Big Data Solutions upon the GoGrid Cloud Platform

Case Study - Martini Media

Martini Media Uses the GoGrid Cloud to Reach Affluent Consumers with the Right Ads

Martini Media developed a media platform that lets advertisers reach the most coveted US consumers. From business leaders and affluent fashionistas to big-spending frequent flyers, Martini Media delivers the right ad at the right time to people in the high-income demographic that controls 70 percent of the spending power in the US. Advertisers and publishers have taken note, and Martini Media now works with many premium brands and websites. Precise, timely targeting requires effective algorithms, huge quantities of data, and fast processing. Those are the reasons why Martini Media uses a big data approach and the GoGrid infrastructure as a service (IaaS).

"We capture and process more than 250 million online events each day," says Manicka Babu, vice president of engineering for Martini Media. "As you might imagine, our platform requires a substantial amount of processing power. My team focuses on continuously improving our service, and GoGrid delivers the fast, scalable, reliable infrastructure we need. It's a formula that keeps us ahead of the competition."

Scale with Performance

Founded in 2008, Martini Media used a third-party hosted ad solution augmented by services from a cloud infrastructure provider for the first one and a half years of its existence. The company grew quickly, as did the size of its databases. At the same time, the IT leaders at Martini Media were developing an ever more sophisticated platform. They decided it was time to find a long-term infrastructure solution, and they considered the cloud to be their best option.

"Buying, testing, and upgrading infrastructure hardware takes time," explains Babu. "Purchasing hardware represents a significant capital expense. We wanted to devote our human and capital resources to enhancing our platform, not to building a data center. IaaS seemed an ideal way to avoid the drain of buying and managing hardware."

A flexible network architecture for Big Data: Dedicated Servers host Cassandra databases, Cloud Servers provide elastic scalability for application and web servers, and Cloud Link provides a secure, dedicated, private connection for coast-to-coast Cassandra replication.

Why GoGrid

Martini Media considered expanding its footprint with its existing cloud provider, but IT leaders at the company had reservations. The provider employed an entirely virtualized architecture and didn't offer the flexibility Martini Media needed for its Big Data configuration. As the company expanded the use of its Cassandra-based Big Data solution, it was concerned the provider wouldn't be able to meet its needs.

So the company began looking for a new provider. Beyond being able to use a solution that would maximize its Cassandra databases, the company considered several other factors in its search: having data centers on the East and West Coasts, strong technical support, and infrastructure expertise.

"There was too much latency with the first provider," says Babu. "We considered four providers, and only GoGrid offered everything we wanted for a reasonable price. The level of support we needed was included. Plus, GoGrid had data centers in our preferred locations, and its solutions architects were very knowledgeable." Babu adds, "Most important was the hybrid architecture. GoGrid allowed us to use virtualized cloud servers for non-database functions and dedicated hardware to run Cassandra."

Coast-to-Coast Coverage

Martini Media's goal is to serve ads within 150 to 200 milliseconds no matter where the recipient is located within the United States. Based on two identical infrastructures hosted at GoGrid's East and West Coast data centers, Martini Media's solution delivers. Firewalls secure the solution, and a 1 GB Cloud Link dedicated private line provides a secure cross-country connection between the data centers. Behind the firewall, load balancers direct traffic to more than 40 virtualized cloud servers. More than 20 dedicated hardware instances running Cassandra optimize ad targeting. A private VLAN connects the data centers to the IT team at Martini Media.

The Human Touch

In setting up its GoGrid solution, Martini Media worked closely with GoGrid solutions architects. Together, they engineered the architecture to minimize latency, and Martini Media is happy with the result. Compared to the prior IaaS provider, GoGrid has reduced application insert latency by more than 200 percent. It has also provided a 40 percent increase in the speed of throughputs for writes.

"We're very pleased with the performance we receive using GoGrid," says Babu. "The improvements in Cassandra replication and latency on reads and writes are impressive. We are just as happy with the support we receive. When we have questions, an answer from someone who understands our architecture is just a phone call away. Beyond quantifiable performance benefits, GoGrid offers a human touch that we appreciate."

100 Percent Growth

Thanks to its ability to connect advertisers with the most highly sought-after consumers, Martini Media is growing fast. As it grows, it's adding more cloud servers and dedicated hardware to its cloud and hybrid infrastructure. The speed with which GoGrid accommodates its growth has proved be an asset for the company.

Babu explains, "We're growing at 100 percent annually. There's a constant need to add to our infrastructure. With GoGrid, that's no problem. GoGrid can add a new cloud server in minutes, and dedicated hardware in about 24 hours. We couldn't match that speed even if we managed our own machines. Looking at what we've achieved, it's been exciting and satisfying to develop such an effective big data solution. GoGrid never limited us, and not having to mess with hardware added to the fun."

"We're growing at 100% annually. There's a constant need to add to our infrastructure. With GoGrid, that's no problem. GoGrid can add a new cloud server in minutes, and dedicated hardware in as little as 24 hours."

– Manicka Babu, VP Engineering

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Using GoGrid, Martini Media has been able to:

  • Support 100% annual growth
  • Realize the performance benefits of Big Data and the cost advantages of the cloud
  • Serve targeted ads in as little as 150 milliseconds
  • Reduce latency and increase throughput speed


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