As an enterprise web development agency, we frequently deal with high-traffic, high-bandwidth sites. We use a horizontally-scalable architecture built on Amazon’s AWS platform to ensure great performance, high availability, and low costs for our clients. This allows us to serve essentially any amount of traffic to sites without breaking a sweat. While most sites are primarily text-based, the larger size of images means that bandwidth from images can have an outsized effect on bandwidth cost and server load.
To tackle the problem of serving large volumes of images while minimising costs, we developed Tachyon, our scalable image service. Tachyon integrates with Amazon S3, and integrates with WordPress through the Tachyon plugin combined with our S3 Uploads plugin (but can also be used for non-WordPress projects).
Our First Attempts
When we initially looked at solving issues around images, we set out to solve two main issues: image regeneration, and caching. Rather than creating and storing thumbnails on upload, we wanted a dynamic system, which would allow us to easily create or change the available sizes, along with allowing complex cropping. To combine the dynamicism of this system