Exist helped Philstar migrate their website and maintain the high availability of the site through Exist’s managed service solution.
The current site was running on ASP and was encountering scalability and security issues both on an application and infrastructure level which was highlighted by site attacks by hackers
The challenge was to migrate the current site to a platform with a structurally sound framework and infrastructure configuration that is both secure and scalable to meet the growing demands of functionality, features and user volume to be competitive on the market
Once migrated to the new platform, the next challenge was to ensure that the site is highly available and disruptions are kept to a minimum
To ensure high availability of the site, network and site administrators will have to be in place. Since the skillsets required to troubleshoot and configure the site infrastructure is still being developed inside Philstar during this time, they needed an Infrastructure support team.
Exist recommended the use of Drupal as the primary framework for the site primarily due to its existing CMS features that easily supports Philstar’s requirements and because Exist team believe that it’s a solid, extensible and scalable framework to build the site on
Infrastructure and database configuration
Exist recommended on reconfiguring Philstar’s existing infrastructure platform to ensure scalability and security of the site:
- Changing of OS from Windows NT to Centos 6 – Updating versions and configurations of their reverse proxy, caching server – Added load balancing configuration
- Updating versions and configurations of their reverse proxy, caching server
- Added load balancing configuration
- Optimized database configuration and indices
- Data redundancy and high availability setup
One of the constraints of ensuring a high traffic website to be highly available is to have system administrators ready to monitor and trouble shoot issues on the site infrastructure when issues arise. To ensure that high availability of the site is maintained and all configurations are optimized, Exist and Philstar entered a manage service support agreement that would allow Philstar to readily access Exist’s infrastructure engineer for any infrastructure related issues and concerns.
Exist’s infrastructure engineer monitors the health of the site servers and provides L3 support while Philstar’s IT team provides the L1 and L2 support. This allows Philstar to concentrate more on their core business while being assured that their infrastructure is being monitored by highly skilled infrastructure engineers.
Philstar is now one of the most read online newspapers in the Philippines. They have effectively improved their search engine and page load performance, community interaction and reader engagement.
Since their launch in November 2012, Philstar’s unique visitors increased by 50%. The site now has over 5,000 concurrent users daily at its highest.
With Exist’s Managed Services, Philstar was able to save an almost 70% on IT cost.