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Biztech Apr 16, 2012

Hosting Services Help Manage Unpredictable Traffic Loads

By Revathi Raghavan

For the thousands of visitors who visit (Seventymm) everyday whether to rent and purchase movie DVDs or for any other e-commerce activity spanning a wide variety of products, the least they expect is an uninterrupted experience. Providing a seamless experience to its customers on its online portal is tantamount to survival in business for Seventymm. Opting for hosting and managed services has helped Seventymm with uninterrupted access to a scalable datacentre and flexible bandwidth to meet fluctuating traffic loads at an optimised cost.

Dealing With Unpredictable Traffic Loads

Seventymm records a huge number of online transactions on a daily basis. This requires the portal to be available and up 24/7 with users having access to all functions at any given time. Also, the key is ensuring error-free functioning at all times for transactions to go through without any glitch.

However, the company was faced with the challenge of dealing with fluctuating traffic loads. According to Vikram G. Mudgal, VP – Engineering, Seventymm, for a business like theirs traffic is a little unpredictable. Thereby, making it difficult to plan for the bandwidth requirement and to meet the peek traffic requirements.

Managed Services: Way To Go

While the answer was clear – there was need for expandable and flexible bandwidth, the challenge was this needed to be provisioned without having to invest in setting up of its own datacentre infrastructure. Hence, the company’s decision to opt for shared hosting services with a service provider as opposed to setting up its own infrastructure.

The choice of the service provider was all the more critical considering the company’s failed experience with the earlier service provider. “The company we had tied up with earlier did not have the capability of offering burstable bandwidth, which is a core requirement for our business operations,” explains Mudgal without naming the service provider. “We wanted our customers to experience error free transactions and managing traffic on the website without a single instance of error is a huge task from a business point of view. Hence, we could not make any mistake in choosing our service provider this time,” he further adds.

The need was for a technology partner who could provide reliable shared hosting services and exceptional datacentre facilities including the flexibility to increase or decrease server space as per requirements and an enhanced bandwidth, which are critical for running the website.

Seventymm evaluated several service providers before finally zeroing in on Netmagic as its managed hosting service provider. With its specialisation in datacentres and hosting requirements Netmagic was able to offer Seventymm a cost optimised managed hosting solution, an ideal proposition for the company as it didn’t need not invest in acquiring infrastructure. According to Nitin Mishra, VP, Product Management & Solutions Engineering at Netmagic, Seventymm was assured of uninterrupted service without having to make any huge investment.

Other key factors that tilted the choice in favour of Netmagic were its pricing policy and strong presence in Mumbai and Bangalore, just like Seventymm itself.

Netmagic’s infrastructure provided Seventymm a flexible and scalable bandwidth that could be scaled up or down depending on the flow of traffic to the website. Other services offered include 24/7 monitoring and control of mission critical functions. Though moving the servers and setting up infrastructure took few days, the entire implementation took not more than a fortnight to get it up and running.

Pre-Planning No More A Nightmare

By utilising a service provider’s datacentre facilities and managed hosting services, Seventymm was able to eliminate the capital expenditure involved in setting up and managing its own datacentre infrastructure. Today, Seventymm has the flexibility to increase or decrease server space as per requirements, and is well-equipped to pre-plan the capacity. Further, the pay-as-per-use model ensured that costs were minimised and it paid only for the actual usage.

Besides cost, availability was another key area of impact. Post opting for a managed hosting service, website has been able to maintain a guaranteed 99.99 percent uptime, thereby allowing smooth functioning and easing navigation of the site for users. Round the clock monitoring of the portal further has led to a drastic reduction in the number of customer complaints about slow website navigation and erroneous transactions. In addition, with Netmagic monitoring and managing its mission critical applications, Seventymm was assured of business continuity.

Further, the availability of scalable bandwidth that can be increased or decreased as per the traffic loads has made it easier for the company to efficiently cater to the users on its site.

“Today, we have a reliable hosting partner and we know that the capacity is available and we pay for what we use,” says Mudgal.

Future Roadmap

Having bitten the dust once, for Mudgal choosing the right partner was the key to deriving the required benefits from the implementation. “My only suggestion to other CIOs is to carefully choose a vendor that knows its job inside out,” he adds as a parting thought.

Seventymm has been using Netmagic services for over three years and is planning to further expand the services in the future.

by Revathi Raghavan

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