Scalable Infrastructure Handles Enormous Traffic Spikes
Case Study: So Foot -- Connecting Fans to Soccer News

So Foot is a media company in France dedicated to soccer news online and in print.

Executive Summary
In anticipation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, So Foot projected its daily traffic to exceed 1 million page views by 500,000 unique visitors. The infrastructure supporting all digital content had thus far been hosted on a single dedicated server. To accommodate the anticipated spikes, So Foot needed to implement a more robust and scalable infrastructure. SYSADMIN BADASS, the service provider, created a scalable and highly available cloud solution, which was then deployed on OVH’s infrastructure.

Highlights

  • OVH’s solution can handle peak loads of 5,000 HTTP requests per second (85,000 news articles, 1.2 million commentaries, and 60 GB of images and videos) and 13 million database entries.
  • So Foot’s website handles 500,000 visitors per day and a traffic load that can triple in less than 10 seconds.

Goals
So Foot’s executive team had little confidence the existing infrastructure could reliably handle the anticipated traffic spikes, and there wasn’t time to rewrite the application’s code. This meant the cloud solution had to be implemented on an application that was built to run on a single machine.

     "The infrastructure handled the load from the first to last day of the World Cup." – Nicolas Capeyron, Manager, SYSADMIN BADASS

Solution Delivered
Utilizing OVH’s infrastructure, SYSADMIN BADASS architected a highly available configuration comprised of  Public Cloud  instances billed by the hour and deployed within minutes. This flexibility enabled So Foot to control costs while meeting user demand.

To efficiently route HTTP requests, an OVH IP Load Balancing was implemented at the top of the infrastructure to redirect requests to two OVH  Dedicated Servers  configured with HAProxy. Eight web servers — specifically, three OVH machines and five Public Cloud instances — were deployed to absorb the anticipated traffic. Additional machines were easily deployed when needed.

The website’s database of 13 million records and the back-office server used by 40 journalists worldwide were managed and hosted on OVH Dedicated Servers. To ensure reliability, the entire infrastructure was monitored by Munin and installed on a high-availability  VPS Cloud.  The database and the site’s static web content were backed-up and stored by OVH Backup Storage.

Results, ROI, and Future Plans
Visits to SoFoot.com grew by 300 percent during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the website remained 100 percent available. As a result, So Foot permanently adopted the solution deployed at OVH. SYSADMIN BADASS is testing the automatic deployment of additional instances to give So Foot a completely elastic and entirely self-managed infrastructure. In addition, So Foot has plans to launch an e-commerce website with the  OVH PrestaShop Software as a Service  solution.

Note:  SoFoot.com’s infrastructure won the OVH 2014 Infrastructure Award in the Cloud Project category at the  2014 OVH Summit.