Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Critical Load Balancing Management Solution for E-Commerce Website

A young entrepreneur who had begun his business in his mid-teens, contacted me with an urgent need: Help him find a load balancing management system that would keep his e-commerce hosting business from crashing on high-traffic days.

The e-commerce hosting business, which started a decade earlier in the founder’s garage, hosts hundreds of e-commerce sites. It had grown so large that they worried about a complete system failure on high-traffic days. They had teetered on that possibility during mega-shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday the prior year. They just couldn’t risk it again—if my client went down, so would all of their clients.

The client had already contacted one of the major manufacturers in the load balancing management arena, but that manufacturer was not able to meet the challenge. In fact, the other supplier had pulled their demo units and gave up. That’s when he called me and I got to work.
I interviewed the client to understand specific needs and requirements, challenges they were facing with their existing technology, as well as the problems that the other manufacturer had experienced with their demo units. I asked a lot of questions about the business itself and their plans for growth. Then I did my research. I found that F5 Networks, the global leader in Application Delivery Networking, appeared to have the right technology to keep this hosting business up during heavy traffic periods. F5 Networks is recommended by Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAP. They are used by every one of the top six U.S. airlines, which experience high traffic volumes on their e-commerce Websites. Obviously, they could handle load balancing for any mission-critical enterprise.

We put together a team of engineers from F5 Networks, the client’s IT staff and MicroAge. We brought in demo equipment and worked through the challenges involved in optimizing a network of some 20,000 e-commerce Web sites. Even for the F5 engineers, this project was difficult, but after a few months we had a complete solution for the client built on the F5 Networks BIG IP 6900 platform. The BIG-IP 6900 platform increases application performance and allows custom payload inspection and transformation capabilities.

This solution worked beautifully, just as it was designed. Black Friday came and went—as did Cyber Monday—without an incident. I felt great because my client was able to enjoy a happy—and successful—holiday season, free from the fear and worry over a whole system failure. And by not suffering downtime their reputation for reliability skyrocketed with his clients. Some of his competitors weren’t so lucky. This was one of those everybody-wins situations that makes me love what I do. If you have questions on this particular solution, or need help with any other IT challenge, please us at

1 comment:

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