Helping iVox build a scalable AWS platform for a prime-time campaign

Helping iVox build a scalable AWS platform for a prime-time campaign

iVox developed a new survey-platform for a nation-wide campaign. They were uncertain if their application would be able to handle what was coming and called Skyscrapers for help.

The Customer

iVOX is an online research company specialising in market-research via internet since 2004. They are one of the top players in Belgium and are based in Leuven. iVOX helps its clients figure out how the who’s, the what’s, the how’s and the why’s of the relationship between consumers and brands are shifting.

This campaign was in partnership with Medialaan, the owner of various national media brands like VTM, Q2, Vitaya, CAZ, VTMKZOOM, etc.

From the moment this assignment came in it became clear that the expertise in our company would not be adequate to pull this off. We needed external help.
Bart Houben, Statik

The challenge

In the run up to the national elections iVox and Medialaan partnered up to create a nation wide political survey. It allowed citizens to answer various (political) questions resulting in a personal match-up with well known people and politicians.

The survey was be heavily publicised via various media including prime-time television. The hosting platform and application needed to be capable to handle up to 1.500.000 unique visitors and short peaks of up to 25.000 concurrent visitors. A high-exposure campaign with major media-brands as stakeholders needs maximal availability and performance.

Previously these campaigns were run on classic infrastructure. The public cloud like Amazon Web Services is an ideal platform for handling such workloads while keeping costs low. iVOX wanted to enjoy that benefit as well.

iVOX and their development team at Statik soon realised they needed additional expertise on building an application and hosting platform capable of such numbers.

Why Skyscrapers

The project required a partner that would not only just build a scalable hosting platform in the cloud, but also one who could provide guidance and advice on how to build applications that are extremely scalable.

Our experts had the opportunity to review and test the application and architecture in detail. After identifying the bottlenecks and improvements to be made, we worked closely with the development team in resolving these and implementing better strategies around storage and state management.

Changes in the application and hosting infrastructure were tested on an iterative basis through load- and stress-tests.

Once the platform and application were validated we built the final production platform on Amazon Web Services. Our Managed Cloud Services made sure that the 24/7 operations were smooth as silk during the campaign.

The results

Overall the campaign was a success from multiple perspectives:

Application improvements

  • Structural application design improvements towards high-scalability
  • Validated against target requirements

Operational:

  • No downtime during campaign
  • Peaks from 500 to 23.000+ concurrent visitors in under 15 minutes handled without any problems
  • Low latency application, even under stress
  • Hosting cost went down to $ 2.500 from $ 10.000 for similar campaigns in the past

And in conclusion we went from a worried customer to a very happy customer.