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Infrastructure upgrade

February 19, 2014


The server infrastructure that powers UGAL has been upgraded over the last 2 months. It was an important project for us, and we wanted to take the time to have solid data before reporting any results.

The time someone waits for a web page to display includes time spent by web servers for building the page. Faster response times are always better, for the experience of your visitors and for search engines (site speed is one of the factors used by search engines to rank websites). Our goal with this upgrade was to optimize our current infrastructure to reduce our processing times.

UGAL response time

UGAL average response time before and after the January 28th upgrade

From 150ms to 40ms

Before the upgrade, our servers took on average just less than 150ms to process a request. Given the complexity of our application (SaaS application supporting a number of dynamic e-commerce sites), it was already pretty fast and already faster than most comparable applications. We still had issues were response times would increase faster than we wanted under higher than usual loads.

The upgrade included the migration of all our servers to Linux (we chose Debian) and a better allocation of the available resources (CPU and memory) to the servers, depending on their function - a database server requires more resources than a file server. The upgrade was facilitated by the fact that we use only virtual machines, that we kept the same hardware (no new physical servers were added) and the same software. "Only" the OS was changed.

We could not be happier with the results, it takes UGAL now an average of 40ms to process a request, less if the page is already in our cache. We are also able to sustain much more load before performance is impacted, and the response time is more stable, resulting in a predictable user experience.

The graph above shows the total response time (time for a request to be received, to be processed and for the response to be sent back) as measured by Pingdom from many locations all over the world. It is a good indicator of the performance improvement experienced by the visitors of your website.

Faster response times. More stability. Enjoy, and contact us if you have any questions!

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