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ClickView lifts user experience and halves costs with Containerised Apps using Amazon ECS


ClickView is in the scale up phase of business growth and as a digital business was seeking to grow users and revenue without the corresponding growth in costs.

They also had the challenge of meeting a variable demand of online video consumption whilst maintaining a consistent user experience.

PolarSeven’s solution of containerised applications in an Amazon Elastic Container Services (ECS) met both those challenges head on.

Customer Details

ClickView is an Australian-grown success story, often dubbed the ‘Netflix of Education’. Their e-learning platform streams thousands of online videos for primary, secondary and tertiary education students.

ClickView’s focus on Australian educational institutions allows them to provide educational video content directly linked to national curriculum key learning outcomes. Backed by a passionate team of educational consultants, ClickView is constantly commissioning new, and updating existing educational videos to ensure the most relevant content is delivered to engage students.

A problem of scale

Every digital native business wants to scale up to bring more users, more revenue, and more life to the business in the long term. Scaling up means three things for ClickView:

  1. More subscribers: schools, students and educators accessing their world-class educational videos

  2. Greater numbers of users online, concurrently consuming more content

  3. An increase in the total amount of content available

ClickView needed to manage varying demands on compute and storage, which could spike suddenly and unpredictably. The platform needed to be able to respond quickly to an increase in usage, so that ClickView users’ online experience was not impaired. On the other hand, ClickView needed to scale down resources as required to avoid mounting IT costs.

PolarSeven Solution

In order to take advantage of Amazon Elastic Container Services (ECS), PolarSeven worked with ClickView to containerise their applications, and this in turn required a migration from the expensive Windows operating system to the free Linux OS.

A container is essentially a little template of the application stack and the artefacts it needs to run. Containers virtualise the operating system, so that multiple workloads can run on the one operating system.

Amazon ECS is a highly scalable, high performance container management service that enables the deployment of multiple instances of the applications on a managed cluster of Amazon EC2 instances.

Amazon ECS Auto Scaling gives the ability to scale the individual containers when additional capacity of the cluster is available. In addition to ECS Auto Scaling, ECS Capacity Providers were configured to enable dynamic horizontal Auto Scaling of the underlying Amazon EC2 cluster nodes.

Bottom line: with the architecture established by PolarSeven, ClickView could get more instances of their applications running over more EC2 instances automatically on demand.

Specific outcomes for ClickView

The benefits of AWS Auto Scaling include the ability to:

  • Optimise for availability, for costs, or for a balance of both.

  • Automatically maintain performance, and hence user experience,

  • Anticipate costs and avoid overspending,

  • The migration from Windows to Linux delivered further cost savings to ClickView over and above those of Auto Scaling.

Why ClickView chose PolarSeven

PolarSeven had come a close second in a bid for a previous engagement with ClickView. On the strength of that submission, ClickView were happy to give PolarSeven the opportunity to work with them on their current challenge – and they were not disappointed.

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