Why one cloud startup lets AWS do the heavy lifting


While you may have 500+ connections on LinkedIn and a myriad of fans around the world hanging onto every 140 of your characters on Twitter, what do you know about your next-door neighbor? Do you know who to call for a reliable babysitter? What about when Fluffy or Spike bolts out of the backyard; how can you contact the people around you to tell them to be on the lookout?

Nextdoor.com has the answer; it is a private social network that is dedicated to neighborhoods. In linking together the folks who live in a community, “We’re bringing that basic connectivity to these neighborhoods,” said Prakash Janakiraman (pictured), co-founder and chief architect at Nextdoor.com Inc.

Janakiraman recently joined Jeff Frick (@JeffFrick) and Lisa Martin (@Luccazara), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio, during the AWS Summit in San Francisco. They discussed how AWS helps power Nextdoor.com and how that partnership gives Nextdoor.com the freedom to concentrate on its core business.

A focus on core business

“Like a lot of startups, we value speed, and we want to focus on the things we’re really good at,” said Janakiraman. His company achieves this by having AWS manage infrastructure and by using component parts to build the company’s applications. The company also wants its developers to spend most of their time enhancing the site’s online communities instead of supporting underlying technologies.

Nextdoor.com uses almost 30 different AWS services, including NoSQL database service DynamoDB; Elastic Compute Cloud (known as EC2), which provides compute capacity in the cloud; RedShift, a managed data warehouse; and Kinesis, a platform for streaming data on AWS. All of these components fit together to help run Nextdoor.com’s business.

With the help of AWS, Nextdoor.com supports 135,000 neighborhoods with a two-person DevOps team, a very lean team that can support massive scale. “This wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago,” said Janakiraman.

He emphasized that rather than spending on equipment and support staff for the equipment, his company can invest in a better user experience for customers and their communities.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of AWS Summit 2017 San Francisco. (*Disclosure: Nextdoor.com Inc. sponsors some AWS Summit segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE. Neither Nextdoor.com Inc. nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE