When customers of the Six Flags theme parks climb aboard a thrilling rollercoaster, it’s the culmination of an entertainment experience that most likely started with a visit to the Six Flags website. There they can find ticket prices, park hours, promotions, ride information and lots of other content. What they don’t see is the hosted infrastructure that supports their visit.
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest regional theme park company with $1.3 billion in revenue and 20 parks across North America. In 2016, attendance at its parks surpassed 30 million visitors. Since 2008, it has relied on managed cloud services to meet current and future technology infrastructure needs.
Higher availability, increased security
A flexible, state-of-the-art, hosted infrastructure provides higher availability, increased security and greater efficiency to deliver great visitor experiences, including ticketing, all while assuring customer data and credit card information is protected.
The company, which had been hosting content both in-house as well as working with a content delivery network, conducted a hosted provider search in 2008 and selected Rackspace. Six Flags wanted to move its infrastructure to a provider that could not only ensure greater uptime but also handle more than just its website.
According to Sean Andersen, Six Flags Director of Interactive Services, the Rackspace solution “mirrored what we were comfortable with in our own data centers, and actually turned out to be something that we not only understood but also gave us cost efficiency as well as a direction that would allow us to grow.”
Having since migrated its entire infrastructure, Six Flags continues to incrementally increase capacity with the help of Rackspace, to match not only growth in the entertainment industry but also to address Six Flags’ emerging needs within an ever-evolving technology environment.
When a web browser is pointed to SixFlags.com, the visitor hits the Rackspace environment, either within the company’s Dallas data center or in the Rackspace Dallas data center. Clicking through the environment takes a visitor through the Six Flags Drupal environment and Drupal stack — the content management system that Six Flags editors and contributors use to manage their website.
“Everything is there, from ticket prices to daily updates, promotional information, rides, park hours and other types of components,” Andersen said. “All that content is being driven from the content management system, which is all being powered by Rackspace. A ticket purchase transports a visitor seamlessly to our ecommerce provider who is also hosted at Rackspace.”
Security measures and constant updates to both reliability and compliance are key security objectives that Six Flags strives for as it engages with potential and existing customers.
“In today’s society, you hear about breaches left and right,” said Andersen. “Six Flags takes security to the highest degree and we take very seriously the implications of data security.”
Click here to see and read more about Six Flags’ hosting experience.