Kato is a successful Silicon Valley startup with an ongoing mission to disrupt the dated methodology of reliance on email for corporate communications. They have developed a revolutionary messaging platform that enables teammates to engage in ongoing conversations via instant message, voice, and video from virtually anywhere there is an internet connection. After exhausting the limitations of cloud providers, their communication service is now running on a backbone of servers built by Pogo Linux. They shared their interesting story with us at their downtown San Francisco office. You can hear (and see) it for yourself in the video series below.
A New Platform to Redefine Corporate Communication
As Kato began developing their new communication platform, they relied on the services of cloud providers. Without the need to set up their own infrastructure, they were able to focus exclusively on building their application. However, as they began to scale up their service and bring more and more clients onto the platform, the limitations of cloud providers became more and more apparent.
As the platform continued to scale, cloud vendors could not meet the network requirements, or the uptime needs of Kato’s customers, without being prohibitively expensive. After one episode in which their service went offline for a number of hours because of an unexpected outage at their cloud provider, they knew they needed to move on. They needed the reliability, flexibility, and cost savings that come with building their own infrastructure.
Kato CTO Peter Hizalev realized their best bet was to bring in a more affordable solution that they could manage in-house. Hizalev has extensive experience managing colocated servers in his past roles, so he was confident that by managing their own hardware, Kato could get the network QOS (Quality of Service) their application demanded and have their technical needs met, while significantly reducing their overall costs and TCO.
Prior Experience Proved Pogo had the Expertise
After Kato decided to bring their systems in-house, the next step was finding a reliable hardware partner with Linux expertise. Luckily, that step was easy as Hizalev had already worked with Pogo Linux in a past role. “From my research at the time, I knew that Pogo Linux had a good build process and a good testing process in place, so we ordered several Pogo servers. We decided to go with a route that already provided a good degree of success.” The Pogo sales engineers helped configure the ideal hardware solution and were able to pre-configure the systems as required to meet Kato’s needs.
Getting the Hardware Right
In order to meet Kato’s unique workload and storage requirements, Pogo recommended Iris 1168 rackmount servers with a complement of solid state drives for their application. Kato’s application generates an enormous amount of incoming messages, so their servers need to be optimized for writing. Using SSDs instead of hard drives (HDDs) as their main data store enables a much higher rate of sustained throughput, as necessitated by their workload.
|• Supermicro SYS-1017R-MTF 1U Chassis / 330W
• Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 or v2 series CPU
• Up to 256 GB DDR3 1600MHz ECC Registered Memory
• 8x 2.5″ SAS Drive Bays (SSD or HDD)
• Optional LSI MegaRAID SAS Controller
• Slim DVD/ROM
• Standard 3-Year Warranty
• World-Class Support
Effortless Deployment Lets Kato Focus on Customers
Kato had very specific OS and file system mandates, and knew they could trust Pogo Linux to ensure that these provisions were met. “We made our requirements pretty clear on how things should be set up on those machines, like which partitions we expected, etc. This was all done very accurately on the Pogo side,” said Hizalev.
Pogo implemented Kato’s specified configuration on their new servers exactly as requested, which made deployment incredibly easy. Using a differential script that installs and configures the necessary software allowed Kato to plug in a brand new Pogo machine and have it ready to be provisioned as a part of their live cluster with just a few keystrokes. This saved them a great deal of time, and made deployments refreshingly simple.
Lowering TCO by 75%, High Quality
In deciding to avoid dependence on cloud services providers, the founders of Kato are taking a different approach than that of their competitors. “They’re all spending four to five times more on hardware than we are. We feel that gives us the financial freedom to do other things, such as hiring more developers, which is great,” said Andrei Soroker, CEO, Kato.
By their own calculations, Kato is enjoying a savings of nearly 75% by utilizing their own servers from Pogo Linux, rather than paying for cloud services. “If we tried to maintain the same capacity from a cloud provider, it would be three or four times the cost. So within several months of paying for a single cloud instance, we could buy a server. This is pretty incredible!” said Hizalev. In addition, Soroker emphasized that cost is not the only consideration — “The quality of service is arguably more important than cost. It comes down to the quality of the product.”
Kato plans to continue scaling out their application using servers from Pogo Linux. They appreciate being able to focus their attention where it is most important, developing their product and serving the needs of their clients. Implementing additional Pogo servers as their customer base continues to grow will be a simple, effortless process. Soroker said, “With Pogo Linux, we get great value, great support, and great products. Their Linux expertise and transparency of operations give us the confidence to devote our resources to improving our product and serving our customers, rather than worrying about high costs and unexpected downtime.”
“Kato is a powerful collaboration platform based on simple chat. Our mission is to help your organization move faster by decreasing email volume and making all communication instantly searchable.” –From the Kato website
As developers working on distributed projects, the founders of Kato longed for a platform that would let teammates collaborate seamlessly with text, voice, and video — explicitly searchable, accessible, and useable from anywhere. With the belief that persistent, searchable, real-time chat fits the way people work much more effectively than exchanging documents and managing threads of email, they founded the Kato platform (kato.im).
If you have any questions about how Pogo can help you solve the issues your organization is facing, please call us at 888-828-POGO, or email email@example.com.