Case study: The Benefits and Challenges of Running in the Cloud

Business & Industry
Location: 116
Average rating: ***..
(3.75, 4 ratings)

Running our data infrastructure in the Amazon cloud allows us to ignore many beautiful but hard details of data storage and processing:

  • S3 acts as an infinite bucket for our raw logs and aggregated data,
  • Elastic MapReduce allows us to ignore the details of administering and scaling Hadoop,
  • Redshift stores and queries billions of rows with zero administration overhead.

The talk describes:

  • Our transition from sysadmin mode to a devops culture of automation and how it increased our on-the-job-happiness and opened new avenues of learning and growth,
  • How running in the cloud reduced our administration workload and allowed us to build Prezi Analytics around Redshift, which was an instant smash hit within the company and democratized access to important business metrics such as revenue and retention,
  • The technical benefits of the cloud, eg. easy scaling and hot swapping Hadoop clusters,
  • The technical challenges of the cloud, eg. building a reliable system from unreliable components such as flaky S3.

Marton Trencseni


Marton has degrees in Computer Science and Physics. Before working at Prezi, he was the co-founder of Scalien, a now defunct NoSQL database startup. He joined Prezi as an engineer and is currently serving as the Director of Data and Analytics. He runs triathlons for fun.