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Music distribution and engagement platform
Beatchain is a platform at the intersection of music, technology, and data science. They allow musicians to distribute their work, as well as acquire fans quickly and cost-effectively.
Based in London/UK, the company was launched in the late 2018, currently with 20+ employees and 70,000 musicians actively using its platform.
Beatchain was launched 18 months ago a platform that now serves 70,000 musicians. They started monetizing the service in early 2020. With a small team, the company needed a way to abstract away infrastructure management and reduce fixed costs to run their backend systems.
They found Serverless to be the best fit but debugging and monitoring features on CloudWatch proved to be insufficient for the development team.
Especially when there were multiple Lambda instances running concurrently, they needed to browse multiple log streams and several invocations in each of them in order to find the particular logs behind an issue.
Beatchain uses several AWS services in connection with Lambda functions: Cognito, API Gateway, DynamoDB, RDS, Redshift, Step Functions. The latter, especially, plays an important role in their stack. Beatchain aggregates information and connects with several third-party APIs in complex ETL processes. All this logic is controlled by finite-state machines using the managed services provided by Step Functions.
The company chose to use Serverless primarily to simplify its cloud infrastructure management and operation. With that, Beatchain can focus on hiring developers and building value to their end-users, instead of wasting too much time on operations. So far, they haven’t experienced any bottlenecks in their Serverless architecture. Some problems were experienced with RDS scalability limits, which have been solved by migrating most of the persisting layer to DynamoDB.
Beatchain also found the Serverless pricing model to be extremely attractive for the startup stage. Ed, their CTO, estimates it would be orders of magnitude more expensive to achieve the same availability and scalability with a server-based architecture running on EC2 or using containers, for example.
The company integrated its Serverless backend to Dashbird‘s monitoring platform to be able to automatically detect issues.
“Dashbird sends us proactive alerts and organizes logs in a way that is easy and fast to navigate.” – Ed Godshaw, CTO at Beatchain
Initially, the team has relied on relational databases running on RDS instances, but recently have been moving to DynamoDB. Today, they have gone heavier on DynamoDB since the start mainly for performance and latency predictability reasons.
“Since Dashbird also monitors DynamoDB tables, it is also easier to have everything in one place.” – Ed Godshaw
Ed is the CTO at Beatchain, leading a team of almost 10 developers and data scientists. Apart from Serverless, he also has got experience with business intelligence and blockchain technology.
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