Ars Technica

Learn how Ars Technica handles web traffic with high-availability infrastructure from ServerCentral.

Ars Technica

Ars Technica’s vision is to build a publication with a simple editorial mission: be “technically savvy, up-to-date, and more fun.” Today, Ars Technica operates as Condé Nast’s only 100% digitally native editorial publication.

INDUSTRY
Digital Publishing
LOCATIONS
Chicago, IL
San Francisco, CA
Boston, MA
New York, NY
CUSTOMER SINCE
2008

Challenges

Growth

Ars Technica’s popularity continues to grow, so its website must function seamlessly with an extremely large amount of traffic. During highly touted events like Apple Liveblog, arstechnica.com typically grows from 2 million pageviews to 16 million pageviews within two hours. Being able to scale according to irregular fluctuations in demand is critical.

Potential Revenue Loss

Any downtime leads to significant revenue losses for Ars. Advertisers pay per impression, so Ars loses money every second that ads don’t display.

“If we go down during something like Apple Liveblog, our users don’t come back. They’d be poached by the competition. Plus, it’s very bad for our reputation.”

Lee Aylward

Lead Developer, Ars Technica

Deployment

In 2012, Ars Technica set out to completely redesign its website, which began with a redesign of its IT infrastructure. Its number one priority was developing a more scalable, robust, and highly available architecture.

“We knew we wanted — needed — to do a high availability infrastructure, but had no idea how to approach it. ServerCentral helped us design the right solution.”

Jason Marlin

Technical Director, Ars Technica

High availability solution

ServerCentral and Ars determined that a completely managed, high availability architecture was the best approach.

Each component of Ars’ fully managed solution is configured for high availability. A high availability architecture ensures that Ars is up 24x7 regardless of equipment failure or maintenance, which is critical for a modern news resource. Should any active component fail, the system automatically enables running-but-inactive spares and Ars continues to serve their readers and advertisers seamlessly. When a failed component has been replaced or brought online again, ServerCentral reincorporates it into the live environment and reestablishes the automatic failover capability. ServerCentral’s Managed Services team does all of this automatically and proactively without interruption.

“Instead of pushing us toward the most expensive equipment, ServerCentral’s team was tremendously helpful with arriving at a solution at the cost that we wanted. We hadn’t even considered managed network storage for our VMs until ServerCentral’s engineers suggested it.”

Lee Aylward

Lead Developer, Ars Technica

Results

Ars continues to increase visitors and pageviews by more than 20% each year.

Uptime

The infrastructure designed, deployed, and maintained by ServerCentral has not caused a single minute of downtime for Ars Technica since day one back in 2008.

Cost reduction

It’s about spending money efficiently, not just saving it:

“Since having ServerCentral managing our infrastructure, we’ve without a doubt saved time and money. We have cost predictability because they own and manage everything, which our finance team really appreciates.

Lee Aylward

Lead Developer, Ars Technica

Support

Ars Technica remains very pleased with their relationship with ServerCentral:

“What I like about ServerCentral’s support is that it has a systematic way of handling things without the cold, robotic approach of your standard ticketing system. I send a request and I’m in their ticketing system, but they add an additional back-and-forth responsiveness anyway. It’s immediate, personal, intelligent, and it’s my favorite part about ServerCentral.”

Jason Marlin

Technical Director, Ars Technica

Expertise

Ars trusts ServerCentral’s team to act as an extension of their own:

“If we get a notification from ServerCentral that says ‘we’re looking into a network issue,’ rest assured it’s an actual network engineer working on it who knows a lot more about the problem than we do.”

Lee Aylward

Lead Developer, Ars Technica

Convenience & peace of mind

Day-to-day operations have improved greatly for Ars:

“Since we made the move to ServerCentral, we can focus on the programming of our site and user experience. We’re not stressed about infrastructure because it’s running so well.”

Lee Aylward

Lead Developer, Ars Technica

The road ahead

“ServerCentral helped us design our infrastructure for growth, but when we get to the point where we have to plan another expansion, we’re doing it with ServerCentral.”

Lee Aylward

Lead Developer, Ars Technica

ServerCentral

© 2018 ServerCentral