From: Adam C. Greenfield, User Experience Manager
One of the first tasks I worked on when I recently joined our Software Engineering group was managing the deployment of our new Customer Portal. All of our previous web properties have been deployed using dedicated servers within one of our datacenters.
From a security perspective, we deployed it behind a pair of highly available Juniper SSG-series firewalls. We also leveraged our F5 Big-IP Local Traffic Manager to split load between multiple web servers, allow for future scaling, and ensure a highly available application for our customers.
What we did differently this time around is rather than leveraging dedicated servers as we had in the past, we decided to deploy to multiple virtual machines in our Cloud. This decision was made for several reasons, primarily:
- Ability to add capacity on demand by adding virtual machines
- Flexibility to upgrade resources to existing infrastructure without downtime
- Opportunity to leverage the same firewalls and load balancing available to us with dedicated servers
It also made each of our virtual machines highly available on their own, isolating us further from outage or performance degradation in the event of hardware failure.
We also decided to leverage our EMC Celerra NAS to store file cache and other data shared between the multiple web servers and services servers. This storage is presented to our web servers as a CIFS/Samba share which can be accessed and updated by multiple nodes simultaneously without the need for a more complex clustering solution.
Not only is our new Customer Portal the latest and greatest offering from Hosting.com in the way of customer experience, it is also powered by the same cutting edge infrastructure offered to each and every one of our customers.