How Pinterest transformed digital strategy from cloud to containers, ML and open source
Digital bookmarking site Pinterest launched on AWS in 2010 and grew its business to tens of millions of users, according to an AWS case study. This year, Pinterest announced it crossed the 200 million active monthly user threshold, with more than 100 billion pins and more than 85% of searches taking place on mobile devices.
With hundreds of thousands of requests hitting the company's infrastructure every second, Pinterest's IT executives began formulating a long-term digital strategy using container technologies as early as 2015, reports Structure. Pinterest began developing and testing containerization in 2016 and completed the first phase of moving its workload from EC2 instances to Docker containers in the Amazon ECR registry, according to a Pinterest Engineering blog post.
Pinterest began migrating non-critical applications, such as its main API fleet, to containers then progressed to critical services. The next phase will entail container orchestration and a "multi-tenant cluster to provide one unified interface for long running services and batch jobs."
Younger companies benefit from entering a digital landscape where they can launch immediately on the cloud, bypassing the costly and disruptive digital transformation process older companies go through.
Born and bred a digital company, Pinterest quickly became a staple of the social media environment through modern digital platforms. But cloud and now containerization are not the only digital tools that have led to this success.
Pinterest has increasingly relied on open-source software tools for everything from device management to data tracing and analytics. The adoption of machine learning to tailor interfaces for individual customers helped the site expand its global presence to the point where more than half of users are based outside the U.S., according to the company's engineering blog.
The company's ability to effectively harness and keep adding on advanced digital tools is a testament to its engineering team's success over the last seven years. Many of these projects were designed, tested and completed in-house.
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