A website usually has a rather stable traffic: the average number of visitors per month is one of the criteria to be studied to create a fitting architecture. However, there is an important seasonality in some fields, which can impact a website’s number of visitors, and double or more its internet traffic. It is for instance the case for an e-commerce website during the sales, or when a major piece of news is published by a media.
How then, can one deal with these web traffic loads ? NBS System’s engineers created two solutions for that: the Extend to Cloud (ETC) and the booster.
A web server if required : the ETC
What is an ETC?
An ETC is a frontal web server on standby, activated on the website administrator’s request. In the case of a peak load, we only need to activate the machine for it to be added to the usual web servers, allowing the website to absorb the increase of visitors. Of course, the ETC is permanently updated to ensure the cohesion of all servers serving the same website.
ETC is the term used to name the server: on each ETC, there can be one or several “ETC instances” made of 8 CPU and 16 Go of RAM each. However, we advise our clients to get several ETCs rather than several instances, for a better traffic distribution; if they wish not to, we then recommend not to exceed 3 instances per ETC server.
In which situation?
ETCs are particularly adapted to absorb traffic peaks, wether planned or not. The benefit of the solution is that it very economical: you only pay for the ocasionally consumed resources. Thus, rather than maintaining a permanent web server, the client only pays for the time when the ETC’s resources are activated (with a daily or monthly fee, the price of which slightly varies depending on the season). On the long term, this on-demand invoicing is very beneficial!
ETC: who for?
The ETC is convenient for websites with a strong number of visitors. This web server is adapted to e-commerce websites (during the sales or for a business transaction) as well as medias. Indeed, for the latter, traffic peak are not always predictable: a major piece of news can drag a great number of visitors, and the website must be kept online! The ETC can fill this mission: our teams only need 20 minutes to activate it.
The booster: punctual resources
What is a booster?
A booster is an additional pack of resources temporarily allocated to a website. These resources (CPU and RAM) can be added to any kind of server, but do not concern disk storage capacities.
These packs of resources are modelled on the types of servers we offer our clients: 3Go of RAM per CPU for starters (2 CPUs / 5 Go of RAM at least), then about 2 Go of RAM per CPU (for instance 12/24, 28/36…).
Why add resources?
This temporary resource allocation is used to absorb peak loads that are planned, temporary and short. Indeed, unlike the ETC, the setup (and withdrawal) of a booster requires a service interruption: the server has to be restarted. This means that the addition of resources has to be installed 24h before the beginning of the traffic peak, in order to warm the caches and to not deal with visitors on a “cold” machine. Moreover, an adaptation of the configuration of annex services is also necessary to take these new resources into account. We thus advise our clients to warn us one week prior to the setup of a booster.
A booster is billed daily, as an addition to the setup fee. If used too often, this solution happens to be less economical than the ETC: it is thus important to closely study a website’s traffic evolution in order to choose the solution that is the best adapted. Our technical experts are, of course, there to guide our clients on this point.
The booster: for whom?
Boosters are particularly fit for websites with a small infrastructure, which deal with planned and very anecdotal peak loads. For instance, for e-commerce websites, it can be installed for the sending of a newsletter, a TV spot, or the first day of the sales.
How our clients use it
NBS System is a managed hosting provider specialized in e-commerce. These solutions to provide additionary resources are thus used a lot by our clients, particularly during the sales, as the following graphs show.
NB : the left vertical axis is the number of used CPUs, the right one is the number of octet of memory used.
|Summer sales 2015||Christmas and winter sales 2016|
For more information about these, contact us!