Video Streaming May Have Slowed Down. Not DISCO.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic has relegated people to their homes, two beloved pastimes have seen record traffic numbers: streaming companies and cloud-based ediscovery. Due to more people logging on from home, internet infrastructure has been strained everywhere: Median download speeds are 38% slower than before in San Jose, CA, and lagging 24% in New York City. To accommodate the increase in bandwidth consumption, Netflix decided to reduce video quality by up to 25% in Europe. Unfortunately for those who invested in a 4K TV, this is standard-definition-on-the-old-tube-TV quality.

Similarly, more users accessed DISCO in March 2020 than ever before, and 30% more documents were viewed compared to the prior six months. A recent article mentioned that ediscovery on some platforms can be slower due to the higher internet traffic due to an increase in video streaming, etc. At DISCO, however, we have not seen any reductions in any part of our cloud-native ediscovery platform. Data upload, processing, search, document viewing, productions, etc. all have continued to perform at the same speeds.

DISCO performance remains unchanged

Despite the increased traffic and use of shared bandwidth on home network connections, there was no reduction in performance or availability for our users – and in some cases, DISCO performed even faster than ever:

  • Average data upload speed in March was 14.51% higher than in January
  • No reduction in sub-second search speed or document viewing speed in March as compared to previous months
  • 0 minutes of outage in March, maintaining over 99.99% availability for 2020
  • DISCO Review has maintained speed and accuracy while remote, and is able to continue to offer the on-time, on-budget guarantee.

How is that possible?

You may have heard us talk about DISCO’s priorities: performance, ease of use, and value. Performance is a first-order concern for DISCO – search results returned in 1/10 of a second, documents loaded in ⅓ of a second, upload capabilities of more than 4 TB of data per day, and so on. Performance metrics are monitored on a daily basis. So how do we accomplish our performance goals?

DISCO is a cloud-native application — not just a traditional on-premise application that has been ported to the cloud. So from day one, DISCO has been architected and designed to take advantage of the performance, scalability, security, and stability of the cloud (which is difficult to reverse-engineer into on-premise applications). 

To achieve this, here are some the key strategies DISCO employs:

1. Robust scalable platform infrastructure

Unlike the limited infrastructure that on-premise or vendor-hosted solutions have, DISCO has access to the largest infrastructure resources in the world – Amazon Web Services (AWS). We have designed our application to take full advantage of this, allowing us to automatically spin up additional computing and storage resources in milliseconds to handle large needs due to data processing, user traffic, large matters, etc. and not compromise our performance or stability. 

For example, for any given data ingest, we are able to spin up 19,000 servers in milliseconds and spin them back down once processing is completed. DISCO users can upload data at speeds of over 4 TB/day (we’ve seen some hit speeds of over 40 TB/day) using our proprietary DISCO High-Speed Uploader – over 100x faster than the most well-known ediscovery vendors.

2. Meticulous UI architecture and user-experience (UX) design

One of the factors in delivering performance to users is to optimize the user interface and how it loads and renders data. One example of such an optimization is optimistic loading, where data in the user’s immediate view is loaded and displayed first and then subsequent data is loaded expecting the user to navigate to the next view. This impacts how pages in a document are loaded, the next document is loaded, and how search results are displayed in an infinite list. 

Another example is intelligent caching so that the same data does not have to be fetched from the document server if it is unchanged. These and numerous other such optimizations in our UI architecture ensure the user is able to search and view documents without seeing the “spinning wheel of death.”

3. Continuous innovation

We’re never done – the DISCO engineering teams and platform architects continuously evaluate new technologies and innovation and implement them at DISCO. Whether it is leveraging the latest AI technology or the fastest way to transfer data by using the new transfer acceleration technology from AWS or improving our mass actions by over 50x in a few months, we never stop innovating.

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In short, we built DISCO to be fast and reliable, whether accessed from your office or your couch. While our team can’t do anything about new distractions impeding your work environment (demanding furry co-workers, the siren song of the refrigerator), we can ensure that from a platform standpoint, your ediscovery can proceed at the same rapid speeds our users expect.

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Anu Saha