises environment was not the answer. “We needed to be able to iterate quickly without getting bogged down by the resource-intensive requirements of on-premises deployments, and chose to deliver Postman from the cloud,” says Ankit Sobti, co-founder and chief technology officer of PostDot Technologies.
However, when PostDot Technologies started delivering Postman from a cloud service, the company quickly ran into problems scaling to meet its requirements. The time and resources needed to manage databases—and activities such as load balancing—diverted team members from customer activities. “We had 650,000 users from day one, including 100,000 users of our cloud service, and the unmanaged nature of our cloud provider caused a lot of problems supporting this volume,” Sobti says. As a result of these challenges, PostDot started looking for an alternative cloud service that could meet its business needs.
Why Amazon Web Services
PostDot Technologies migrated to Amazon Web Services (AWS) primarily because of AWS Elastic Beanstalk, which gives the company the ability to reduce its management load and automate key processes such as capacity provisioning, load balancing, scaling, and application health monitoring. “AWS Elastic Beanstalk enabled us to build a system that could scale automatically and auto-heal in the event of a service interruption,” Sobti says. “This was particularly important as we were always confronted with a surge in traffic each morning at 8:30 a.m. from the United States. AWS Elastic Beanstalk enabled us to accommodate this peak without compromising service quality.”
PostDot Technologies uses Amazon CloudWatch to monitor its systems and infrastructure, and AWS Lambda to run back-end systems that perform tasks such as generating invoices for customers. “AWS Lambda allows us to write, manage, and deploy code without having to go through a standard full development lifecycle, minimizing the load on our application developers,” Sobti says.
PostDot Technologies completed its move to AWS in March 2015, with the migration and architecture design completed in-house before being validated by AWS cloud architects. “The AWS people were great in relaying our requests back to the developers and answering our questions about scale and features,” Sobti adds.
The security features of the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) were also important to PostDot. “We have been able to design a microservices architecture to provide network-level isolation for most of our services,” says Sobti.
PostDot Technologies also takes advantage of the Business Support Plan through AWS Support. “AWS has a very proactive approach, and we were very satisfied with that,” he says. “Their support team really helped us go beyond the AWS documentation and understand how to work best with AWS services. Furthermore, if there were any outages or issues, the team would inform us quickly of the problem and help us get back on track.”
The scalability of the AWS infrastructure enabled the business to grow from 650,000 users in March 2015, 100,000 of whom were using the company’s cloud service, to about 1.1 million users on the cloud platform by November 2016. Using AWS, the business has been able to support this growth without dedicating a team to managing its infrastructure.
The AWS infrastructure delivers availability levels of 99.99 percent, giving PostDot developers and customers confidence the services will be accessible when needed, while latency in the order of 300 milliseconds ensures developers and customers can complete activities quickly.
The business has also gained the ability to develop new services quickly and easily. “I don’t think any other cloud provider can deliver the flexibility AWS gives us,” says Sobti. “We can spin up a new service in a day flat. All our developers have to do is create the application logic. Once they do so, we can go to beta within a day and production two to three days after that.” This agility extends to undertaking software releases¾PostDot Technologies is now able to undertake multiple software releases daily without disrupting users.
“The best part of working with AWS was the fact we could focus our efforts on our core objective of improving developer productivity,” Sobti says.
About PostDot Technologies
Established in October 2014 by three cofounders and headquartered in California, PostDot Technologies markets an API-testing and development tool called Postman.
AWS Services Used
AWS Elastic Beanstalk
AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an easy-to-use service for deploying and scaling web applications and services developed with Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python, Ruby, Go, and Docker.
Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring and observability service built for DevOps engineers, developers, site reliability engineers (SREs), and IT managers.
Run code without thinking about servers. Pay only for the compute time you consume.
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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