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  • Writer's pictureTaya Moroz

5 Tech Giants Supercharged by Erlang & Elixir

Behind many of the internet's most popular applications lie dedicated engineers striving to build software that performs seamlessly no matter the usage load. For companies handling real-time interactions, billions of messages, and endless numbers of concurrent sessions, traditional solutions simply won't cut it. In this article, we'll explore how five prominent tech firms overcame daunting scalability challenges by leveraging the power of Erlang and Elixir. From social media titans to gambling powerhouses, see how their strategic adoption of these technologies drove significant optimizations and paved the way for continued expansion.

WhatsApp (Facebook Inc.): WhatsApp migrated its backend infrastructure from a traditional stack based on a combination of technologies, including a mixture of PHP, Python, and other languages, to Erlang, resulting in significant improvements in efficiency and cost reduction. Erlang's lightweight processes proved to be a game-changer, slashing server infrastructure costs by a staggering 70%. With just 50 engineers, they gracefully handled over 2 billion monthly active users, saving millions in operational expenses.

Pinterest: As Pinterest's user base skyrocketed, their real-time notification system faced a monumental challenge. Embracing Elixir's concurrency model, Pinterest not only weathered the storm of rapid user growth but thrived. They achieved a jaw-dropping 10x increase in system throughput, defying scalability constraints. This breakthrough not only saved them approximately $1 million annually but also set the stage for seamless user experiences.

Discord: Enter the world of gamers, where real-time communication is paramount. Discord, the beloved communication platform, understood this well and placed their bet on Elixir right from the start. Leveraging Elixir's prowess, they built a real-time messaging infrastructure that optimized efficiency and energy usage. By slashing message delivery times by 10x, Discord ensured a seamless communication experience for millions of users. This optimization also contributed to a remarkable 30% reduction in server energy consumption, driving both cost savings and environmental benefits.

Bleacher Report (Turner Sports): Bleacher Report, the sports news site, grappled with the challenge of handling peak traffic while keeping costs in check. They found their answer by revamping their backend system, originally built on Ruby on Rails, with Elixir. Harnessing Elixir's concurrency capabilities, Bleacher Report achieved an astounding 80% reduction in the number of servers needed during peak times. This optimization translated into a remarkable 50% reduction in infrastructure costs, empowering them to allocate resources more efficiently and fuel other areas of growth.

Bet365: Bet365, a global online gambling giant, faced the daunting task of managing countless live betting scenarios. Their solution came in the form of Erlang. Leveraging Erlang's unrivaled scalability and fault-tolerance capabilities, Bet365 built a betting platform that processed millions of bets per second. During peak times, they effortlessly handled over 100,000 concurrent users. This efficiency improvement led to a significant 40% reduction in infrastructure costs while delivering a seamless betting experience to their customers.

Engineered for Growth. Leveraging Erlang and Elixir's efficient concurrency models, fault tolerance and high performance enables software systems to smoothly handle high volumes using fewer resources. This results in optimized architectures, seamless experiences during growth, and reduced environmental impacts. For organizations managing complex workloads or delivering continuous service, Erlang/Elixir provide a sustainable solution to lower costs while improving scalability. Let us handle the code. Whether your goal is to build from the ground up or modernize an existing platform, adopting these technologies can future-proof your software and benefit your business for years to come. Looking to utilize the powerful and performant Erlang/Elixir technologies for your software needs? Visit or email to discuss how we can help build scalable and resilient solutions.

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