Pixlee

CASE STUDY

The massive quantity of user-generated content developed each day presents both an opportunity and challenge for brands. Pixlee helps its customers collect content relevant to them, and repurposes the barrage of photos from various user-generated platforms into high-quality content.

While Pixlee is a young company, it quickly became evident from the sheer magnitude of traffic on each client’s website that exponential growth was on the horizon. It needed more-reliable hosted Redis and Memcached solutions for operational efforts, while also maintaining fast performance and high availability.

Redis Labs is a straightforward and reliable way for us to support top brands across the world. Redis Labs has great customer support, and whenever I need anything, they’ve always come back quickly and with an immediate solution. These guys are doing it right.

—Jeff Chen

Pixlee Co-Founder and Lead Developer

Social media makes it easier than ever for customers and fans to engage with brands and form authentic relationships. But how can brands effectively utilize the overwhelming amount of user-generated content?

Through contextual information, such as hashtags, Pixlee is able to collect content that is relevant to a brand and turn it into a source of high-quality content. Pixlee curates and repurposes the images, and identifies the highest performing content for each and every use case. The result? Brands can achieve authentic interactions with consumers at each and every touch point (owned and paid), increasing engagement, loyalty, and ultimately conversion. Today, the Pixlee platform serves companies such as Sony Playstation,1-800-Flowers, and Coca-Cola.

The solutions

  • Pixlee adopted Redis Labs’ hosted Memecached to cache data for sites with significant traffic, while Redis is used for real-time counting and queueing.
  • Redis Labs also delivers multi-zone support and uptime maintenance capabilities where the data sets are located.
  • This solution accommodates Pixlee’s constant growth and provides smooth, seamless scaling.

Redis Enterprise benefits

  • The ability to host and monitor Redis and Memcached together on the same has allowed Pixlee to put complete trust in Redis Labs to handle its in-memory database operations, returning the Pixlee team’s primary focus to the company’s core business.
  • Plus, since deploying Redis, Pixlee has had zero performance issues or availability concerns, along with uninterrupted scaling and optimal caching.

Keeping up with demand

Pixlee is unique because its widgets serve traffic across all of its customers’ brand pages. Pixlee has to supply traffic that comes to its own organic site, but it also has to serve the traffic that comes to its clients’ sites. While a reliable in-memory database and cache are crucial to performance, Pixlee’s clientele are not all necessarily operating from the same location. Some may be using Amazon Web Services, others may be using one many other hosting services or even their own data centers, requiring Pixlee to provide high availability in a wide variety of environments. As a result, Pixlee is expected to accommodate access patterns and throughput that are not only external to its own application, but also require the best-of-breed in performance upkeep.

Deploying an in-memory database environment requires a number of resources that often aren’t factored into the equation when funding a new company. Redis and Memcached are both used to support Pixlee’s application, with Redis running on an Amazon EC2 server and Memcached on a simple Heroku as a service application add-on.

Although Pixlee is a young company, the sheer magnitude of traffic on each client’s website promised exponential growth. It needed more reliable hosted Redis and Memcached solutions, while also maintaining high performance and high availability.

Benefits of Redis Enterprise

Pixlee decided to move to Redis Enterprise for a quality solution that could support both Redis and Memcached clouds. Pixlee uses Redis Labs-hosted Memcached to cache data for sites that receive a significant amount of traffic, while Redis is primarily used for real-time counting and queueing.

Redis Enterprise provides smooth, seamless, uninterrupted scaling and optimal caching, proactively resolving any performance issues created by heavy traffic and enabling the planning and analysis needed to handle Fortune 1000 company websites.

Most other service providers do not handle binary Memcached with SASL, which is essential to Pixlee’s service authentication. Pixlee has been able to put complete trust into Redis Enterprise to handle its in-memory database operations, returning Pixlee’s primary focus to its core capabilities.

Plus, Redis Enterprise also provides multi-zone support and uptime maintenance capabilities where the Redis and Memcached data sets are located. The multi-zone support empowers Pixlee to perform failover and maintain high availability, while Redis Enterprise’s multi-cloud approach enables the provisioning of resources as close as possible to the applications. This approach reduces latency from Pixlee’s cache that may develop from accommodating embedded content on clients’ sites. Reduced latency, on top of Redis Enterprise’s multi-zone approach, has eliminated performance issues and availability concerns for Pixlee and its high-profile customers.