You have a web crawling service? See how CloudSigma can match your scalability and cost-efficiency requirements

Customer Profile

Grepsr is a leading cloud powered web scraping service. It provides custom solutions to extract public data for non-technical individuals and teams that need data extracted, aggregated, and organized so they can focus on more important things. Its managed platform helps companies with everything they need to capture, normalize and effortlessly bring data into their systems. The data is available as XML, spreadsheets or APIs. The company also operates a unique data store which is a one stop shop for purchasing factual data.

The Challenge

As the service of Grepsr grew, its senior management quickly became aware that it needs a scalable and reasonably priced infrastructure to crawl millions of websites in a timely manner, which was something that the incumbent cloud provider could not provide. With its newfound growth, the client needed a compute environment that could go from crawling thousands of webpages to millions, at a moment’s notice, to meet new customer demand. What’s more, customer requests usually needed to be responded to within 12-24 hours and server resources often had to be expanded or contracted even sooner than that.

As a rapid-growth company with varying compute needs, Grepsr had no choice, but to pay for resources it did not need. Initially, the company used the services of another cloud provider, Rackspace, which featured rigid VM sizing and bundled resources which did not satisfy its needs.

“We were forced to waste money on unused resources, like having to buy a server with too much bundled RAM, when a much smaller server would have done the trick. We quickly learned that CloudSigma took the opposite approach, allowing customers the freedom to buy only the resources they needed. It allowed us to have the flexibility to crawl as many, or as few, websites as we needed, with the exact amount of resources required for greater cost efficiency.”Amit Chaudhary, Co-founder @ Grepsr

Additionally, when Grepsr first made the decision to change its cloud provider, it was worried that the transition process would be too complicated and the learning curve will take up too much time.

Another pain point for the client was to ensure its data was well-protected. The company’s services are dependent on maintaining customer data privacy as a top priority. This means that it was concerned about the location of the cloud provider’s data center, especially after the US NSA scandal.

The Solution

Grepsr realized that CloudSigma’s public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform delivered the flexibility, scalability and worldwide locations it required to continue to quickly and seamlessly extract data from websites.

“When you do the math, and consider CloudSigma’s much higher performance, the pricing difference between CloudSigma and Rackspace is undeniable – in fact, Rackspace is more than double the cost of CloudSigma’s offering. With CloudSigma, we could spin up a server with just 0.73 GB RAM and 0.94 GHz CPU if we wanted to, and just pay for that! We did some rough calculations and have saved about 40 percent on yearly cloud computing operating costs alone.”Amit Chaudhary, Co-founder @ Grepsr

Besides the resource purchasing efficiency, CloudSigma also provided a seamless integration, and the client was easily able to deploy its preferred operating system and software on our cloud.

“With CloudSigma, we didn’t have to waste time and resources becoming familiar with new software and programming languages – a big benefit compared to other providers’ rigid deployment options. So far, we have achieved a much higher return on investment quicker than with any other cloud provider we’ve used or considered.”

In terms of data center location, CloudSigma addressed Grepsr’s concern by providing a location in Switzerland, a country well-known for its comprehensive data protection acts. CloudSigma’s European data center location became yet another factor in the company’s decision to switch cloud providers.

“From the onset, we’ve held customer privacy in the highest regard, no matter which country our cloud provider was housed in. However, after the US NSA Prism scandal, we looked into privacy issues even closer to ensure our customers’ data was protected no matter what. We were pleased to learn of CloudSigma’s Swiss-based cloud, which became another big selling point for us.”

The Impact

Thanks to CloudSigma’s flexible solution, Grepsr was able to accommodate the needs of its expanding customer base, while maintaining cost-efficiency.

“With Rackspace, it typically took five to seven minutes to spin up a server and, at the rate we were growing, this just wasn’t going to work. CloudSigma allowed us to instantly spin up the exact amount of resources we needed to support fluctuating capacity demands and a growing user base. While a few minutes may not seem like a very long time, in the Internet industry, it’s much too long to make an end user wait.”Amit Chaudhary, Co-founder @ Grepsr

The client was extremely happy that with CloudSigma, spinning up a server takes less than a minute, while the associated cost is very low since the company only paid for the CPU, storage and RAM it needed. As a result, it gained happy and loyal customers who could gather the valuable business insight the company’s services provide.

Even though Grepsr was excited to make the move to CloudSigma’s cloud at the Equinix’s Zurich IBX® campus, it had some concerns that there would be latency issues for the 50 percent of its customers that are based in the US. Luckily, there have been minimal if any difference in terms of performance, and the client is confident that its customers can rest easy knowing that their sensitive data is protected.

“We’re thrilled that as an added bonus, all of CloudSigma’s cloud locations are tier 3 or above data centers that are known for their high availability and stringent security policies, so we know all data housed with them is extremely safe.”

About Zhenya Mocheva

Zhenya is a Digital Marketing Expert at CloudSigma, focusing on brand strategy, social media marketing and digital marketing campaigns. She is passionate about the continuous innovation within the digital environment and the endless growth opportunities that inbound marketing brings.

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