As many of you know, OrgSync has seen substantial growth this past spring and summer. To prepare for the launch of over 50 new campuses, we spent the summer upgrading our hosting platform. We believe scaling our applications and databases will be an ongoing effort and have made it part of a larger initiative to transition our development team from startup to enterprise mode.
Prior to this summer we hosted our platform at Joyent. Joyent was an affordable third-party hosting solution that allowed us to stick to our bootstrap model. However, as we continued to expand OrgSync’s functionality and user base, we began experiencing reliability and scalability issues. As a result we discovered several technical constraints that hindered our ability to scale while maintaining acceptable uptime for our users.
Once it became evident that we would need a more robust hosting solution we began exploring our options in “cloud computing” through Amazon Web Services (www.amazonaws.com). We were initially wary of such a bleeding edge solution because of the risk of getting lost in unfamiliar territory. Thankfully, Rightscale (www.rightscale.com) allayed most of our concerns. They’ve created an application that simplifies the process of working with Amazon’s virtual server instances and data persistence system, and they have a comprehensive support platform to get IT personnel up to speed.
The transition to our new hosting platform took about 8-10 weeks to complete, and the capabilities and controls we now have are phenomenal. With our new partners we have developed an extremely scalable solution that allows us to respond quickly to load. Any component in the system can be swiftly replaced; our data is backed up every 10 minutes to an offsite location, and no single component can bring the application down for an extended period. We also have the ability to specify the availability zones of our servers, giving us a large degree of disaster tolerance.
We are extremely excited (and relieved) to have fully completed this transition. We can now rest assured that as our user base continues to grow we will be able to scale our applications and maintain a high level of uptime that all of our clients deserve.