Role played by Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Growth of Airbnb
Airbnb is a community marketplace that allows connecting property owners and travelers to rent unique vacation spaces around the world. The Airbnb community users’ activities are conducted on the company’s Website and through its iPhone and Android applications. The San Francisco-based Airbnb began operation in 2008 and currently has hundreds of employees across the globe supporting property rentals in nearly 25,000 cities in 192 countries.
A year after Airbnb launched they decided to migrate nearly all of its cloud computing functions to AWS cloud services because of the below mentioned service administration challenges experienced in their existing infrastructure:
- Small 5-person operations team.
- Infrastructure Scalability Problem
- Huge Traffic Load during peak period (Like festivals, Public Holidays, etc.)
- Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) – Elastic Load Balancing of Amazon EC2 automatically distributes incoming traffic between multiple Amazon EC2 instances. To support high demand, Airbnb uses 200 instances of Amazon CE2 for its application, memcache, and search servers.
- Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR) – This helps to easily process and analyze 50 Gigabytes of data daily.
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) – For house backups and static files, including 10 terabytes of user pictures.
- Amazon CloudWatch – To monitor all server resources to easily supervise all its Amazon EC2 assets through the AWS Management Console, Command Line Tools, or a Web services API.
- Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) – It helps to simplify much of the time-consuming administrative tasks typically associated with databases. It allows difficult procedures, such as replication and scaling, to be completed with a basic API call or through the AWS Management Console. Airbnb currently uses Multi-Availability Zone (Multi-AZ) deployment to further automate its database replication and augment data durability. It was able to complete its entire database migration to Amazon RDS with only 15 minutes of downtime. This quick transition was very important to the fast-growing company.
Airbnb has grown significantly over the last 3 years. Migrating to Amazon Web Services and use various AWS services to scale up its infrastructure has greatly benefitted Airbnb in the following areas
- Reduction in Operation Expense
- Automation of Scaling
- Faster Responsiveness
- Running MySQL in the Cloud
- Focus on Safety
AWS is helping the company for future growth.
Tobi Knaup, an engineer at Airbnb says, “Because of AWS, there has always been an easy answer (in terms of time required and cost) to scale our site. We’ve seen that Amazon Web Services listens to customers’ needs. If the feature does not yet exist, it probably will in a matter of months. The low cost and simplicity of its services made it a no-brainer to switch to the AWS cloud.”
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