Company Description

Three of the fastest growing technologies of all time—the wireless phone, the handheld computer, and the Internet—are rapidly converging. Today 300 million people own a cell phone. Analysts predict that by 2003 as many as one billion people will be carrying a device that is both a mobile phone and a powerful computer wirelessly connected to the Net.
Vindigo's expertise is in building personal navigation tools, the killer applications for these new devices. According to the global consultancy Ovum, location based services will deliver $19.5 billion of revenue by 2006. Vindigo is at the forefront of this industry. Our award-winning software and services can tell you where you are, what's going on in the world around you, and how to find everything (and eventually everyone) in proximity to you. (From

Vindigo raised $6.1 million in May 2002 to expand its local area guides and services.

Proposal: Evaluate Performance of Vindigo Server Architecture and Propose Improvements

The Vindigo server architecture consists of multiple tiers--database, application server, and web server--with multiple machines at each tier. The system is accessed in two modes: updates of synchronized clients (relatively large and infrequent transactions) and online access for wireless users (relatively small and frequent transactions). Vindigo expects significant growth in online usage over time. They need to be able to measure the current capacity of their system, tune the system where performance is poor, and come up a way to estimate capacity as they add servers at different tiers. Vindigo's goal is to support the most users at the least cost (both in hardware and programmer/sysadmin time), and to be able to scale smoothly along with growth in usage.

The proposed project has several parts:

1. Analyze Vindigo's usage data to come up with a practical model of peak traffic on the system.
2. Set up load testing to measure current capacity.
3. Analyze bottlenecks at each tier to see where additional machines can best be used at different capacity levels.
4. Develop a simple, peak capacity planning model for scaling to tens of millions of users.

As the project progresses we will seek to identify software changes which could improve performance.  Changes may take many forms, including DBMS tuning, commercial software replacement or upgrades, and data structure, algorithm or protocol changes.  The final report will contain a set of suggested changes.

Intern Address

259 W. 30th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10001

Company Web site

Authorizing managers

Bob Fitterman, Chief Technology Officer,, 212-590-6969

Project manager

Jake Donham, Director of Technology,, 590-6925

Resources that will be made available to students

Access to any relevant data, code and information.  Perhaps some hardware.