As a social technology company, Socialbomb helps clients deploy highly effective social media apps across multiple platforms and services. No simple task. And social media apps can detonate at any time: when a thoughtful, well-timed fusion of product marketing meets social media sharing, the supporting computer systems can see a shock wave of activity as users log in to get connected. With this volatile mix of multiple platform and service support, on-demand capacity, and total reliability, Socialbomb had to construct a stable computing system that could handle it all.
Scalability goes both ways—up and down. When applications or marketing campaigns gain popularity, Socialbomb servers process tremendous network and database activity. And after campaigns run their course, computing requirements may decline as traffic falls off. Planning and scaling a traditional data center for this kind of activity is nearly impossible or at best wasteful. To accommodate the highest level of activity, Socialbomb would have to over-provision a data center to handle the highest peak; when traffic died down, system resources would sit idle.
Moving data between Web sites, phones, Blu-ray players, and onto multiple social media sites requires not just engineering expertise but also an open, feature-rich development platform that’s up to the challenge.
Marketing partners can’t afford to spend their efforts on media applications that go offline. Each failed server or system slowdown represents thousands of lost or dissatisfied customers.
Managing fluctuating network traffic and hardware configurations requires significant human capital. Socialbomb decided early on it was not in the network management business. Its talented developers and marketers would focus exclusively on delivering the best possible social media applications.
Joyent had the scalability—both up and down—that Socialbomb needed. Developers immediately went to work launching their first social media app, Paparazzi, a photo sharing game. The application required great bandwidth to support picture transfers and a reliable network presence. They chose Joyent.
The Joyent cloud had the bandwidth to handle a burst of user traffic and sustained performance for uploading and downloading photos and more. “We’ve never seen a box flooded,” said Mike Dory. During sudden spikes in network traffic, the Joyent Smart Computing platform automatically releases additional shared memory and CPU cycles to handle the activity. When Socialbomb needs more servers for sustained demand, it can bring resources online in minutes with a simple phone call. When it no longer needs the additional resources, Socialbomb can decommission them just as easily.
Its development environment was critical to success. “Prototyping and testing applications was the most important aspect,” said Mike Dory. Socialbomb can provision any sized test environment its applications require, on demand, and release the resources when developers are finished. To make certain its applications are performing as they should once they’re launched, Socialbomb’s test environment, using the Joyent Smart Platform, can mirror the target production environment.
With potentially millions of customer impressions at stake, Socialbomb can’t afford to see its systems fail. Joyent’s highly fault tolerant server and network data centers keep Socialbomb customers connected around the clock.
Throughout many engineering projects, Socialbomb has consulted Joyent engineering and support staff. The management of its network and sever platform is mainly administered by Joyent, allowing Socialbomb to concentrate on what it does best—creating cutting-edge social media applications for its clients.