It have been some crazy times for us. So crazy that we are now already halfway through January and this New Year's blog post hasn't even been published yet. Time to fix that at once
We wish you and your family a very happy and healthy 2014!
When we started back in 2009, we were just 3 engineers from Berlin and Amsterdam who shared a passion for building services. We never took any funding, so we each had different engagements to pay the bills. We tried to free up as much time as we could to pursue the dream of building Transloadit, the world's first commercial Node.js service that would take away the pain of dealing with file uploads & encoding by, well.. dealing with that pain ourselves. We figured at least that whenever we solved another encoding or scaling problem, it would benefit many, vs everybody having to do this on their own.
It seems people agreed. After three and a half years we became ramen profitable, but it wasn't until last year that all founders were finally able to quit their day job. We are very excited to be able to work on Transloadit full-time and to perfect what we have built.
So, what have we been using that extra time for?
Well, besides upgrading all the things we have reached out to customers and did well over 80 Skype calls to hear your thoughts on how we could further improve.
This has led to the following:
1. Better integration
- We introduced jQuery plugin updates and SDKs for .NET & Android.
- We also now offer a personalized "Getting Started" page, and added a section with example applications that use Transloadit to our Documentation ( 1 2 3 ).
- We've improved our Documentation by completely re-structuring them, improving the content and giving the layout and design some love.
- Our website is now responsive so that you can enjoy it on all your devices.
- A product tour has been added that should help newcomers figure out what we can do for them.
- A Transloadit Heroku Addon (beta) is in the works. If you host on Heroku, you can add fantastic file uploading & encoding with just the click of a button. Heroku will send the invoices, so you only have one vendor to deal with.
2. Some great new features
- You can now search for Assemblies by form field, which allows you to filter Assemblies by a certain characteristic that you have full control over.
- You can now wrap up encoding results in one file using the new /file/compress Robot.
- You can now do lossless compression on images with our /image/optimize Robot. Used on websites, this improves loadtimes and lowers your bandwidth costs.
- We now update the Assemblies table in your account on the website in real-time as new Assemblies come in.
- You can do massive batch imports from S3 and SFTP using our new /s3/import and /sftp/import Robots.
- You can now merge images and audio files to generate a simple video clips with our new /video/merge Robot.
- You can generate playlists based on video segments of previous encoding Steps using our /media/playlist Robot. This makes it a breeze to enable HTTP Live Streaming (HLS).
- We have upgraded our encoding stack to provide you with the latest version of FFmpeg and Co. Just add
ffmpeg_stack: "v2.0.0"to your Robot instructions to try it out.
3. Speed and reliability improvements
- We have rewritten our scaling and infrastructure software in Go, and made it more robust.
- We had Amazon increase our instance cap from 20 (2011), to 50 (2012), to 100 (2013), to now 500 (2014) machines.
- We have got our launch times for new machines down to 5 minutes. Being able to launch machines in parallel means that we can jump from 64 to 4000 CPU cores in 5 minutes, EC2 capacity allowing.
- 2013 was also the year that we went global. Our platform used to be in US-East only, but we have now globally distributed most of our infra, adding a Point Of Presence in Europe. People will automatically be serviced by the platform closest to them, reducing latency and improving redundancy (if all of US is down, then US traffic is routed to EU).
- We also made some improvements to how we deal with queues so that our servers always reserve some capacity for "live" traffic. For example, if a user uploads an avatar to your site, you don't want to block his user experience for 10 minutes because we happen to have a short video encoding queue. Whereas if you are importing a library with gigabytes of video, it often doesn't matter whether it's finished in 50 or 60 minutes.
Thanks to all these improvements (and many more), we were able to encode nearly a terabyte of video at the same time without anybody noticing delays:
This is the biggest real-world load-spike we have seen so far, but it went smoothly.
Concluding, 2013 was an exciting year for us, and we hope it was for you as well. For the coming year, we have a lot of sweet things lined up. With all these infrastructure improvements behind us, we will have more time to work on cool new Robots and features, so stay tuned!
Thank you for being a customer and making our dream come true. You can expect us to keep pushing forward and to keep giving you a better experience. If you have ideas on that, we'd love to hear from you. Reach out via Twitter, or mail!