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Scalr in a Social Mobile Application


The start-up was able to drastically reduce application maintenance costs thanks to the scalability of Couchbase and pay-as-you-go approach to purchasing capacity.

Scalr in a Social Mobile Application

About the project

The customer came up with an idea to create a completely new type of mobile application that would make it possible to play Charades over the internet. While most mobile games require little physical activity from users, the new app available for Android and iOS makes players convey different meanings using body language. The recorded with mobile phone camera are sent as videos to another team or person, who must then guess the meaning and type in the right answer.

To store terabytes of videos, the system was deployed in a cloud environment using the Scalr cloud management platform. Couchbase served as a scalable data storage that can deal with the rapidly growing number of users.

The need

The customer is a start-up company that turned to Altoros for assistance in developing and monetizing an application. They already had a draft specification drawn up by another company but it did not include all the requirements. Our team discussed and clarified all additional functions with the customer—as a result—we were able to provide a well-structured product development plan and a schedule. Since the investment budget was limited, we had to find the right balance between the requirements and final cost of the end product.

The challenge

The game required fast exchange of video files among the players—therefore—it needed scalable, high-performance data storage. In addition, the customer wanted to make sure, the application would be able to handle rapid growth in popularity. According to their predictions, during the rst week after the launch, the application will be downloaded 10,000 times and the number of users can reach 4,000,000 in just eight months.

The solution

In the beginning, we compiled a list of the customer’s requirements and prepared several propositions on how the solution could be implemented. The application was to do the following:

  • allow for exchange of video files
  • process video les and record them to the database
  • index files
  • sort and display videos by popularity, relevance to user interests, etc.

To make the system automatically adjust to the growing load, Altoros’s engineers created an auto scaling script that analyzes the following parameters:

  • time needed to start the machines
  • average server load
  • average network load
  • remaining disk space

The outcome

Couchbase was implemented because of its high performance and moderate maintenance costs. Additionally, the team developed server templates to provide communication between the server side and the mobile application. The implemented system monitors the servers and automatically scales up or down based on their status. The user-friendly interface was developed to simplify system management and monitoring.

Altoros’s engineers thoroughly tested the solution under different types of load before delivering it to the customer along with detailed reports on the test results.

Technology stack

Server platform

Amazon EC2

Client platform/Application server

Linux (Ubuntu and CentOS)

Programming languages

Bash scripts, Ruby


Nginx, Varnish, HAproxy, Scalr




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Ryan Meharg

Ryan Meharg

Technical Director

ryan.m@altoros.com650 265-2266

4900 Hopyard Rd. Suite 100 Pleasanton, CA 94588