Revolutionizing Digital Displays: How Vestaboard Optimized Operations with Ampt
Ampt slashed time spent on infrastructure and security in half compared to their previous Kubernetes usage and sped up the delivery process from weeks to days.
- Emrah Samdan
- Tyson Cadenhead
Industry: Consumer Products
Use Case: Accelerating the delivery of new apps using Ampt
- Ampt helped Vestaboard break their code into smaller, more manageable microservices.
- Ampt halved the time the Vestaboard team dedicated to infrastructure and security compared to their previous Kubernetes infrastructure.
- Ampt sped up the delivery process, enabling tasks that would have taken weeks to be completed in days.
- The Vestaboard team used Ampt to build event-driven asynchronous workflows wherever possible, making their applications faster and more robust.
- The team plans to migrate their developer API service to Ampt to enable more developers to build Vestaboard installables.
Within the realm of digital displays, Vestaboard has carved out a niche for itself by combining a unique aesthetic with cutting-edge technology. Their flagship product, a split-flap board evocative of vintage train stations and airports, intertwines striking visuals with technological innovation. Vestaboard crafts “installables” – custom designs and functions that transform the board's appearance. However, building these “installables” using a monolithic architecture posed significant challenges. The transition to Ampt has not only significantly reduced these difficulties, but has also increased the team's confidence in building and shipping new "installables" quickly.
The Challenge and Discovering Ampt
As Vestaboard's Head of Software Engineering, Tyson Cadenhead leads a team committed to enhancing software experiences for their customers while optimizing and automating the Vestaboard. The challenge lies in managing over 300 installable services, ranging from weather updates to calendar events to sports scores, and decoupling them from the main platform.
The team discovered Ampt through Jeremy Daly's Serverless Chats Podcast. While alternatives like SST were considered, Ampt outshined the rest due to its speed and ability to delegate the entire infrastructure and permissions configuration process to the Ampt platform.
Streamlining Processes with Ampt
Implementing Ampt led to significant improvements in the team's workflow. It facilitated the decomposition of code into compact, independent microservices which made testing each service a breeze. Tyson pointed out that Ampt slashed the time dedicated to infrastructure and security in half, compared to their previous usage of Kubernetes on GCP. He now strongly recommends Ampt for any startup looking to expedite their time-to-market.
One of the most significant benefits of Ampt has been its ability to speed up the delivery process. Each team member works in their own isolated developer sandbox provided by Ampt, allowing them to iterate quickly without worrying about resource contention or collaboration conflicts. This, coupled with Ampt's robust eventing system, built-in cron schedulers, and the provisioning of NoSQL databases for each developer, enabled tasks that would have taken weeks to be completed in just days.
Tyson's favorite Ampt feature is the asynchronous event system, which can offload heavier processing jobs to the background, reducing latency and overall user wait time. The preferred approach was a change data capture (CDC) pattern that writes records to the database and reacts to changes to execute more substantial tasks asynchronously.
Future Plans with Ampt
Looking ahead, Vestaboard plans to continue using Ampt to create new installables as well as migrate existing ones. Already, some of their platform services, such as internal analytics, have been moved to Ampt. The Vestaboard team plans to migrate their main service piece by piece to the Ampt platform as their confidence continues to grow. With the recently added WebSocket support, the team is also planning to use Ampt to send messages to their boards.