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business situation

The Biophysical Society ("BPS") was founded in 1958 to lead the development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. It does so through its many programs, including its meetings, publications and committee outreach activities. The Society's members, now numbering more than 7,500, work in academia, industry and government agencies around the world.

One of the cornerstones of the Society's membership management, as well as operations related to Annual Events, is the public site available at https://biophysics.org. The availability of the system, especially during membership renewal periods or event registrations, is of vital importance as transactions are conducted through it.

BPS contacted Intelequia to review the current performance of the site to see what user load it could tolerate in a high traffic scenario, as some issues had occurred in the past. The solution is a site based on the Evoq Content version of DNN Platform, hosted on-premise and already using CloudFlare for CDN management.

After initial review through a series of load tests simulating double the traffic expected for the Annual Event, we observed that, even with improvements to some of the extensions installed on the site, it was very likely that we would need to increase the number of nodes serving the front end of the services to balance the load at peak times. However, with the infrastructure capacity in the local data center this increase was not feasible while deploying the suite of applications on a public cloud platform such as Microsoft Azure was the ideal solution.

 

business situation
PREPARING FOR OPTIMIZATION

PREPARING FOR OPTIMIZATION

To prepare for the migration to Azure, it was not only about performing a lift & shift to infrastructure, but we would try to take full advantage of the potential of the platform by optimizing both the application layer and the data server layer. To do this, in addition to optimizations of DNN Platform extensions for better performance, other extensions were implemented and developed to adapt the content manager to the App Services environment:

  • Implementation of the Application Insights extension: to enable real-time monitoring of site traffic and behavior;
  • Development and implementation of a cache adapter for DNN Platform using Azure Service Bus, being compatible with the App Service environment and resolving in the same way the task scheduler built into the content manager;
  • Implementation of SendGrid service for sending notifications made by the platform.
  • Optimization of database queries by third party modules through load testing.
  • Optimization of the realization of backups
  • Implementation of test and production environments

In addition to the optimization for App Service, it was also decided to use the SQL Server Managed Instance service, because the migration to Azure was not only going to be of the content management platform but also of other legacy services with dependencies between databases, and this service offered the compatibility required by these solutions.

 

Advantages for the organization

Following the successful migration to Azure, BPS gained a number of legacy benefits of using a public cloud such as:

Flexibility


Flexibility to increase or decrease infrastructure capacity depending on the load at any given time

High availability


High serial availability, both at the application level and at the database level, necessary for not losing requests on the site

Business continuity


Copias de seguridad con mucha más granularidad, gracias a las características de Point-In-Time de SQL MI e instantáneas del sistema de archivos con App Service

Better monitoring


Better monitoring of what is happening at any given moment thanks to Application Insights

Security


Enhanced security through DDoS protection systems and other measures offered by Microsoft Azure

Cost savings


Cost savings, not only due to pay-per-use but also due to the reduction of time required for the management and maintenance of the solution when using a PaaS solution.