Case Study: Foursquare Doubles Database Performance with AWS and Equinix

Foursquare doubles database performance and scales for rapid feature and capacity increase—all while keeping costs flat—by migrating from an AWS-only technology platform to a hybrid cloud in Equinix

The Customer

Foursquare is a local search and discovery application that helps more than 45 million users get personalized recommendation and deals based on where they, their friends, and people like them have been. Foursquare’s Merchant Platform helps 1.6 million businesses attract people nearby with mobile ads and promotional offers. The site has amassed more than 5 billion check-ins and grows by millions more each day.

Business Challenge

Like many fast-growing web companies, Foursquare built the technology foundations for its popular social networking site on Amazon Web Services (AWS). But as Foursquare’s user base and business grew, the company hit technical and performance constraints with its AWS-only infrastructure. Limits in transaction processing capacity, network transmission speed and disk performance meant adding the resources needed to sustain Foursquare’s rapid growth came with a considerable cost. Also, the company wanted more control over technology platforms running critical services and better visibility into network performance. It became clear to Foursquare’s engineering team that their technology platform needed to grow out of the public cloud and migrate to a hybrid computing model—one in which they could customize servers and data analytics capabilities for the unique needs of their business while continuing to use the Amazon public cloud for data warehousing and spikes in computing workloads. Foursquare’s engineers also recognized that where they built the private computing component of their hybrid cloud could shape the performance and
efficiency of their entire cloud platform.

Equinix (Nasdaq: EQIX) is the world's digital infrastructure company, enabling digital leaders to harness a trusted platform to bring together and interconnect the foundational infrastructure that powers their success. Equinix operates a global interconnection platform of more than 200 International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data centers in 63 metros across 26 countries.
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