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We are Exposed to a lot of advertisements on the web be it while browsing our favorite news site, or reading through that blog we love, or while on social media. Advertisers need to make sure that these advertisements are highly targeted to ensure that they get value for their marketing dollars. To post these advertisements on relevant news sites, blogs, social media or any other online asset, advertisers need to tie-up either each one of these Publishers or Ad Network companies who in turn tie-up with many publishers.

One of the most common examples of an Ad Network is Google Display Network, which has millions of sites (publishers, who sign-up via AdSense) to show these advertisements (Advertisers, who sign-up to advertise via Adwords).

To sum-up, Ad Networks need to serve targeted advertising and this must happen in real time or in other words as defined on Wikipedia  The key function of an ad network is aggregation of ad space supply from publishers and matching it with advertiser demand”

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Now Let’s Explore what it takes to achieve this on AWS Cloud:


1. Ad Server – To fetch a right advertisement file based on the profile of the visitor which is a combination of many factors including content on webpage, location of the user, time of the day, go through time, bid value etc.

These servers can be put on EC2 with Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancers to handle surge in ad impressions at peak hours. Further usage of EC2 spot instances can be explored to minimize the cost of serving these advertisements.

2. Delivery of Ad files – For any end user, advertisement is one of the least important parts on a web page and delivery of the advertisement file with minimum latency becomes all the more important.