Spot.IM

CASE STUDY

I have yet to encounter limits with Redis Enterprise’s scalability. It allows me to handle peaks in traffic that grow 2000% without any need to scale my database infrastructure.


— Ishay Green, CTO, Spot.IM

Company: Spot.IM
Industry: Technology

The Customer:

Spot.IM’s innovative community-engagement platform helps customers turn website visitors into a community. Partners such as Time Inc., Meredith, LittleThings, and others together generate more than a billion page views per month.

The Challenge:

To power social conversations on leading entertainment and media websites, Spot.IM must provide seamless transitions from web page viewing to an interactive dialog, with minimal latency and extreme responsiveness.

The Solution:

Spot.IM chose Redis Enterprise as its primary database because of its unparalleled performance and versatility at handling every type of data-processing scenario with simplicity and low latency. With Redis Enterprise playing a critical role in Spot.IM’s architecture, high availability, seamless scalability, and low operational overhead are no longer issues for its operation.

The Benefits:

Using Redis on Flash in an AWS VPC environment helps Spot.IM serve more than a billion page requests per month, at 70% lower cost, without compromising on responsiveness or performance.

“As our data grows, we need to find ways to scale out the storage in a cost effective way, without impacting the quality of the service. Redis on Flash gets us there by delivering a cost-effective, high performance, in-memory database for our highly responsive platform.”
— Ishay Green, CTO, Spot.IM

Every website wants to engage with its users more authentically and thoughtfully. Spot.IM built a solution to address that—its innovative community-engagement platform helps customers like Time Inc., Meredith, LittleThings, and others turn website visitors into a community. 

Spot.IM’s next-generation community-engagement platform is architected for blazing fast responsiveness and incredible scale, handling thousands of requests per second, and processing more than a billion page views a month. In order to power social conversations on leading entertainment and media websites such as Entertainment Weekly and LittleThings.com, Spot.IM must provide seamless transitions from web page viewing to interactive dialog. Given the challenges, it’s not surprising that Spot.IM CTO Ishay Green had to re-imagine the company’s application and infrastructure architecture to ensure minimal latency and deliver extreme responsiveness.


Redis Enterprise provides a critical backbone

Spot.IM chose Redis as its primary database because of its unparalleled performance and versatility at handling multiple data-processing scenarios with simplicity and low latency. Ishay built his inventive application platform with an architecture that places all services in memory—achieving incredible scale with impressive simplicity. Using Elixir to parallelize Redis requests and Node.js’ pre-rendering architecture, Spot.IM’s cutting-edge application can handle traffic peaks up to 500,000 messages/second on AWS, while keeping CPU usage on database machines under 5%. 

Redis Enterprise was chosen to provide enterprise-grade true high availability and easy noiseless scaling for Redis. Redis Enterprise also provided the added advantage of completely relieving Spot.IM of any operational effort around managing Redis. Redis Enterprise delivered stable, linearly scaling high performance, which helped Spot.IM handle 400,000 to one million user requests a day, to and from third-party websites, at sub-millisecond latencies.

“While architecting our system, we decided to take Google’s early approach of placing the whole internet index in memory. It was a bold decision then and it is a bold decision today. The basic idea is that our main database is also our cache system—everything is updated in real time,” Green said. “I have yet to encounter limits with Redis Labs’ scalability. It allows me to handle peaks in traffic that grow 2000% without any need to scale my database infrastructure.”


To infinity and beyond: benefits of Redis Enterprise

As Spot.IM scaled out its architecture, the team turned to Redis on Flash in an Amazon Web Services virtual private cloud environment. This helped optimize the costs of running Spot.IM’s highly demanding application without compromising on responsiveness or performance. With Redis on Flash, Spot.IM can maintain extremely high throughput (up to a billion page requests per month) at 70% lower costs compared to a pure DRAM solution.

“Our distributed social network is growing constantly in terms of traffic and content,” said Spot.IM CTO Ishay Green. “As our data grows, we need to find ways to scale out the storage in a cost effective way, without impacting the quality of the service. Redis on Flash gets us there by delivering a cost-effective, high performance, in-memory database for our highly responsive platform.”

Redis Enterprise delivers the stable high performance, high availability, and ease of operation needed for Spot.IM’s massively scalable infrastructure. The technology team at Spot.IM built a state-of-the-art application architecture, with pioneering thinking around database technology. Now they can reap the savings of their original thoughtfulness, and exploit the latest advances in memory technology and Redis on Flash.