The GIPHY platform serves billions of stickers, clips, and GIFs every day to its global user base. GIPHY content enhances conversations across social media and communication tools, from iMessage and Facebook to Snapchat and TikTok. To deliver that content seamlessly, reliably, and cost-effectively, GIPHY depends on Fastly.
Industry: Digital Publishing, Streaming Media
Location: New York, NY
Customer since: 2016
At Altitude, we spoke with Brian Benns, Senior Site Reliability Engineer at GIPHY, who told us how Fastly helps the company achieve several significant benefits:
What made Fastly the best choice for GIPHY?
When I joined GIPHY four years ago, and my manager told me, "GIPHY could not exist without Fastly." At the time, I thought that was a little dramatic. But over time, I came to appreciate what he meant. I can name at least three important reasons GIPHY relies on Fastly.
First, there's the cost savings. The savings we get by using Fastly for our media transfers is enormous. We do more than a petabyte per month of data transfers. If we left that to our cloud provider and delivered it from object storage, it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per month. Plus, there's compute savings because we maintain a good cache hit ratio with our API.
Second, Fastly logs. Our analytics are entirely based on data that we get from Fastly. All of our search requests are logged and processed overnight. More specifically, when a user makes a search request on giphy.com or through an API partner, a log of that request is delivered from Fastly to us within 10 seconds. Within 10 minutes our trending feed is updated with the current trends. We're able to stay on top of trending topics because Fastly is able to deliver us tens of thousands of logs per second, in real time.
Finally, Fastly is integral to GIPHY because every time our developers have a new idea, and we ask, "Can we build this on Fastly?" The answer is always, "Yes, we can." Fastly has really proven its worth through its developer experience and how easily we can pivot and stay agile as a company. Fastly has always been flexible and easy to work with.
That doesn't even include the benefits we get in performance, being closer to our users. We also have partners that use us to build a great GIF search experience within their own apps, and it's only going to be great if the media comes through quickly. If responses to search requests or GIF load times are laggy, our partners would not want to work with us.
How is GIPHY using Fastly's Next-Gen WAF?
It's really helped us secure our platform and make it more reliable. We're a popular platform, which means we attract a lot of malicious actors who try to poke holes in our security. Even if that doesn't take us down, all those requests pollute our data and increase load on our servers. With the Next-Gen WAF, once we turn it on it starts blocking things immediately, right there at the edge. It's identifying all these malicious actors and they’re not making their way to our code at all. It's all being blocked right there at the edge. It's been shockingly easy to use, too.
What has your experience been like working with Fastly's team?
Because I'm an engineer, if I have questions they are usually pretty technical. It's a joy to work with support people that get the technical questions I have. And anytime I open a support ticket with Fastly, I get a response that same day from the right person with the technical proficiency to help me figure out my problem.
What’s next for GIPHY?
There are things that we want to do differently with the innovation of edge computing, edge rate limiting, and all the new products that Fastly has announced.
For example, building an API gateway at the edge would be incredible. It'd be faster and it would probably be easier too. And we would be able to pick and choose all the different pieces we need versus a preconfigured solution that another company built.
What have you gained from attending Altitude?
I haven't been to a conference in three years—since Altitude 2019—so I was excited to come. I love to see what everyone else is doing with the platform. Three years ago, edge compute was just being announced. Now a lot of people are building really cool stuff on it. Some of the biggest and best companies in the industry are using it, so I want to dig into it and see what GIPHY can build on top of it.
What makes you proud of what you do at GIPHY?
People like it. I like it: I love sending GIFs or stickers and videos. It's creative and artistic, and it's part of the zeitgeist—everyone knows GIFs from famous sitcoms or sporting moments. It may not be changing the world, but it's helping make the internet more fun. I'm proud of that.
“Fastly is integral to GIPHY because every time our developers have a new idea, and we ask, "Can we build this on Fastly?" The answer is always, "Yes, we can." Fastly has really proven its worth through its developer experience and how easily we can pivot and stay agile as a company. Fastly has always been flexible and easy to work with.”
Senior Site Reliability Engineer, GIPHY