On Sunday June 14th New Delhi Television (NDTV), one of the most watched televisions networks in India with millions of viewers worldwide held a cooperative telethon with long-time FatLab client American India Foundation (AIF).
Nothing Drives Traffic Like TV
The two hour special on migrant and other critical humanitarian issues in India held between 7:30pm to 9:30pm IST was the cornerstone piece to a larger email and social media campaign with the goal of raising money for AIF and their humanitarian efforts.
During this campaign and especially during the two hour television broadcast, website traffic levels were expected to be high and continues as the website was the primary donation mechanism for the campaign. FatLab, which has managed and hosted the aif.org website for 6+ years handled the infrastructure needs for the campaign.
Scaling for Big Traffic
Though our primary hosting services are designed to handle large volumes of traffic, this campaign was critical to AIF and it was known that previous NDTV backed fundraising campaigns for other organizations have resulted in traffic levels great enough to crash servers. To help ensure this campaign was not interrupted we setup temporary hosting infrastructure for the days surrounding the campaign.
Building a Global Network
Our tactics included deploying powerful servers in London and Bangalore in addition to the primary hosting center in Northern Virginia. We utilized two networks (Google Cloud and Digital Ocean) so as not to be reliant on a single network.
We then utilized full page caching on the Firewall, a CDN to help improve performance and load balanced all servers based on the user’s geographic location. This allowed us to spread the traffic across many servers and networks without relying on a single point, these multiple servers also acted as fail-overs in the case of unexpected outage to single location.
Active Infrastructure Monitoring
The telethon, broadcast from India, was held between 9:30am and 11:30am Eastern Time. During that time I monitored the servers, real time traffic levels and the firewall for any anomalies. During the television campaign we had sustained traffic levels of over 100 active visitors on the site, delivered over 50 pages per minute with peaks of 5 pages per second.
A Sunday Morning of Learning
For me this was an interesting experience because we don’t always get the opportunity to spend hours simply learning about a specific client. Having watched the 2 hour broadcast and seeing the levels of support come forward was a great experience for me. I feel like I understand AIF even more today. We look forward to continuing our efforts with AIF for years to come.