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Mintify
Mintify
Case study: Mintify

Preparing for growth to 30 terabytes with PlanetScale

“Running complex SQL queries involving countless calculations on 2 trillion tables would slow down our main database environment for extended periods. With PlanetScale, our operations have transformed, our database is performant, and our users are very happy.” Evan Varsamis, Technical Founder and CEO

Building the Bloomberg trading terminal for NFTs

Mintify is not just another NFT trading platform. Describing themselves as an infrastructure-centric company, Mintify’s vision is to be the Bloomberg trading terminal exclusive for NFTs. By hinging on a modular design strategy, Mintify aims to seamlessly integrate a mix of public and private marketplaces as well as on-chain and off-chain data. The mission is to address the fragmented liquidity that was previously dispersed across numerous marketplaces into a unified interface supporting Ethereum, Polygon, and other EVM chains.

Evan Varsamis is the technical founder of Mintify. After a few notable exits, he launched Mintify in January 2022. The application was later supported by DigitalOcean. As the company pivoted away from NFT drops and towards analytics, DigitalOcean’s database limitations became glaringly evident. After exploring N3JS and other environments, the need for a scalable database solution became pressing. All paths then led to PlanetScale. The breadth of knowledge displayed by PlanetScale throughout the evaluation process left a strong impression on the Mintify team. Mintify now runs on PlanetScale, supporting their growth and providing an unlimited runway for volume.

Challenges

As we projected our growth, we knew we needed to manage data volumes upwards of 30 terabytes across varied databases. The implication of this growth was evident; we needed a database provider capable of seamlessly scaling with us without frequent migrations and ensuring minimal downtime.

Evan Varsamis, Technical Founder and CEO

One of Mintify’s most pressing challenges was outpacing their current database provider’s capacity to support their growth. As Mintify imported data sets at terabyte scale, they encountered issues related to performance, scaling both horizontally and vertically, and instances of downtime:

  • Hitting CPU and RAM limits: For Mintify, a vertical scaling strategy wasn’t working. It required a migration to different cluster sizes 2 to 3 times a month.
  • 2+ trillion records and calculations: Performing calculations on trillions of records in a single environment introduced load on production for extended periods of time.
  • 6+ hours of downtime: Planning to manage upwards of 30+ terabytes of data, Mintify needed to eliminate the need for frequent migrations that often required downtime.
  • 1+ senior hires required: Soon, Mintify would be required to invest in a senior development team to interface with the database.
  • No runway for growth: With planned growth of terabytes of data, Mintify’s current solution had upgrades and plans that were financially insensible to the company.
  • Not just a host, a partner: Promises of 24/7 support were reduced to impersonal live chat experiences or delayed emails. Mintify wanted a partner to scale with.

Features and capabilities

You can’t compare PlanetScale to other solutions. It’s like comparing a Fiat to a Lamborghini. Not merely for its powerful 'engine', but because it’s the whole package. Not just a great product but a great team, evaluation experience, UI, everything.

Evan Varsamis, Technical Founder and CEO

Evan knew that Mintify’s database could not be a blocker to the explosive growth they were experiencing. It became clear that the team needed a solution that could scale with their operations:

  • Managed horizontal sharding: Mintify wanted to eliminate the need for constant step-function migrations to new cluster sizes. Horizontal sharding would be a more linear method to scale up capacity and handle additional load.
  • Minimize database downtime: Despite precautions, Mintify experienced a 6 hour period of downtime during Black Friday. This could not happen again. Solutions that ensure zero downtime hadn’t followed through on their promise.
  • Database that's the whole package: The database shouldn’t be a siloed engine that fails to integrate across different operating systems. Mintify wanted a database that integrated with existing CI/CD workflows, provided an excellent user experience, and overall made managing the database easier.
  • MySQL and relational databases: Mintify’s competitive edge is discriminately fetching data from the blockchain, excluding ERC-20s representing currencies in favor of data that aligns with the platform’s purpose, like 721s and 1155s. They needed a database engine that worked with these data types well.
  • Unlimited runway for volume and growth: With growth to 30+ terabytes of data on the horizon, Mintify’s transactional database has to scale in a fiscally sensible manner. With infrastructure costs that scale linearly, Mintify can better capacity plan.
  • No more restriction to a single environment: Running complex SQL queries involving countless calculations would slow down Mintify’s main live environment for extended periods, negatively impacting user experience and our platform's competitive edge.
  • Partner that helps maintain competitive edge: Mintify as a NFT trading terminal finds their infrastructure to be a focal point of discussion when going to raise money. Their database partner has to help set them apart from the rest of the industry.

Choosing PlanetScale

Migrate to PlanetScale. That’s my advice to teams trying to solve similar challenges to ours. I wish I had come across PlanetScale sooner. It’s better equipped to handle scale and complexity than other options on the market.

Evan Varsamis, Technical Founder and CEO

Growth often brings challenges. Evan is no stranger to these as a technical founder. When Evan and his CTO, John Antoniou, began evaluating solutions, PlanetScale quickly stood out as the type of partner that would make their lives significantly easier.

Throughout the evaluation process, PlanetScale served as a fantastic partner to Mintify. Evan’s earlier car analogy alludes at the nuance behind PlanetScale’s sales process:

You can’t compare PlanetScale to other solutions. It’s like comparing a Fiat to a Lamborghini.

Evan Varsamis

When purchasing a high-end product, Evan described the white glove experience you typically expect. The process with PlanetScale was no different. As opposed to being guided solely by a non-technical sales representative, PlanetScale immediately brought in an internal senior engineer and other product experts that guided Mintify through the evaluation process.

The presence of your expertise and team really convinced us of your commitment to providing the best solution and for handling very extensive and large datasets. As a result, we made PlanetScale our new base of operations.

Evan Varsamis, Technical Founder and CEO

On top of a differentiated sales experience, Mintify knew that PlanetScale would be the most performant solution and best partnership for them on the market:

  • Highly available production environment: The fear of downtime is gone. Mintify’s production environment is no longer impacted by intensive calculations, cluster migrations, or upgrades that influence the end-user experience.
  • Multi-cluster approach is performant: Mintify now maintains one primary cluster that mirrors their core database. With two additional clusters, one serves as a backup while the other facilitates the intensive calculations that previously hampered their primary cluster’s performance.
  • Horizontal and linear scale: Integral to the growth plan, scaling horizontally is enabling Mintify to increase capacity in a more linear fashion without consistently maxing out CPU and RAM.
  • Integration with CI/CD workflow: For Mintify, agility is key, especially with evolving financial data sets. With the ability to confidently make schema and other database-level changes, Mintify works more efficiently.
  • Differentiated sales process: Typical sales processes are tedious, slow, and lack product expertise. This wasn’t the case with PlanetScale, and Mintify knew this was the solution they could trust.
  • Long-term partnership identified: Having an additional set of eyes to assist in troubleshooting and optimizing has been a game-changer. Support has been quick and ranges from cost-saving measures, to refining Mintify’s system architecture.

PlanetScale migration

This kind of dedicated support and expertise, in my opinion, isn’t something you find easily elsewhere. It’s been invaluable for us.

Evan Varsamis, Technical Founder and CEO

In his journey scaling various ventures, Evan has grappled with downtime - every founder’s nemesis. On previous solutions, Mintify had prepared for spikes in traffic, planned upgrades, and other routine maintenance of the database where zero downtime was promised. On numerous occasions, this promise was not met. Mintify hasn’t been able to confidently migrate services or upgrade platforms without facing interruptions in the past.

With PlanetScale, this experience was refreshingly different. During the migration, while minor downtime was anticipated, it was minimal and entirely within their expectations. The migration process end-to-end was notably smooth. Despite the normal stress that accompanies migrating your production database to a new solution, the PlanetScale team helped guide Mintify through the entire process.

Contrasted to other providers, many promise 24/7 support that is often reduced to impersonal live chat experiences or delayed emails. During the migration, Mintify’s questions and concerns were met promptly with expert guidance. Evan recalls one instance where PlanetScale replied to an email with a direct Zoom link with an invitation to work through the question as soon as possible. Evan was struck with the thought, “This is how customer support should always be.”

In the database world, especially during migrations, there are a myriad of things that can go wrong. Knowing that Mintify had direct access to senior engineers at PlanetScale provided immense reassurance. It’s akin to having a safety net during a high-wire act.

It’s not just about troubleshooting but the peace of mind that you can get immediate attention from a core team member. Ready to guide you through every step.

Evan Varsamis, Technical Founder and CEO

Experiences and impact

There isn’t really one feature that stands out. For me, it’s undeniable performance. It boils down to two pillars: reliability and performance. It’s about having absolute peace of mind.

Evan Varsamis, Technical Founder and CEO

Mintify migrated over to PlanetScale with significant ease and since then, has been loving how performant their production environment is. With anticipation to grow to over 30 terabytes of data in the short term, Mintify is confident that PlanetScale will provide the unlimited runway for volume needed to support a growing user base. While the NFT space is in a down market, Mintify knows that PlanetScale will remain performant and will scale with them through the next bull market.

Mintify
30 terabytes
Data volume anticipated in < 12 months
2+ trillion records
To perform calculations on
150,000 smart contracts
With trillions of records
3 developers
On Mintify’s internal team

Your business deserves a predictable database.

Never worry about another 3am wake-up call saying the site is down. Give your engineers the power they deserve with a PlanetScale database today.
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