Customer Case Studies


About the Company

Worldreader gives kids in the developing world access to digital books. Using e-readers loaded with thousands of local and international e-books, they provide children the books they want and need, so they can improve their lives.

Worldreader has already distributed 100,000 e-books to kids. Now they have teamed up with soccer team FC Barcelona to attempt something that’s never before been possible: They’re raising money to send 1 million e-books to the children of Africa.

The Business Challenges

The current web traffic was low, however in 5 days they would be launching the “million e-book campaign”. Having a platform that could scale fast was crucial to partnering with FC Barcelona who had 31 million “likes” and 781,000 followers on Facebook, and 5 million Twitter followers.

Why Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) provides stable and robust services for scalable cloud computing. The services include dynamically allocatable infrastructure and platform services covering most major needs: compute; storage; networking; database; object caching; deployment automation (e.g., CloudFormation and CloudWatch, etc.)

Worldreader, planning a multi-strategy marketing campaign, knew the traffic on its sites would increase, though could not forecast precisely that growth. Knowing Worldreader is a truly ‘world-wide’ site, the possibility existed for massive hit-count increases. Therefore, Worldreader sought help through Transcend Computing, Inc.’s inherent capabilities in ‘cloudifying’ applications. This resulted in two problems: a) getting on a production platform that can scale; and b) doing so in mere days while allowing testing without downtime.

Transcend, through its ability to generate CloudFormation templates, quickly allows automated generation, testing and tuning of cloud architectures. Using CloudFormation and the services it supports in AWS, Transcend was able to generate the templates necessary to bring Worldreader’s sites alive on AWS in merely three days while allowing continuous content editing and site testing with zero production downtime.

Transcend generated CloudFormation templates that automate creation and management of multiple autoscaled sites with load balancing between. The templates allow tuning of dynamically allocated AWS resources (e.g., compute instances and database horsepower) as necessary to handle site traffic loading. The system automatically decrease AWS resource usage (scale down) when traffic subsides to reduce costs.

The Business Benefits

Because Worldreader could not possibly forecast accurately its future traffic, yet must minimize costs as a non-profit entity, AWS’ scalable, on-demand cloud services was the perfect remedy. Transcend’s capabilities, by extension, were the perfect interface to AWS’ broad capabilities. By scaling computing and platform services based on on-demand need, AWS pay-as-you-go helps simultaneously minimize costs while maintaining optimal performance.

Through Transcend, the migration team delivered in days precisely what Worldreader needed; the ability to rapidly react to new marketing content with high availability, maximum performance, cost containment, and the best user experience without ‘breaking the bank.’

About the Company

Threadflip is pioneering a new social shopping experience by offering women a simple way to convert their closets into a dynamic boutique-like experience, connecting buyers with sellers, and capturing the collaborative energy of shopping with friends. They hope to revolutionize the world of online shopping by providing a new way to discover, buy and sell fashion.

Threadflip is a social marketplace for buying, selling, and discovering new, unique, and pre-loved fashion. With a few clicks, users can upload images of pieces straight from their closet, and sell clothing, shoes, bags, and jewelry they no longer wear, creating a treasure trove of thousands of new pieces every day.

The Business Challenges

As a commerce site, Threadflip requires maximum speed and performance in delivering the user-shopping experience, while cost containment remains a key driver in technology deployments. Threadflip additionally needs tight control of the systems executing its application servers, including web application servers and background queuing processors.

Why Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) provides stable and robust services for scalable cloud computing. The services include dynamically allocatable infrastructure and platform services covering most major needs: compute, storage, networking, database, object caching, deployment automation, etc.

Threadflip historically ran its applications at hosting providers who lack the ability to empower automated fine-grained control of underlying application infrastructure. Threadflip sought help from Transcend Computing, Inc.’s capabilities in ‘cloudifying’ their application servers. The challenge had three components: 1) generate a scalable platform 2) within a short timeframe; and 3) expose fine-grained control of the systems.

Through Transcend’s capabilities in designing and generating AWS CloudFormation templates, they were quickly able to automate and test multiple cloud architecture strategies consistent with a multi-stage Software Development Lifecycle. Transcend enabled the team to move Threadflip’s sites to AWS within two weeks – with zero downtime.

Transcend generated CloudFormation templates matching a design that automates creation and management of multiple auto-scaled sites with load balancing between. The templates effect scaling of the web site and queue processors by generating AWS resource and bootstrap definitions (e.g., compute instances) that autoscalers manipulate to handle the load. Triggering off activity, the systems automatically decrease (scale down) resource usage when appropriate.

The use of Transcend and CloudFormation provides Threadflip the kind of fine-grained, dynamic control of the compute and platform infrastructure it needs without manually tearing down servers. Further, as the ‘interface’ to scaling adjustments, platform services (database and queues) and application servers, Transcend and AWS together allows system analysts to fine-tune the application substructure by mere parameter changes, which ripple across the infrastructure automatically.

The Business Benefits

Because Threadflip needed dynamically adjustable infrastructure control, AWS’s scalable, on-demand cloud services provided the needed remedy. By scaling services based on need, AWS’s pay-as-you-go helps simultaneously minimize costs while maintaining optimal performance.

Through Transcend, Threadflip was able to move to an AWS cloud architecture in mere days. They now can rapidly react and tune their systems while maintaining high availability, maximum performance, cost containment, and the best end-user experience, without ‘breaking the bank.’