EnterpriseDB’s Postgres Plus Cloud Database Strikes a Chord with WholeWorldBand

The Company

WholeWorldBand aims to transform the music business with its collaborative online music and video platform for musicians. Based in Dublin, Ireland, the venture-backed company is the brainchild of musician and music video director Kevin Godley. Godley is best known for his role in the 1970s with the English art rock band 10cc and his 1986 Grammy Award nomination for his work on the concert video, The Police: Synchronicity Concert.

The Business

WholeWorldBand’s cloud-based platform and mobile app enables musicians to post content – music and videos – and open it to members who pay to collaborate by providing new audio or video components or remixing existing ones. Musicians can decide whether or not to share fees with collaborators. The innovative new platform enables musicians to interact with fans while earning money for participation. Some of the bands and musicians in early testing included The Rolling Stones, The Police, Roxy Music, Ronnie Wood, Stewart Copeland, Phil Manzanera and Damien Dempsey.

The Problem: Performance, Scalability, Security

As the IT team at WholeWorldBand was planning its technology infrastructure, it realized early on the database would have to meet high standards of performance to support the uploading, streaming and storing of so many large audio and video files. Their challenge was to find technology that provided the scalability and performance they required combined with high levels of security, all on a startup’s budget. That brought them to EnterpriseDB (known simply as EDB) and its Postgres Plus Cloud Database.

The Solution

“We anticipated our growth would be exponential given the size of the world’s listening population. And as a startup, we had limited resources, both financial and personnel, so a database-as-a-service was our best option to have a fully modern infrastructure,” said Donal Gaffney, lead engineer at WholeWorldBand. “We chose EDB because we’ve had some experience in the past with Postgres and EDB’s performance stats were impressive.”

Web Scale for Musical Scores

The Web has transformed the music business with listeners flocking to websites to sample, stream and download audio tracks. It stands to reason that the WholeWorldBand team, with the company’s promise to pair individuals with their favorite musicians for virtual jam sessions, needed to prepare for huge volumes of users. Further, with a new business just launching, it was impossible to predict the growth curve and when the company would need to add additional processing power or network capacity. That underscored how much the team needed the solution to autoscale in response to spikes in activity as well as scale long-term to meet growth needs. The small startup team also wanted to leverage its personnel for strategic initiatives and not have to dedicate resources for database administration tasks.

Music as Business – Security is Still a Main Concern

Finally, the collection of participation fees and the complex fee-sharing capacity of the site made security a major concern for the company. Storing potentially valuable audio and video assets added to the security concerns. “We wanted to ensure all possible protections were in place before launching on a cloud platform so we wanted additional layers of security,” said Brendan Phelan, senior architect/database architect, of WholeWorldBand. “We worked with EDB to implement a virtual private cloud to ensure our platform was secure.”

The Alternatives

Gaffney’s team had some experience with Postgres but also considered MySQL and some NoSQL options. MySQL couldn’t deliver the performance or scalability the company required and managing the core data of the subscriber base required a relational model, which ruled out a straight NoSQL solution. Ultimately, the team chose to use multiple technologies, including NoSQL to work with historical information, another solution as the content delivery network, and Postgres Plus Cloud Database from EDB for the core subscriber data.

Harmony Matters

EDB is the largest Postgres software and services provider with enterprise-class software, professional services, support and training to ensure success with Postgres as organizations expand their deployments of open source software to the data center.

EDB’s Postgres Plus Cloud Database, released in January 2012, was designed to deliver all of the promised benefits of the cloud – horizontal and vertical scalability and elasticity, ease-of-use, backup and infinite resources.

Postgres Plus Cloud Database comprises a purpose-built cloud architecture that creates a completely private instance of the database so end users have the option to customize configurations. Further, Postgres Plus Cloud Database has native autoscaling capabilities. This means it can scale automatically to take advantage of additional resources, such as server, power and network capacity, in response to fluctuations in demand for processing power, without human intervention. A management console with user-defined thresholds created during setup with an easy-to-use, point-and-click interface guides Postgres Plus Cloud Database.

Jamming with EnterpriseDB

The autoscaling and load balancing capabilities of Postgres Plus Cloud Database were major benefits for the WholeWorldBand team. The team is able to set up parameters ahead of time that will trigger the expansion of the company’s processing capacity and implementation of new databases when needed without requiring the team to keep a vigil. Unique to Postgres Plus Cloud Database, the capability gave the team peace of mind but also enabled them to focus their energies on other issues beyond managing database operations.  

Developed with input and testing from WholeWorldBand, EDB’s implementation of the virtual private cloud feature available on Amazon Web Services provided the additional level of security the team wanted for the database layer of the platform.


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