For the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) our awards season is where we shine. The camera flashes, the glitz, the glamour, the red carpet. And film and television lovers across the UK flood to our site to see who’s nominated, who won and to get more details on the awards. Our websites need to perform their best to accommodate these traffic spikes.
We’re an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. We have several awards ceremonies, including film, television and games, but we also host a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers our members and the public access to workshops, classes, lectures and mentoring.
BAFTA stands for excellence and it’s essential that that message is reflected in everything we do. In order to meet the growing web traffic and increasing demand for more, high quality content, faster, we had to re-evaluate our hosting infrastructure to ensure nothing would come to a standstill on Awards night.
We evaluated our options and selected the Rackspace public cloud. Why? The price per performance and Rackspace’s award-winning Fanatical Support couldn’t be matched. Rackspace helped BAFTA move to a fully optimized cloud platform built on open standards and we now run the majority of our external online services in the Rackspace Cloud. We see top-notch performance and had the opportunity to work with a Cloud Mentor to help us build and deploy or cloud environment.
We are also redeveloping our central BAFTA website, which is set to launch this summer on the Rackspace Cloud. This will complete the set of BAFTA sites hosted with Rackspace and give us top-notch performance, improved efficiency and better value across our web properties.
With Rackspace we also get to work with a dedicated Cloud Specialist to help us with the deployments of our sites and to provide a smooth on-boarding to the cloud.
After making the switch to Rackspace, we saw great success with our spikey, busy periods during the 2014 EE British Academy Film Awards and British Academy Games Awards. Our Rackspace team kept tabs on our web traffic over the course of the Film Awards ceremony in 2014 and we were able to scale up and down in real time. We maintained 100 percent uptime during our busiest season of the year – not even a hiccup.
When www.bafta.org relaunches this summer we’ll be able to leverage Rackspace servers that offer 8GB of RAM and higher performance vs. the 24GB physical servers it currently relies on, which is much more capacity than required during periods of normal traffic. This will result in huge cost savings once the site is online and we’ll be able to scale as traffic starts to flood in.
With the Rackspace Cloud we’ll be well prepared for whatever wave of traffic our awards season throws our way.
This is a guest post, written and contributed by Pippa Irvine, Digital Communications Manager at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).