I just came back from the Amazon Cloud Conference. I am more convinced than ever that we made the right decision a year ago to move to the Cloud. Amazon now has hundreds of thousands of businesses from 190 countries now using their infrastructure. Every day they add more compute power than what Amazon needed in total in 2003 when they were a $5B company. Their S3 storage cloud (where we keep all of our static content like images, PDF’s, our html, etc.) now stores over 1 Trillion objects. It seems clear they will eclipse the old hardware vendors in terms of annual compute power generated in the next few years.
We are nearing the end of our scalability project where we will achieve our goal of 50,000 registrations in 10 minutes, with all users having a pleasant user experience. We will be issuing a white paper on all of the details can be seen by others – even other registration companies. This has been a major effort for our company that is far beyond any other registration company. Our motivation was as runners who were frustrated with the terrible user experience of signing up for races or looking at results in large races.
One of the many things I learned at the conference was the value of working on the “outliers”. By meeting the needs of a few very large races, we are actually making the system better for even the 50 person race. Runners can register more quickly and the overall system is far more resilient and will deliver a better experience for everyone. While this is all a bit techie, the result is simplicity and speed and reliability for runners, race directors and timers. You simply can’t get anything better!