Customer Spotlight: Upsie

IndustryExtended Warranties
Institution Snapshot

Upsie provides customers with a better warranty option for electronic devices than plans sold by stores and manufacturers. With prices that cost up to 70% less, quick repairs, and fantastic customer service, Upsie is the smarter way to warranty.

To deliver on this mission, Upsie maintains a backend API and two web applications: for ecommerce and an internal administration site.

Managing Cloud Spend and Scale

When Jame Mackson joined Upsie in 2019 as Head of Engineering, one of his first decisions was to migrate the company’s tech stack from a .Net-based backend hosted on Azure to Node.js hosted on Heroku. Heroku made sense at the time. It automated and abstracted a lot of the devops grunt work Mackson had spent months building out in past positions and allowed the Upsie engineering team to focus on business logic and solving customer problems.

However, as the company – and the infrastructure supporting it – grew, the choice to use Heroku began to look less obvious. Upsie’s Heroku bill had already grown to be substantial and even though they were on an Enterprise pricing tier, sticking to their infrastructure roadmap was soon going to ratchet their cloud cost by as much as 100%.

Mackson didn’t mind paying Heroku to get better time to market, but he wasn’t comfortable with the compromise escalating costs created as Upsie grew.

With this dilemma top of mind, Upsie began looking for alternatives and began evaluating Control Plane. Mackson was skeptical at first, but technical due diligence confirmed that Control Plane could meet Upsie’s requirements while providing a substantial cost savings. The team soon began migrating workloads from Heroku to Control Plane.

I could almost hire another engineer for what Heroku was going to charge us to upgrade, and I thought I could get a lot more done by finding a different solution that got us to the same goals without the added expense.

Jame Mackson
Jame MacksonHead of Engineering
Control Plane Results

Upsie is currently single cloud, so while Mackson saw the cross-cloud capabilities Control Plane offers as a great option in the future to increase resiliency, he sees the greatest value in the platform’s ability to deliver an elegant developer experience while enabling greater control over how Upsie’s infrastructure consumes resources.

While Heroku’s pricing tiers forced Upsie to choose between four different “dyno” sizes, Control Plane enables them to scale usage linearly and elastically. This increased runtime efficiency is one of the biggest advantages for Upsie because it translates directly to cost savings.

Currently, Upsie runs compute on Control Plane and a data tier natively on AWS. According to Upsie, this combination has paired nicely and given them the control and flexibility they need to grow.

World-Class Support

Mackson has also been very impressed with the level of support he’s received from Control Plane, both for day-to-day issues as well as special requests.

We had an issue getting Cloudflare to work with Control Plane and wanted to use Coralogix for log aggregation. In both cases, the new features that Control Plane implemented to support our use case were phenomenal and delivered much faster than we expected. There’s a level of support you get from Control Plane that you never get from AWS or even Heroku.

Jame Mackson
Jame MacksonHead of Engineering

Control Plane has enabled Upsie to stay focused on business logic and customer experience even while growing quickly by giving them fine-grained control over how their infrastructure consumes cloud resources. This enables them to be fast and cost-efficient without cutting corners.

We can do the same things we could do in Heroku (so we don’t have to go low-level in AWS) but Control Plane gives us fine-grained control over the resources allocated to an individual process. We can run things at full capacity when we need it but idle down to zero when we don’t.

Jame Mackson
Jame MacksonHead of Engineering