Case Study

ShowMyPC hosts 30 percent more users and sees 20 percent
real-time load improvement with Linode

ShowMyPC provides real-time screen sharing services for its customers. The company's application is built upon open-source technology that allows users anywhere in the world to benefit from seamless and immediate collaboration across multiple devices.

Users of ShowMyPC enjoy real-time interaction through tools like Remote PC access, Desktop (file) Sharing, Screen Sharing, and Monitoring that are available free of charge. Premium services are available for a fee. All ShowMyPC apps can be run over the Internet or within private networks. ShowMyPC's co-founder Swati Tewari graciously responded to Linode's request for a case study with examples of performance improvements and reliability.

Challenge

ShowMyPC needed the ability to provision servers in an efficient and consistent manner so its app could instantly transmit data between two or more remote sites/devices.

Solution

Linode provided ShowMyPC with an "exceptional” platform that enabled scalable provisioning and simplified server maintenance, both of which allowed users to stream all manner of real-time data.

Results

99.995% server uptime
30 percent more users accommodated
20-percent improvement in real-time loading
Images utility easily installs clones globally

"Linode has been a great choice, enabling us to quickly scale our platform as our user base expands. The streamlined provisioning process allows us to save time setting up so that we can focus more on what matters most – our customers."
– Swati Tewari, Co-founder, ShowMyPC

Situation:

ShowMyPC's immediate connectivity of real-time communication relies on lightning quick server response for extremely complex algorithms. The application's proper performance requires computational speed, network integrity and remote accessibility, three essential criteria for any infrastructure provider hoping to secure ShowMyPC as a customer.

Like most rapidly growing startups, ShowMyPC possessed limited capital and staff early on. As a result, the team found the resource-intensive process of server provisioning notably taxing. The exercise of provisioning with many other cloud-hosts required a great deal of time, with complex billing statements and cost-prohibitive fees that were difficult for the company to absorb on a finite budget.

As demand for ShowMyPC grew, the company began searching for an infrastructure provider that was fast and made server provisioning easier with the ability to automate common tasks.

Challenge:

ShowMyPC needed the ability to provision servers in an efficient and consistent manner. Unwilling to accept deployment delays, the team grew frustrated with providers that either required a significant time commitment to bring new servers online or had an overly complex system or was expensive.

Another challenge faced by ShowMyPC was the requirement for instantaneous data transmission between at least two remote sites. As a result, the team found it difficult to find an infrastructure provider that could maintain reliable communication between two or more devices such as PCs, laptops, smart phones or tablets.

And finally the company needed a ready and responsive customer support team. Frustrated by slow-responding hosting providers, where the seemingly straightforward task of rebooting a server required the opening of a new ticket, ShowMyPC insisted on responsive, caring, expert and alert customer support.

Solution:

Linode's infrastructure, built on SSD servers with 40Gbps of redundant connectivity and Intel E5 processors, more than exceeded ShowMyPC's demands for processing speed, network integrity and remote accessibility. Linode provided ShowMyPC with an "exceptional” platform through which its users could confidently stream real-time data including images, voice, email and messaging.

In addition to addressing its two primary challenges, ShowMyPC demanded scalable provisioning and simplified server maintenance – and Linode complied. Building out a server with the Linode Manager enabled ShowMyPC to install screen-sharing on private servers, that could be locally managed. In addition, Linode's API delivered the on-demand tools by which a user could tailor the server-creation process. Additionally, the command-line-based Linode Shell (LISH) placed simplified server maintenance at ShowMyPC's fingertips, even when the network was disabled.

ShowMyPC measured Linode's support team against the competition's and Linode emerged as the de facto favorite. Folding in its simplified ”pay-for-what-you-use” billing, Linode became ShowMyPC's preferred and primary cloud host.

Results:

ShowMyPC has been able to efficiently run its cloud-based, data intensive application on Linode. Consequently, ShowMyPC's customers rave about the real-time communications afforded by the application. Linode's network reliability brings peace of mind to ShowMyPC principals, who know that its Linodes are up and running 24/7/365, ensuring users always have access to its services.

Compared to a 32-bit server, Linode's 64-bit, native SSDs handle up to 30 percent more users, as measured by server-load tests run by ShowMyPC. The increased memory capacity of the 64-bit Linodes also boosts the capabilities of many server-side programs being developed by ShowMyPC, especially those apps that process large amounts of image data.

The server-load tests and enhanced program functioning confirmed what ShowMyPC had been assuming: the greater capacity yielded a nearly 20-percent improvement in real-time loading for active users.

The TL;DR? ShowMyPC's general user experience has measurably improved through screen-sharing data performance and exploitation of 64-bit-dependent application features. Overall user ratings have climbed. Customers have multiplied. And Linode support has been "absolutely wonderful” in terms of response time and knowledge.

And a final thought on server replication, scalability and quality: Because Linode's infrastructure facilitates server replication through its Images utility, ShowMyPC has been able to easily install clones throughout different regions of the world. This ensured redundancy lets ShowMyPC's application suite seamlessly perform everywhere its customers are. Not surprisingly, ShowMyPC recommends its customers consider retaining Linode as their respective cloud-host to ensure optimal screen-sharing performance.

ShowMyPC anticipates growing with Linode, as Linode launches new datacenters in Singapore and Frankfurt during spring 2015, helping ShowMyPC to spread its free integrated communication services to all points of the globe.

"It could not get easier than Linode when compared to other hosting providers," concluded Tewari.