In this post, Sureel Bhurat, co-founder of Synapse LLC, a young Boston based company that builds SaaS web and mobile applications for consumer start-ups and enterprises, explains how PWS lets them innovate fast at a disruptively low cost. Synapse can build and operate applications for multiple customers with a very small team because they can use services from the Marketplace as well their own services with “user provided services“. They rely on PWS to automatically load balance, dynamically scale and keep their apps running. Pivotal Web Services’ simple and fine-grained pricing model allowed them to tune resources to just what they needed to serve their customers.
The Challenges of Innovating Fast at Low Cost
Synapse LLC, a young Boston based start-up with offices in the US and Asia, is a provider of mobile and web solutions. Our clients range from emerging start-ups to big enterprises in North America, Europe and Asia. Synapse provides services across diverse industries including media, finance, education, automotive, retail and hospitality. We offer next generation product vision to the market, accelerating existing development efforts with agile practices at economical rates.
From inception, the Synapse team realized that most of the time spent in architecting a solution with legacy hosting providers was backwards and counter-productive. This entire exercise ended up creating solutions that were not the best for business requirements and were not easily scalable. This was mostly true in case of start-ups and enterprises trying to innovate at low cost. Some of the key constraints in the innovation-driven and low-cost segments are:
- Cost – Most start-ups have limited budgets. They want to get the most return on their investments. Typical product life-cycle involves conceptualizing ideas, designing, developing and hosting of end products at really low cost.
- Hosting Providers – Some startups are at the mercy of their legacy hosting providers when it comes to what solutions are offered. Today LAMP stacks are mostly offered by hosting providers at rock bottom prices resulting in most start-ups picking this cheap and readily available technology over what might be the best fit for them. The same holds true for typical app dev service providers – they always offer to develop in software technologies that they can host at negligible costs during product development.
- Scalability – Improper software architecture leads to scalability issues down the road and addressing these issues cost more (time and money) once the product has hit maturity.
- Tools – Next generation applications are developed because of the market need and availability of underlying technology to support that development. It is counter-productive to create next generation applications using legacy platforms. The lack of economical platforms limits the ability of development teams to train on newer technology stacks which in turn leads to sub-par architecture and not-so-great applications.
Why Pivotal Web Services
Synapse started seeking out solution(s) that are easily scalable, support commonly used platforms like PHP, JAVA, Ruby on Rails and support next generation technologies like NoSQL databases, Node.js, Redis, GO, etc. A low-cost and pay-as-you-go solution was also a big part of the selection criterion. Synapse started investigating Pivotal Web Services as an option and discovered strong differentiators:
- Flexibility in selecting memory size from 20 MB and up
- Simplified interface and design
- Simple billing strategy of $0.03/GB-Hr for application memory
- Sufficient documentation to get started
- Great customer support system
- Hosted on multiple AWS availability zones for scalability and redundancy
- Ability to port applications from Public Cloud to Private Cloud
Not to be mistaken, we also discovered a few missing components and features as compared to other PaaS players in the market. However, the flexibility offered by Pivotal Web Services on technology and pricing was compelling. Dealing with complex pricing or limitations in choices of supported applications was not something the team wanted to deal with at the onset of a project.
The icing on the cake with Pivotal Web Services was that Synapse could create their own PaaS aggregation model. With Pivotal’s robust platform and user provided services feature, we can select our own list of service providers, tools, PaaS providers and aggregate all services at Pivotal Web Services, making Pivotal the center point of innovation. Today, we use Pivotal Web Services to build SaaS based web and mobile applications for consumer start-ups as well as web presence for smaller businesses.
With Pivotal Web Services Synapse can, in the true sense, “Connect Solutions” for our customers. After all, who wouldn’t want the support of enterprise class infrastructure at manageable costs? As a result of the extra cost savings on IT infrastructure, our customers have been able to invest more on marketing, selling and promoting their products.
That was their goal to begin with – Customers focus on selling and Synapse focuses on IT.
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