Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Aleem Mawani, co-founder of Streak, a startup alum of Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley incubator. Streak is a CRM tool built into Gmail. Aleem shares why Streak chose Google Cloud Platform to run their business.
Everyone relies on email to get work done – yet most people use separate applications from their email to help them with various business processes. Streak fixes this problem by letting you do sales, hiring, fundraising, bug tracking, product development, deal flow, project management and almost any other business process right inside Gmail. We decided to build Streak on Google Cloud Platform to operate at scale, to understand our users and improve the application over time, and to rapidly grow our business.
We chose to build Streak with Google App Engine for many reasons: it can handle tons of load; it requires no maintenance; and it guarantees 99.95% uptime. Streak’s user base grew 30% week over week for 4 consecutive months after launch. Being able to handle the load and data requirements at our scale would have required us to hire a full team of backend engineers just to keep the application running. Instead, the Streak backend on App Engine is built and maintained by a single engineer.
All of our data is stored in the App Engine Datastore, but we also mirror our data using Google Cloud Storage. As a result, Cloud Storage is a conduit to route this data to other Google cloud services, such as BigQuery and the Prediction API.
Last, we use Google BigQuery to better understand our users. It allows us to analyze large amounts of data from our usage logs and query it to answer complex questions such as:
How much does the average request cost broken down by type? How many users are running an old version of Streak? Are there currently any abnormal error rates in our application? On average, if a user is working in a 3 person team, how many deals do they have assigned to them?
We bundle the insights gained from BigQuery and use it to power our dashboards with key business metrics.
|One of many Streak dashboards powered by BigQuery showing current usage statistics|
When we first launched our business, we had gigabytes worth of data. Now, we anticipate growing to terabytes of data in just a few months. We couldn’t have scaled this easily without Google Cloud Platform. To learn more, check out our case study and our post on the App Engine blog for a detailed technical explaination.