Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was polling in single digits when we first got involved with his campaign. Over the years, we have been responsible for ensuring that all of his web properties have nearly 100% uptime. Keeping a site up for millions of Texans is a big challenge while running for the United States Senate. However, a bid for United States President increased traffic exponentially, and we keep his site online without a hitch.
Our team was tasked with moving from a 3rd party service provider to creating and managing our own highly-available infrastructure on Amazon Web Services. We were forced to do this because it no longer became cost effective for us to pay extremely high bills to scale our web infrastructure to handle more traffic. This need came about because the candidate was in nationally televised debates every couple of weeks which were watched by millions of people. When Ted Cruz will say his website’s address, we would have tens of thousands of people visit. The expectation was that we would be able to withstand this huge influx of traffic without becoming slow or unresponsive.
Since we migrated to our own hardware, we have supported a 99.999% uptime metric. The “five nines” is incredibly hard to achieve, as it only allows 5 minutes of downtime throughout the entire year. For a reference point, most services like Google Apps only guarantee 99.9% uptime (or 8.76 hours of downtime through the year). For a website that receives tens of millions of visitors a year, this is quite the achievement.
We pride ourselves in the ability to host high-scale, high-profile and highly-available web sites of any technology used today on the web. We have an infrastructure that allows us to host a website that has 10,000 visits one hour, and 10 million the next when they are featured on Drudge Report or the likes.