VidRoll is a video technology and monetization platform for content publishers. It offers solutions for brands, agencies, content owners, publishers, and developers to deliver customer-targeted advertisements. VidRoll’s video player platform automates the multiscreen advertising process by leveraging the latest marketplaces and exchanges. VidRoll’s video player serves as a meta exchange to help suppliers match their site visitors with appropriate video advertisements and maximize revenue. VidRoll is used on 50,000 unique domains and its video player is syndicated across 100,000 websites, and the company serves hundreds of millions of ads per month.
VidRoll initially chose AWS because of its flexibility and scale.
The company used Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) to power the business logic and dynamic configuration needed to bid on video ads in real time across multiple exchanges. Amazon EC2 was also used for real-time transcoding of video ads and running MySQL databases.
As VidRoll’s business grew, having developers manage a cluster of EC2 instances was becoming difficult despite using AWS Elastic Beanstalk to provision, manage, and scale the EC2 instances.
There were always operations elements—instance type selection, scaling, deployment logic, and software configurations—for developers to manage.
In order to scale the business quickly, developers needed to focus on specialized tasks and not worry about IT infrastructure.
VidRoll now uses AWS Lambda to power the business logic for real-time ad bidding. The video player triggers a Lambda function through Amazon API Gateway.
Lambda is also used to transcode video ads in real time.
Fig. 1: VidRoll Architecture on AWS
Using Lambda, VidRoll developers eliminate the need to understand or worry about infrastructure.
Since the context the code is written in never changes, code does not need to be rewritten later as the system changes. This leads to productivity gains.
What VidRoll can now do with 2-3 engineers would usually take 8-10 engineers because code reusability becomes a growing performance advantage.
VidRoll has grown revenue by 10x without hiring additional technical resources to manage volume, passing the cost savings to customers.
“AWS Lambda enables NoOps, allowing us to start and stay at scale without having to worry about infrastructure. As an exponential organization, it is critical that our developers focus on innovation. Lambda frees us from ever having to code for issues like concurrency, distributed file systems and other ‘success problems’ that typically present themselves when systems need to scale. We save time and money with Lambda.”
James Young, CTO