Traffic spike forces Internet company to upgrade infrastructure

New server cluster rarely exceeds 20 percent load

A 40 percent traffic increase on its network forced Australia's largest publisher of online dining and entertainment, 247Network, to upgrade its infrastructure.

Based in Brisbane, 247Network - publishers of my247.com.au, hosts more Web sites for Australian restaurants than any other online aggregator.

Founded in 1999, the 247Network sites provide detailed information on more than 17,000 hospitality, tourism and lifestyle venues and their events, and is available both online and via mobile.

The network recently experienced unprecedented growth in traffic literally overnight, and its server infrastructure began to struggle under the load.

As a result the company undertook an extensive audit before making the decision to use a hosting and business infrastructure services provider.

The company selected BlueCentral (formerly destra Hosting) which has data centres in Australia, the United States and United Kingdom.

my247.com.au chief technology officer, Andrew Leask, said transitioning to a hosted service provider can be a complex and stressful process.

"From day one, the BlueCentral team proactively managed the setup and understood our urgency to get the site up and running at top-speed as soon as possible," he said.

"We've not experienced any downtime since we've gone live.

"Our audience is increasing at around 10 percent a week and the new server cluster rarely exceeds 20 percent load," Leask explained.

"We now have a scalable solution to cope with our future traffic forecats, as we roll-out our overseas sites."

Leask said consumers are increasingly turning to the Internet and mobile phones to find new restaurants, browse what's on and check maps before they go out.

There is currently more than three million Australian users accessing my247.com.au

Chris Kettle, co-founder, 247Network, said it has been six months to the day since the new my247.com.au site has launched and Google increased its page-ranking.

"Not that we were complaining, but the mobile site had also just gone live and in this business speed and reliability is everything," Kettle said.

"We knew we had to make the site future-proof, so that's when we undertook a review of alternative solutions and turned to BlueCentral for the answer."

BlueCentral, which is part of the BlueFreeway group of companies, has significant experience hosting high volume, rich media sites including RSVP.com.au, Sportal Australia, RedBalloon Days and mp3.com.au.

The company also recently announced a major capital investment via its parent company BlueFreeway, including network upgrades in Melbourne and Sydney to provide greater capacity, more flexible traffic management and greater redundancy and performance.

247Network appointed BlueCentral in May, 2007.

BlueCentral clients consist of over 8000 businesses worldwide.

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