Small teams, big deployments

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Before the cloud, a technology-driven business had to invest heavily in hardware and IT expertise. If their application or website grew rapidly, they had to purchase more servers, build a data center and hire an array of technology experts—from sys admins and DBAs to web and network engineers. 

Fueled by the cloud, the golden age of apps has seen tech startups launch with as few as two founders—a developer, say, and a business-savvy entrepreneur. When starting out, they often don’t own any hardware besides their laptops. They might even operate out of a co-working space. And yet these small teams go on to launch applications or online businesses that can touch millions of users around the globe. As they grow these companies certainly add headcount, but it’s often less likely to be people who build and manage technology infrastructure than marketing, sales and customer service. 

Below, we’ve highlighted some of the managed cloud customers at Rackspace who run lean technology teams and collaborate with our cloud specialists to deliver their applications and workloads at massive scale.


Appboy helps mobile app creators manage the lifecycle of their users through a suite of marketing automation products and a team of marketing experts. They power the mobile efforts for brands like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Shutterfly and Popular Science.

Founded in 2011, the company increased twenty-fold within a few years. But the growth also precipitated new challenges, especially at the infrastructure level. They required an ever-increasing number of servers, often with powerful processing capabilities to enable the real-time analytics for their customers.

Instead of building data centers and staffing a massive IT team, Appboy has turned to the managed cloud for scalable infrastructure and expertise. Appboy uses a hybrid infrastructure model with dedicated physical servers to handle the base traffic and the ability to burst into the cloud when traffic spikes.


Founded in 2011, SumAll is a free analytics tool that lets people link Google Analytics, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and many other services for a comprehensive overview of their digital presence. The company provides data analytics for an impressive roster of clients, including Starbucks, Sony, HBO, Pandora and Harvard.

One of SumAll’s main challenges is serving more than 200,000 current users without delays and maintaining a cutting-edge, reliable platform. They’ve kept their teams lean—less than fifty total employees—while powering the data insights for a thousand new customers a day. To achieve that kind of scale, SumAll is using a combination of managed, dedicated database servers and cloud-based high performance servers. 

Other small team managed cloud success stories include:

Chartio: a visualization interface for data that lets users communicate business intelligence in a more compelling way.

vWork: a web-based tool that lets businesses coordinate mobile employees, job scheduling and dispatch.

Streetlight Data: a data-as-a-service app that collects messy, disparate data about how people use their cities and turns it into actionable analytics for marketing, planning and more.

HelpIQ: an online tool that allows companies to instantly create custom-branded help documentation.

Find out more about the Rackspace managed cloud.

This story, "Small teams, big deployments" was originally published by BrandPost.