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Deploying and Scaling using AWS
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Deploying and Scaling using AWS


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A presentation for the AWS Startup Challenge tour on how we use AWS to deploy and operate

A presentation for the AWS Startup Challenge tour on how we use AWS to deploy and operate

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  • 1. Deploying and Scaling with AWS Matt Conway, VP Engineering
  • 2. About Us   Company Profile •  Founded 2007 Key Stats •  Tier 1 venture-backed •  Launched April 2008 •  Experienced team of eleven in •  Mobile website (no Needham, MA download required), iPhone web/app, Internet •  Developer of direct-to-consumer mobile services •  1.5+ million unique visitors / month •  15+ million monthly page   SnapMyLife Service views (Aug 2008) •  Mobile photo sharing community •  Over 90% traffic from mobile devices •  Best mobile user experience •  Visitors from every •  Premium demographic country in the world •  Rapidly growing local & global •  400,000+ registered users audience 2
  • 3. Screenshots Mobile iPhone Desktop
  • 4. Overview   EC2 •  Entire web serving stack •  Daemons for background/batch processing •  Internal infrastructure   S3 •  Cheap CDN •  Backups for EC2   Mechanical Turk •  Content filtering •  Content classification 4
  • 5. EC2 Costs   Xen based cluster on leased hardware •  Time sink •  Not as flexible •  Slow to provision (Days vs Minutes) •  More expensive (~$1.8K/month)   EC2/S3 •  We hardly ever think about it, just use it •  Unlimited playground without fear of breakage •  Clone your entire production stack in minutes •  Works out cheaper (~$1.2K/month) 5
  • 6. EC2/S3 Architecture   Fairly standard architecture   DNS – Web – App – Memcached - Mysql   Assume and plan for failure   Use a role based architecture to easily scale roles independently of each other (e.g. add an app server or db slave)   Roles scale in as well as out – incredibly useful to have production cloned to a single instance for testing new features. 6
  • 7. EC2 Instance Allocation   Static Vs Dynamic instance allocation •  We went static route •  Our traffic graph pretty flat due to global nature •  Easier, dynamic cost savings not worth the extra complexity for us •  We watch our load carefully, given a critical alert, we can scale up in a matter of minutes by increasing the instance count for the impacted roles.   All instance configuration lives in our source tree. New instances to handle any combination of roles is only a couple of commands and a few minutes away   We open sourced our framework for doing so: The rubber project on github - 7
  • 8. Mechanical Turk   All of our content gets classified through turk   Some of our content gets tagged   We interact with turk solely through automation – large quantities preclude use of web interface   Results were better than anticipated   Incredibly quick turnaround, 24x7   Very hard to match this performance given the hiring constraints of a startup 8
  • 9. Mturk costs   Depends a lot on how you do it   Keep questions simple, pay less   Multiple questions, better result   Example of a months usage •  ~64K picture moderations (x3) •  ~28K pictures tagged •  Total Cost ~$3.3K (AWS commission $1.1K) 9
  • 10. Things we’d like to see   A reliable way to send mail from EC2   Faster S3 response - New AWS CDN should address this   Automatic billing for Mturk   A better plan for large volume mturk usage – commission is normally 10%, but the half cent minimum makes it 50% if all you do are 1c HITs 10
  • 11. Questions?   Contact Matthew Conway VP Engineering 11