Zenly, an app that enables users to see where their friends are in real-time, is owned by Snap Inc. and forms part of the Snapchat family. As a fairly new app and a start-up, Zenly originally had little support when it came to performance issues and decided to migrate to Kubernetes, a containerised infrastructure with Google Cloud Platform (GCP).
Jean-Baptiste Dalido, Head of Infrastructure at Zenly said: "When we decided to migrate to Google Cloud Platform, Zenly was a start-up. We needed an extremely fast release cycle to be able to iterate very quickly, as well as maintain our stability. That's why we chose Kubernetes, for all the agility and flexibility it offers. Zenly is about connecting people. You no longer need to send hundreds of messages to find your friends or arrange a place to meet, you can see exactly where they are on a map."
Dalido added: "Unlike check-in sites, you don't need to constantly update your location, and unlike most GPS applications, Zenly doesn't use up too much battery life. The other advantage is that it is very precise, and updates locations in real-time. That means we need an infrastructure that is robust, with very low latency as each location update is processed in under 300 milliseconds."
Google Kubernetes Engine is a container orchestration solution which auto-scales according to Zenly’s load, meaning that the company doesn't have to worry about changes in traffic. It has also allowed Zenly to do everything in-house with the support of Google.
The company uses Google Cloud Identity-Aware Proxy, as well as Google Cloud Key Management Service and Google Cloud Platform for security. In addition, it uses virtual machines to keep costs at a minimum, as well as Cloud CDN, Cloud Load Balancing and Cloud SQL to store business intelligence data.The company has also benefited from GCP's customer support, easier maintenance and lower costs.
Dalido said: "The thing that really makes the difference with Google Cloud is being able to speak directly to a technical team if you have a query about one of the tools. It's an incredible advantage, in terms of resolving issues quickly. Day-to-day maintenance is simpler than before, allowing us to move swiftly through our internal processes to deploy continuously, and Google Kubernetes Engine gives our developers more control. Thanks to autoscaling and the other optimizations we have put in place, our costs are down by around a third.”