I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts few days back, “How I build this” hosted by Guy Raz. In this particular program, Guy was interviewing the billionaire founder of Instagram. I was shocked learn that during the moment of truth he almost blew it. When the App began going viral, the servers carrying the load crashed and not revived for nearly 2 weeks. At the end of this story Instagram got lucky but very easily could not of. It would of been only months before someone else could do it right and Instagram would have been remembered less then the name of your 3rd grade crossing guard.
An owner of a large department store was once quoted as saying; “I simply built the biggest darn store I could, so that the shoppers never run out of space”. Although this was said nearly 100 years ago, it actually describes today high tech environment of high power apps and the like. Simply put, success can be your biggest source of failure if you do not provide the proper bandwidth.
The bandwidth story is not what I came to talk about, however. After all that would be so last year. In an age where large string of data are being transferred through social media apps, it is no longer an issue of bandwidth but rather latency. Latency is the time in which it takes data to get from point A to point B. No shopper will tolerate any site leaving him/her hanging for more then half a second at most. To meet these new demands Amazon Web Services has ruled out CloudFront. Amazon CloudFront is a global content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to your viewers with low latency and high transfer speeds.
Now even a small startup which has not has as much as a click on their site can initiate these powerful server points and if a marketing campaign goes viral and hits, they will not only handle it but actually ace it.
Ask yourself this questions today. Why am I still on my old hosted VPS or even worse a local server network ? The answer that we always get is.. “We are scared to change”, “How will we be able to learn it?”. What they all fail to realize is that when AWS releases a service it is designed to make everything much much easier and cheaper then it was before. So if you are not doing it then your competition is. Hopefully you will share the amazing luck of Instagram but that took place nearly 10 years ago. If this same story happened today then in all probability Instagram will have been only a fading thought at most.