Optimizing Cloud Applications for Holiday Traffic

A record amount of time and money will be spent online this holiday season.  Are your cloud websites and web apps ready for the increased traffic that holiday madness brings? We’ve collected some great optimization tips from our resident cloud experts to make your IT holiday season merry and successful!

  • Static Content– For the best performance, we recommend migrating all static media files (images, video, audio, flash, etc.) to the CDN (Content Delivery Network) of your choice. This means your customers will have shorter wait times when accessing media, since the content is cached and served by servers closest to their physical location.  For more information about using Rackspace Cloud Files please visit the Cloud Files knowledge base and this getting started video.
  • Database Optimization – Many sites leverage the use of databases. For busy websites, databases can become a choke point if not properly optimized.  Creating indexes and fine tuning all queries (and the engine type, too, if you’re using MySQL) are all good ways of optimizing your database. If you are unfamiliar with database optimization, it may be best to consult with a professional DBA (Database Administrator).
  • SSL – SSL may be right for you, but it should be used only when necessary. SSL traffic is encrypted and causes additional server processing time. We encourage you to pass only the traffic that needs to be secure to the SSL servers as the non-SSL clusters are more robust and are better equipped to handle traffic spikes. To accomplish this, create a sub-domain (e.g., secure.example.com) and enable SSL for the sub-domain only, through which secure transactions will be processed.  This allows SSL traffic to pass through a separate location and provides customers with a visual cue that they are on a secure site.  Click here for information on setting up a sub-domain on the Rackspace Cloud. For details on adding SSL to a site, visit this knowledgebase article.
  • Coding – The final piece of the puzzle is the code itself. Efficient code will always yield a better-performing site.  This is especially true when the site is very busy.  Issues that aren’t evident during normal usage come to light when the site is busy.  Reducing the number of external calls your code makes, reducing includes, reducing database queries, and making sure to verify any errors greatly helps.

For additional, application-specific information on the Rackspace Cloud please see the links at the bottom of this knowledge base article.

If you have more questions about scaling cloud applications, please engage a Rackspace Cloud expert at 1.877.934.0409.

Rack Blogger is our catchall blog byline, subbed in when a Racker author moves on, or used when we publish a guest post. You can email Rack Blogger at blog@rackspace.com.


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