Cloud, the messiah for start-ups

What is the first thing one would take care of before starting a business? Getting rid of expenses on the operational front; maximum optimization of the technology used in the infrastructure; meeting the customer or business demand effectively, and increasing RoI on a year-on-year basis.

But have you ever thought all this can be achieved using cloud as a platform for a growing business or a start-up? It did at least for Vserv.Mobi, one of the fastest growing start-ups, with 30 bn ad requests per month.

The cloud solution helped it to reduce the cost of infrastructure and IT manpower. It also supported in real-time elasticity, building globally distributed architecture with zero capital expenditure.

Driven by Need, it Looked at Cloud!

To cater to its business needs ie to enable mobile apps/ games developers as well as mobile site publishers monetize their inventory while enabling advertisers in using these apps and games to reach the target audience; it needed a cost-effective, reliable, advanced backbone for its business. The company recognized the cloud platform to be the most appropriate choice to build its business.

“With 30 bn ad requests per month, we needed to ensure that we are able to manage unforeseen traffic, keep our costs low with minimum downtime. From the very beginning, we recognized that it was important for us to have a ‘cloud strategy’,” says Ashay Padwal, CTO and co-founder, Vserv.Mobi.

The critical business driver for its cloud strategy was to zero in on areas like reduced cost of infrastructure and IT manpower, real-time elasticity, globally distributed architecture, and zero capital expenditure.


Vserv.Movi used Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) across AWS regions in the US, Ireland, Singapore, and Brazil.

AWS offered flexibility and choices to the company to save costs-for example it offered reserved instances and spot instances for Amazon EC2 that has helped in managing costs effectively.

“Prior to the implementation, Vserv.Mobi launched its beta from a single server hosted out of India in June 2010, and then migrated to AWS in August 2010,” adds Padwal.

Since the company was born on cloud platform itself, it built applications, making them compatible with the platform requirements from day one.



“I think the cloud has been a great advantage to us. As a start-up in India, it has enabled us to set up a global business and scale it up rapidly. Today, we serve 30 bn ad requests to millions of consumers across over 150 countries. We would not have been able to scale up and accomplish this cost effectively without leveraging the AWS Cloud,” explains Padwal.

The company directly started on the cloud and hence did not go through any process or any implementation phase to migrate to the cloud. This was a huge advantage from the beginning.

Some key differentiating factors that helped this start-up to grow were:

Real-time Elasticity

Being an online self-service platform, new mobile publishers can join their advertisement (ads) network anytime and enable ads for their mobile sites and apps. With limited visibility of traffic patterns, AWS’s cloud solution helped it to quickly scale up or down without any lead time.

Minimize Capital Expenditure

Being a start-up, it was important to keep its costs at a minimum. With its presence on cloud platform, it nullified the upfront costs and prevented agility due to capital locked server infrastructure costs.

Distributed Architecture

The key component of the service was mobile advertisement serving, which was a server-to-server communication. It had the least latency for responding with the ad, when it received a request from the publisher’s servers situated worldwide- the US, Europe, and APAC. With this cloud platform, it was able to achieve this target as well from day one.

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