CHALLENGES: Purzue needed a worry-free way to handle millions of user-uploaded images, audio, and videos.
RACKSPACE SOLUTION: Rackspace Cloud Files
BUSINESS OUTCOME: Purzue is free to focus on their core offering.
Based in Woodbridge, New Jersey, Purzue is a startup dedicated to disrupting the hiring process. By enabling the creation of innovative multimedia résumés, the 20-person startup allows users to transcend the boundaries imposed by traditional résumé formats.
Purzue’s key differentiator is the fact that it allows users to upload images, audio, and video to tell richer stories about themselves than would be possible in black-and-white text. Rackspace Cloud Files allows them to serve millions of media files without worrying about storage or CDN.
Though Purzue is just over a year old, its founders have been well-acquainted with Rackspace for several years. They were first introduced to the company while working on their other endeavor, a talent-competition site called Lafango that planted the seed for Purzue.
“Lafango had a feature called Electronic Press Kit, press kits that comedians could upload their videos to and hand out at different venues to get gigs,” CTO Jamie Aquila explains. “We thought about how we could capitalize this business model for every user in the world, and we decided to incorporate some of these multimedia features on the next-generation résumé.”
Frustration with dedicated servers, as well as a potential for significant savings, led Lafango to the cloud. Purzue’s needs were similar. “I can write novels about our headaches regarding dedicated machines,” Aquila says, “number one being cost. Purzue and Lafango are heavy in user-generated content, and storage was an absolute disaster. Numerous times, we had to move terabytes of storage from one server to another, larger server, which proved costly in time and bandwidth. Then it was issues with files on multiple servers: Where are the backups? Which file is on what server? In what country? Rackspace Cloud Files clearly solved every one of those issues and then some.”
“Back in the day, we had a regular FTP-based CDN,” Aquila continues. “We had to worry about storage as well as the connection to the CDN. When we were introduced to Cloud Files, we thought, ‘Bingo.’ We don’t have to worry about the storage, and we don’t have to worry about connecting to the CDN. Cloud Files handles that for us, to the point where we’ve totally ditched our own storage and our own servers. We rely on Rackspace for everything.”
Aquila means it when he says everything: in addition to Cloud Files, Purzue and Lafango make use of a full portfolio of Rackspace products, including Cloud Servers, Cloud Databases, and Cloud Load Balancers.
Thanks to Cloud Files, handling millions of user-uploaded media files is no longer a hassle. An open-standards API allows other applications to communicate directly with Cloud Files, which makes for a hands-off, automated process. Aquila describes Purzue’s uploading setup: “When a video gets uploaded, the file hits our web server. We then push it to a temporary container built on Cloud Files and contact Zencoder and get a few versions of the file made. They have their own API that talks to Cloud Files and actually puts the file right back on to our own Cloud Files system, so we actually don’t have to worry about it.”
Aquila is also impressed with Akamai CDN on Cloud Files. “We’ve used multiple CDNs in the past, and Rackspace blows them all out of the water. And I'm not just talking price per gig or transfer or on-paper cost. We also talking time: time saved for ease of use, ease of upload, and, ease of CDN. One click and you're on. That's it. No origins to worry about, no file-system storage limits, nothing. Complete peace of mind.”
Purzue users count on all of their media being ready to go when prospective employers take a look at their résumés. Rackspace is renowned for its reliability, but in the event of a glitch, Aquila knows help is a moment away. “I have never had an issue where Rackspace hasn't responded immediately,” he says “That cannot be said of other providers, especially other server providers. We've been around the block in this area, too: Amazon, Internap, 1&1, and Voxel. Response time is key, and Rackspace has been the quickest in this aspect.”
Aquila says he recommends Rackspace to colleagues regularly. “It may sound cheesy, but Rackspace let's me do my job,” he says. “As a CTO of a growing startup, time is money. If I'm wasting my time with moving files, building servers, and making sure databases aren't crashing, then that cuts me out of managing the work that is being done in-house, improving our product and making it more successful. Rackspace allows us to worry about our own product instead of worrying about theirs.”
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