About NQ Mobile
NQ Mobile is a leading provider of mobile Internet services to a global market. The company offers mobile security, games, and advertising for consumers, and provides consulting, mobile platforms, and mobility services for the enterprise customers. NQ Mobile was one of the first to recognize the growing security threats targeting smartphone users, and is now a leading Software as a Service (SaaS) provider with nearly 372 million registered user accounts and over 1,250 enterprise customers across more than 100 countries. The company, which was founded in 2005, maintains dual headquarters in Dallas, Texas, USA, and Beijing, China.
When NQ Mobile was founded, it leased servers from a third-party hoster. But as the company expanded into international markets, that strategy became too constricting. “We were constantly opening up overseas markets, and the drawbacks of the third-party model soon became clear,” says Xiaohua Wu, Director of NQ Mobile Business Support Center. Using a traditional infrastructure to deploy applications took anywhere from 3 to 15 days. “It hindered our ability to release updates and promote new applications,” Wu says.
Server rental costs were also high. The company already maintained a few physical servers, but expanding its on-premises infrastructure would require a significant investment, not to mention ongoing costs for staffing, maintenance, and hardware refreshes.
Finally, with headquarters in both the US and China, the company needed an infrastructure that would ensure low latency, no matter where its users were located geographically. “It was imperative that we change the way we deployed our applications,” Wu says. “We needed a solution that was fast, efficient, and reduced our costs.”
Why Amazon Web Services
After careful research, NQ Mobile selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) to enable rapid deployment worldwide and reduce investment in its infrastructure. “AWS is an industry leader in cloud services, with excellent customer feedback,” Wu says. “AWS was the best choice for our company.”
The company uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for its deployment environment, provisioning an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) to connect the company’s on-premises physical servers to the AWS Cloud.
NQ Mobile uses Amazon CloudFront as a platform for content delivery, enabling low latency and high download speeds worldwide, no matter where the company’s applications are deployed. “The elasticity of the AWS Cloud helps us keep pace with the volume of business in overseas markets,” Wu says.
Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) manages deployment data and automatically generates reports for NQ Mobile’s MySQL applications. NQ Mobile uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to store data. Using Amazon CloudWatch helps the NQ Mobile team monitor CPU usage, disk reads and writes, and network traffic so that the team can make adjustments as required. The company uses AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to control user access to AWS services.
By using the AWS Cloud, NQ Mobile has been able to deploy its applications rapidly to locations all around the world. “AWS provides fast and efficient service, which allowed us to greatly reduce our system development and maintenance workload,” Wu says, “not to mention the costs of equipment purchase and maintenance costs.” The company estimates that it reduced costs by about one-fifth over the leasing model it was using before moving to AWS.
NQ Mobile has also seen improvements in time to market. “Using AWS allowed us to deploy apps in 45 minutes instead of 2 weeks, and we reduced our upfront investment by at least 20 percent,” Wu says. “Now that we use AWS, spinning up new servers is a piece of cake.”
NQ Mobile plans to leverage more AWS services. “We appreciate the way AWS innovates to meet our changing needs. AWS listens to its customers—which is why AWS can offer us such amazing products and services,” Wu says. “Instead of focusing on our infrastructure, now we can focus on developing products that will delight our customers.”