Ars Technica

Learn how Ars Technica handles web traffic with high-availability Private Cloud and managed Network Connectivity services from SCTG.

Ars Technica
Ars Technica has been serving the Technologist for more than a decade through IT news, reviews, and analyses.


Digital Publishing
Chicago, IL
San Francisco, CA
Boston, MA
New York, NY



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, 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


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. SCTG helped us design the right solution.”

Jason Marlin

Technical Director, Ars Technica

High availability solution

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

Each component of Ars’ Private Cloud and managed Network Connectivity solution is configured for high availability. A high availability architecture ensures that Ars is up 24×7 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, SCTG reincorporates it into the live environment and reestablishes the automatic failover capability. SCTG’s Managed Services team does all of this automatically and proactively without interruption.

“Instead of pushing us toward the most expensive equipment, SCTG’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 SCTG’s engineers suggested it.”

Lee Aylward

Lead Developer, Ars Technica


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


The infrastructure designed, deployed, and maintained by SCTG 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 SCTG 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


Ars Technica remains very pleased with their relationship with SCTG:

“What I like about SCTG’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 SCTG.”

Jason Marlin

Technical Director, Ars Technica


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

“If we get a notification from SCTG 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 SCTG, 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

“SCTG 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 SCTG.”

Lee Aylward

Lead Developer, Ars Technica

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