Upgrading the existing Infrastructure
RTL Croatia is one of the country’s leading general-interest television companies. It offers a diverse content mix with news programmes, entertainment lifestyle shows, series, movies, reality shows on RTL, a variety of sitcoms on RTL 2 and children’s content shows on Croatia’s first children’s channel, RTL Kockica. Free-to-air-television reaches 96 per cent of all Croatian TV-households, IPTV and cable television has a reach of approximately 47 per cent of all Croatian households. RTL and RTL 2 teletext services and RTL.hr and RTLsada.hr are widely used and among the most popular media services of their kind in the country.
RTL Croatia is our long-standing customer who was looking to upgrade their existing infrastructure for the RTL.hr news portal.
The old infrastructure was lacking high-availability features, it had limited options for vertical scaling and no horizontal scaling capabilities. The fact that their infrastructure wasn’t able to scale as the portal’s audience grew meant that occasionally the overall performance and page load times were degraded.
Additionally, because of a couple of DDOS attacks that have happened in the past, our client wanted to introduce advanced DDOS protection to improve the security and availability of their news portal.
Sysbee listened and understood our client’s requirements and in close cooperation with their developers designed more secure, scalable and highly-available infrastructure for the RTL.hr portal.
The high-availability requirement was met by introducing redundancy to all core services – namely caching, database and web services. These services were distributed to multiple servers, all part of the Pacemaker cluster – an open-source high-availability resource manager that controls which server should be assigned with specific resources (e.g. floating IP address) or roles (e.g. the role of primary database server).
Horizontal scaling of infrastructure was made possible with the use of load balancers and shared storage while DDOS protection was offloaded to Cloudflare.
For the best possible performance of the RTL.hr news portal, Sysbee’s engineering team, in collaboration with RTL’s developers, implemented an advanced server-side caching system that’s nicely integrated with client’s CMS.
Delivery of static and video-on-demand content was offloaded to Sysbee’s CDN service explicitly optimized for domestic and regional visitors.
Last but not least, every part of the infrastructure was backed up on a secure, off-site backup storage using a non-service affecting backup solution. The backup policy was tailored specifically for different parts of the infrastructure to meet the client’s requirements and allow easy data restore or full-on disaster recovery.
Migration to the new infrastructure proved to be a great success. DDOS attacks became a thing of the past, and high-availability feature proved crucial for improving both stability and availability.
Over time, RTL’s infrastructure was scaled and upgraded numerous times to accommodate the integration of additional sub-portals and handle ever-growing visitor traffic. Effective caching solutions played an important role in keeping the infrastructure costs at bay and ensuring consistent performance, even during increased visitor traffic.
Technologies used in the project
When I came to the company in 2015, our digital portfolio featured only one website, which was hosted by Sysbee’s initial company. Since then, we’ve added more than 30 websites to our portfolio, which boosted our rank among Croatian publishers. We asked for a complicated task, and they did it perfectly. We’re now the second-largest publisher in Croatia, and 80% of that is maintained and supported by Sysbee. Everything we’ve done so far in terms of reach, real users, visibility, and portfolio is powered by them. If it wasn’t for their quality support, we wouldn’t have succeeded.