LocateTV Locates the Top with AWS

Company Overview:

LocateTV.com, a service delivered by NDS, was founded in 2007 and enables users to find content to watch on TV, DVD, and online. The service generates listings for major U.S. and U.K. TV viewing platforms, such as DirectTV and SKY, allowing users to set reminders and create their own personal TV guides.

LOCATETV Case StudyPrior to using Amazon Web Services (AWS), LocateTV’s main infrastructure was located with a managed hosting company in the U.K. Stuart Bryant, LocateTV Systems Specialist says, “We initially turned to AWS for future scalability and flexibility, and to gain exposure to cloud technologies with a service that we think is the market leader in Infrastructure as a Service [IaaS].”
The LocateTV services platform makes full use of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Block Storage (Amazon EBS), Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon CloudFront content delivery network (CDN), taking advantage of the diversity and flexibility of the IaaS. (See diagram below.) Bryant says, “Designing for failure, the platform is distributed across availability zones in the U.S., giving us far greater diversity and closer reach to the majority of our user base. With the use of (Amazon) EC2 we have also created a full email system for sending reminder notifications to our users. We used the AWS reverse DNS entry functionality to help ensure our emails were not classified as spam”.

LocateTV architecture diagram

LocateTV uses an Apache PHP Web-based front-end geo-directory service and Oracle 11g based Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). In addition, says Bryant, “For deployment and management, we use the RightScale Platform as a Service (PaaS), which provides us further functionality to create server templates and replicate full deployments from staging to live quickly and easily.”

Bryant notes that migrating their services to AWS has provided LocateTV with huge cost savings, allowing them to reduce their external operating expenditures by 50%, and giving them the flexibility to grow and add new services (such as their new recommendations engine) quickly and easily. He says, “This was an important step for us; it allowed us to invest more in creativity instead of servers. With over 20 instances running in our current deployments for production and staging, the LocateTV service now generates around one million unique visits per month and has recently been listed in the top 100 Websites of 2010 by PC Magazine.”

With the growth of online TV viewing, NDS is looking at potential new and unique services where they can hook into more AWS solutions. Bryant observes: “Utilizing AWS technologies has introduced new working methodologies and new processes in the way we deliver services, which is vital to the direction of our industry. With the right governance and approach to security, the AWS IaaS made it a viable solution for services.” He adds, “The flexibility that AWS now offers makes testing and deployment of new services considerably faster than with traditional managed hosting. This flexibility gives our development teams an unrivalled advantage to try out new services at a pace we would have never achieved before.”


Amazon Case Study: LocateTV Locates the Top with AWS

Date: 28-08-2013

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