Place I Live
Place I Live’s business is built on delivering open data that provides information about living conditions and services in major global cities. When it piloted the service it used a local website hosting provider but soon discovered the service wasn’t robust and flexible enough to scale out to many cities. Consequently, it turned to Microsoft Azure which allows it confidently reach around the world with a cloud-based infrastructure that is reliable and flexible, and one that performs powerfully.
Place I Live is a Lithuanian-based start-up company that uses open data related to living places to provide people with deep levels of insight into areas they are considering moving into, whether buying a property or renting. The information ranges from available shops and schools to pollution and noise levels as well as crime figures. As such the information it provides delivers a unique, detailed and accurate snapshot of locations, ensuring potential buyers and renters have a powerful tool with which to make informed assessments.
- The company’s launch in Lithuania was a great success with approximately 50,000 unique visitors to its website each month; however, it was experiencing website performance issues.
- The website was hosted by a local provider but poor performance, slow reaction scalability, and a hosting architecture not suited to quick scaling threatened to undermine growth.
- It needed a platform that was reliable but also provided quick and easy management.
The Place I Live service is built upon open source technologies such as Ubuntu, Apache and MySQL. Sarunas Legeckas, COO, Place I Live said: “We asked our partner ALBARS to find an alternative platform and they suggested Windows Azure. The cloud was an attractive option because we could scale with virtual machines easily and quickly as needed. But our perception was that it’s not possible to host Linux and open source on Azure. We were wrong.” Consequently, the company charged ALBARS with developing an Azure-based platform from which to run its service.
- Move from single machine architecture to cloud ready architecture;
- Retain open source skills and move to Linux on Azure;
- Ability to quickly and easily add virtual machines as the service expands;
- Azure block storage enables Place I Live to keep adding images without requiring separate storage;
- Amsterdam and Dublin-based data centers ensure minimal service latency for European locations;
- Local Microsoft presence supports the company as business grows.
- Place I Live is now set to scale its service to Berlin, London, San Francisco and Chicago and potentially 100 hundred million people.
- Running Linux on Azure makes sure that the company can retain its open source skill set while taking advantage of the breadth and reach of the Azure platform.
- Local Microsoft presence provides the company with an assurance of personal contact and immediate problem resolution that it couldn’t get with rival offerings such as Amazon Web Services.
- Platform provides robust foundation to expand into a further 100 cities across the world as the company grows.
- Increased performance, service flexibility, scalability and fast development times ensures service is reliable and able to add new features quickly and easily.
- Cloud-based Azure platform essentially provides an ‘elastic’ infrastructure service for the company allowing it focus on business development rather than infrastructure issues.
- Partnership with Microsoft is set to provide Place I Live with more open data sources enabling it to potentially expand well beyond its original remit in terms of the information it offers users, such as traffic density in different locations.