Why BAFTA chose Rackspace to manage awards peak traffic

By Danny Palmer
01 Apr 2014 View Comments
pippa-irvine-digital-communications-manager

If you're a world famous organisation live streaming video, photos and other content onto your website on your biggest night of the year, you need to ensure everything works absolutely perfectly when millions are logging on to be the first to get the biggest news in the industry; failure is not an option.

That's why the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has selected cloud solutions provider Rackspace to host its website and ensure peak performance for awards season and its associated traffic spikes, while maintaining a steady service the rest of the time.

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"One of the key things we were looking for was a high quality service, a provider who could help us with the traffic we see throughout the year which is very peaky," Pippa Irvine, digital communications manager and the person responsible for driving the project to find a new hosting solution for BAFTA told Computing.

"You'll get surges of traffic in the course of an hour then the rest of the year you'll see slower, steady traffic rates. So we needed quite a bespoke offering from our hosting supplier and Rackspace were able to offer us a very bespoke setup and a configuration that suited BAFTA's needs specifically."

The decision to examine BAFTA's hosting strategy, Irvine explained, came from a major update of BAFTA websites which will go live this year, leading to a need for "bringing everything together and improving the efficiency of our hosting structure."

BAFTA engaged in a detailed procurement process, one which ensured potential suppliers understood the unique challenges it faced and were able to provide an appropriate, reliable solution.

"We came up with a detailed responsibilities matrix, because with a project like this it's important there's no grey area between what your web developers do and what your hosting provider does," said Irvine.

"We're a small online team trying to deliver a lot in terms of online experience so we haven't got loads of time to be monitoring the servers. So it was important to me we had a brilliant hosting supplier who would deal with a problem if it arose."

Rackspace was therefore deemed to be the best equipped to support BAFTA in this way, with the support it offered key to its selection to help handle the all-important task of smooth running on awards night, as Irvine explained.

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