A website aggregating twitter feeds for celebrities, with sophisticated search functionality.
Having been recently acquired by a large media and entertainment conglomerate, their traffic had already tripled. What’s more they expected their unique pageviews to grow by 20 to 30 times in the coming six months.
We worked closely with the lead architect and designer of the site to understand some of the technical difficulties they were encountering. We discussed key areas of the site, and where performance was most lacking.
Next we reviewed the underlying infrastructure with an eye for misconfigurations, misuse of or badly allocated resources, and general configuration best practices. They used Amazon EC2 cloud hosted servers for the database, webserver, and other components of the application.
Our first round of reviews spanned a couple of days. We found many issues with the configuration which could dramatically affect performance. We adjusted settings in both the webserver, and the database to optimally maximize the platform upon which they were hosted. These initial changes reduced the load average on the server from a steady level of 10.0 to an average of 2.0.
Our second round of review involved a serious look at the application. We worked closely with the developer to understand what the application was doing. We identified those areas of the application causing the heaviest footprint on the server, and worked with the developer to tune those specific areas. In addition we examined the underlying database structures, tables and looked for relevant indexes, adding those as necessary to support the specific requirements of the application.
After this second round of changes, tweaks, adjustments, and rearchitecting, the load average on the server was reduced dramatically, to a mere 0.10. The overall affect was dramatic. With 100 times reduction in the load on the server, the websites performance was snappy, and very responsive. The end user experience was noticeably changed. A smile comes on your face when you visit your favorite site, to find it working fast and furious!
The results to the business were dramatic. Not only were their short term troubles addressed, as the site was handling the new traffic without a hick up. What’s more they had the confidence and peace of mind now to go forward with new advertising campaigns, secure in the knowledge that the site really could perform, and handle a 20 to 30 times increase in traffic with ease.