Online matchmaker Tinder has turned to managed hosting firm Rackspace’s database-as-a-service platform to stop app crashes preventing users from finding potential love matches.
The dating app uses location data to help users pinpoint other single people within a certain radius from them, before displaying a picture and some basic profile data to peruse.
If users are pleased with what they see, they can swipe right to like that person’s profile or, if not, swipe left to reject them.
Since its launch in 2012, Tinder has accrued millions of users who converse on the platform in 24 languages, resulting in about 1.7 billion profile swipes being made each day.
In the background, Tinder tracks these swipes to pair-up users who like each other’s profiles, and claims to facilitate about 25 million matches each day.
Because of Tinder’s international customer base, it can be hard to predict peaks in demand for the service, said Nigel Beighton, vice-president of technology at Rackspace, because users are active at different times.
Also, people tend to use the app during idle moments, such as when they are on a train, between tasks at work or during TV advert breaks.
These unpredictable patterns of use were causing the Tinder app to run slow or crash completely when unexpected surges in demand occurred, which is not ideal when users turn to the service during “impulsive” moments, said Beighton.
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The service therefore needed to be able to scale quickly in line with these sudden peaks in demand, and turned to managed cloud services company Rackspace in May 2014 for a mix of general IT and database support.
In particular, Tinder deployed Rackspace’s ObjectRocket database-as-a-service offering, which replaced a private database implementation it had installed previously.
ObjectRocket is based on MongoDB’s open-source, NoSQL document database, which is scaled and managed by Rackspace on behalf of its clients.
“If Tinder want to recruit people to grow their business, they are going to go for developers so they can concentrate on designing new apps, so database management is not as key to their development right now, and they’re happy to have someone else do it,” said Beighton.
“We take care of things at 3am on a Sunday morning when something’s kicked off in Brazil, or when there is a surge in demand suddenly in Germany on a Tuesday. That’s our job.”
Ryan Ogle, CTO of Tinder, said ObjectRocket was the fastest and most reliable MongoDB variant the company had tried, and Rackspace's managed support saved it from having to invest in more IT staff.
“We can rest assured that we always have a team of dedicated experts on our side, operating as an extension of our in-house team,” said Ogle. “With such a popular, fast-growing app, this type of scalability and support is crucial for the success of our business.”
Since making the move, Tinder has reportedly seen a four-fold improvement in app performance and stability, and plans to do more work with Rackspace, said Beighton.
“They are certainly looking to use more of our services, on the same basis that there are critical elements of their business that they want us to be the specialist in scaling and dealing with that performance. This is very much an ongoing partnership.”