is a leading provider of high-quality education leads to online colleges and universities offering accredited degree programs.
- Responding to traffic spikes that can result in sluggish response times
- Lack of real-time visibility into the health of business-critical web apps
- Lack of meaningful analytics on campaign performance
Mediaspike chose the RightScale Zend PHP HA Solution Pack to help simplify and speed deployment, automate scaling, and gain insight into the health of its application.
Improved App Performance & High Availability
- Reduction in response times by 30% per individual transaction
- Auto-scaling for additional capacity on demand
- Ability to mine back-end campaign data and without disrupting customer-facing processes
Connecting Students and Schools in the Cloud with the RightScale Zend PHP HA Solution Pack
Mediaspike is a leading provider of custom, high-quality lead generation services for online and campus colleges and universities. The company’s websites connect prospective students with schools through multi-channel lead generation campaigns that deliver highly qualified leads to schools. With online and campus colleges and universities vying to attract today’s best and brightest students, the competition begins with students’ online investigation of schools and degree programs. The ability of Mediaspike to quickly adapt and scale its web-based services to the changing needs of both students and schools is paramount to its success.
When we launched Mediaspike we saw an opportunity to deliver superior lead generation services and outperform entrenched competitors. To succeed, we had to be forward-looking about application life cycle management and the underlying technology. Our early move to the cloud was motivated by our desire to sustain business growth in an intelligent way, and it paid off.
Mediaspike’s Growth Spurs Shift to the Cloud
Before moving to the cloud, Mediaspike relied on a single, dedicated server at a hosting provider. With a growing client list, successful marketing initiatives driving more traffic to its sites, and 25-30 percent growth projected per quarter, it became clear that business requirements would soon exceed the capabilities of the company’s existing hardware.
According to Mediaspike’s Technology Director Mark Moline, “We were caught in a cycle of increasing our server footprint. We wanted to better manage traffic fluctuations and gauge campaign effectiveness, but the effort and cost to take apps offline for updates or analytics discouraged us from doing so with any frequency. Our hosting costs were going up, and we weren’t gaining in terms of agility or productivity.”
Mediaspike researched the options and found that a cloud solution could meet its scalability needs and provide the flexibility to do much more. But the company needed a way to manage it. According to Moline, “We considered several commercial offerings and chose the RightScale Zend PHP High Availability Solution Pack for its completeness as well as its integrated and supported Zend Server Cluster Manager.”
Leveraging Zend PHP & RightScale Cloud Management
Mediaspike deployed the RightScale Zend PHP HA Solution Pack on a LAMP stack with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Apache, MySQL, and Zend PHP. “We’ve been using PHP since v3, so you could say PHP is in our DNA,” says Moline. “Having a complete, tested PHP stack supported by Zend is a great advantage.”
Moline’s team was able to ramp up quickly with RightScale and Zend and leverage the benefits of a solid application deployment and management platform including pre-built and easily customized server templates to help simplify and accelerate installation and configuration steps. “Using RightScale and Zend, it’s easy to hone the deployment environment, create duplicates for dev and test, make modifications, configure new servers, and prototype quickly,” Moline says.
The RightScale Zend PHP HA Solution Pack handles details of syncing sessions and settings between the server nodes, auto-scales on demand, and eases configuration of load balancers and the set up of MySQL master-slave replication. In Moline’s words, “session clustering keeps everything in sync and ensures application HA if any server in a cluster goes down. There’s no tinkering, no need to bog down our database or worry about which server node a request lands on. It all works flawlessly.”
The RightScale Zend PHP HA Solution Pack also provides Mediaspike with visibility and control of the application environment. “I sleep better at night because of the proactive monitoring, alert notifications, and code tracing across our clustered environment,” Moline says.
Better Quality Apps Faster with Fewer Resources
Moline’s team moved from a single hosted server solution to a new system that spans more than a dozen servers across dev and production, and at a significantly lower cost than if the company had done it with its own hardware and a “colo,” which would have required a full-time system administrator.
“Everything about our application environment is easier to build, test, deploy, and maintain than it was before,” Moline concludes. “With the automation that the RightScale Zend PHP HA Solution Pack brings, it’s point and click now. We’ve gained the confidence to push new ideas into production quickly and frequently, knowing that our architecture will handle it. And we can roll back to an earlier version if we ever need to. We are able to adapt and scale to meet business demands, run real-time analytics without taking apps offline, and achieve cost savings through better resource utilization.”
“Our customers are happy because the sites load faster, and prospective students are happy because we’re providing a more productive experience. It’s safe to say we’ll be using RightScale and Zend for the long term.”