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How Appboy Scales Effectively With Rackspace

By Jon Hyman, CIO & Co-Founder, Appboy

When you invite guests over to your house, it would be considered rude not to greet them at the front door. Why should an experience with your mobile app be any different? In order to make a user feel welcome and inspire return visits, it’s important to provide the right introduction. As the premier platform specializing in App Marketing Automation, Appboy effortlessly manages the lifecycle of each user from post-install to beyond.

To succeed in the mobile sphere, repeat engagement is crucial. We enable app publishers to achieve this by identifying who their users are, how they interact with an app and providing the means to target specific audiences with multi-channel messaging through push notifications, emails and a multitude of in-app messaging options, including the industry’s first News Feed.

Considering our rapidly expanding client list and global focus in 2014, Appboy was seeking a partner who could not only support our current size and provide a high level of service, but could also commit to our quick growth needs.

That’s why we chose to partner with Rackspace, providers of a true hybrid cloud. When we switched from another MongoDB hosting platform to ObjectRocket by Rackspace this past spring, we were impressed by how simple it was and how helpful the ObjectRocket team was in terms of discussing our migration and scaling strategy. Compared to competitors, their offering was superior in terms of price and baseline services (for instance, backups are included rather than counted as an extra charge), and we’ve been impressed by consistent query performance as we’ve scaled and unparalleled support, with response times averaging only a few minutes.

When our clients see huge success with Appboy’s platform, it means more traffic for them and for us. Given that our customers can create user segments off of any data point, we needed a database provider that could handle billions of data points each month. Rackspace has delivered by providing a customizable platform that’s easy to grow on, leading to our decision to also transition our dedicated servers to them in February.

In line with their quality customer support, we already have weekly check-ins and multiple engineers devoted to our case, making us feel confident about our decision. When we move our application layer over, we’ll be using a hybrid cloud model that we couldn’t achieve elsewhere considering the faster processors we needed. While the single tenancy of physical hardware combined with us choosing our own should reduce the number of actual servers that we need to use, the cloud aspect is still necessary because we have intense peaks: we’ve had peaks that are 6x our average load, and overnight when both coasts are sleeping, traffic drops by 75 percent. Being able to dynamically spin up and spin down servers in the cloud will save overall costs.

We’re also really excited by Rackspace’s RackConnect, which will give us low latency between servers regardless of if they are physical or virtual. Having physical machines AND cloud servers all for the same application will no doubt help us see performance improvement and cost savings. Not to mention we’ll be able to control our network topology (which coming from a PaaS provider on top of AWS that does not support Amazon VPC, we were not able to do). We had no way to create private subnets and firewall off parts of our infrastructure, so moving to Rackspace will greatly improve security.

Our attention to detail, dedication to driving forward in the industry and devotion to our clients is what’s helping our App Marketing Automation platform grow at a brisk clip. Those qualities are shared by Rackspace, which is why we can’t wait to expand our work together with them this year.

This is a guest post written and contributed by Jon Hyman, CIO and co-founder of Appboy, a customer engagement platform for mobile apps.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Jon Hyman.

Jon Hyman is the co-founder and CIO of Appboy, a customer engagement platform for mobile apps. He is in charge of building Appboy’s technical systems and infrastructure as well as managing the company’s operations.

Prior to Appboy, Jon worked as a lead engineer for the Core Technology group at Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund. There, he managed a team that maintained 80+ software assets and was responsible for the security and stability of critical trading systems. Jon met co-founder Bill Magnuson during his time at Bridgewater, and together they won the 2011 TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon.

Jon is a graduate of Harvard and holds a Bachelor degree in Computer Science. While at school, he was an active member of the research team for CitySense, the first citywide wireless sensor network, and advised several tech startups.

Jon grew up in Dallas and enjoys good BBQ and playing guitar. His first mobile phone was a Kyocera 2255.


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