The challenge: Scaling rapidly without adding staff
At times, Untappd’s small team had difficulty scaling with the network’s enormous growth. They needed a complete solution to manage instances of MongoDB, Redis, and Elasticsearch to keep the application’s response time fast and smooth for an optimal user experience that would keep users coming back to the app over and over again. But they needed to do it without adding staff—particularly during the early years when it was just Avola and Mather putting in long nights and weekends to get the app off the ground.
By choosing ObjectRocket and its suite of managed database-as-a-service solutions, Avola (Untappd’s backend developer) was able to launch the application and build features quickly and easily all by himself for several years because he didn’t have to worry about the database piece. He could concentrate on building the application while leaving the rest to ObjectRocket’s knowledgeable experts.
ObjectRocket helped Untappd increase performance by moving some processes to MongoDB, and later to Redis and Elasticsearch, and managing instances for them. ObjectRocket is able to ensure that interactions on the app remain high quality and very fast. But social feeds are notoriously difficult to scale out, which is where ObjectRocket’s expertise with all three tools came in very handy.
“We were looking at query times for our Friend Feed from anywhere between three seconds to seven seconds. Together, we were able to decrease that all the way down to less than a second. After that, we did a lot of our heavier queries on Mongo, which helped us significantly when it came to high traffic periods,” says Avola. “As our user base grew, we looked for a more cost-effective solution that would allow us to have better management over the larger data set we were putting in. So we moved over to Elasticsearch, which was about one-fourth of the cost. We were able to keep 30 days of activity now instead of 10 because we were no longer inserting thousands of documents for all of a user’s friends— with Elasticsearch, it’s just one document per check-in….so much faster and more efficient.”
What impresses Avola the most about working with ObjectRocket is that they’re like an extension of the Untappd team. “We’ve been working with ObjectRocket for years now, so there’s a lot of historical knowledge there that’s irrefutable. You can’t really get that anywhere else. So for us to be able to lean on their expertise is very beneficial.”