B92

The b92.net website has existed for more than 20 years, and it is one of the most visited and influential websites in Serbia and the region. During its long-standing presence in the market, b92.net has recorded a constant increase in visits and revenue and developed new types of content, business models, and platforms, in which it often takes pioneering steps in the domestic and regional market.

Goals

  • Upgrading and unifying the existing hosting system
  • The system must be highly accessible and scalable
  • All data must have maximum protection, and the entire environment must be isolated and secure
  • It is necessary to execute intelligent distribution of traffic using servers located in different locations (geolocation balancing)
  • Flexibility in terms of infrastructure use and IT cost optimization
  • Identifying potential bottlenecks of the system and their elimination

Approach

  • Expert teams of both companies have defined all technical and business needs and completed the cost analysis
  • They proposed an optimal solution for the specific challenges of this media house: Mainstream Fully Managed Web Hosting and cloud technology
  • Segmentation of current needs and existing plans based on which the sizing of the system can be achieved
  • Efficient system migration (performed in zero downtime mode, without data loss, i.e., without reducing availability)
  • Taking responsibility for the functioning and availability of the service itself in accordance with SLA

Results

  • Improved infrastructure has enabled security and safe data storage (cloud technology enables offsite data storage, so data is available even in the event of an IT disaster)
  • We have established a long-term partnership in which the Mainstream team is recognized as a team of trusted experts involved in all phases of capacity building planning
  • Highly available DNS infrastructure enables website access from the nearest location, thus achieving geolocation load balancing
  • Through outsourcing, both media houses have gotten the opportunity to direct their engaged resources to further development of the website and improvement of the content for visitors

B92 was founded in 1989 as a youth radio station that broadcasted its program in Belgrade and has since grown into a company that includes national radio and television stations and a regional website.

b92

Beginning of the Cooperation With B92

In 2012, B92 was named the best TV station, media website, and radio station, according to a survey conducted by Status magazine. At the time, the B92 website recorded a huge number of visits, which required the improvement of the existing hosting system.

In order to be completely confident in the solution we offered, we first looked into the specific business and technical needs of the client, taking into consideration the broader context, and then prioritized tasks and performed cost analysis. We always offer our clients several options or combined solutions.

In the case of the B92 website, it was a very dynamic environment that kept evolving and improving. We have defined quality and transparent communication and open cooperation of various business sectors as a shared priority. The service offered by Mainstream as the best solution was Fully Managed Web Hosting.

IT Challenges and Specific Requirements by B92

The nature of the website visits and the type of content offered to visitors determined the exact type of technical solution for B92.

At the time when the cooperation began, B92 took care of the hosting on its own, and the main data centre was located abroad. Given the high number of visits and the rapid growth of the brand, a decision was made to outsource one part of IT operations: site hosting would be consolidated, upgraded, and fully entrusted to Mainstream.

This way, the media house B92 gained the opportunity to direct its engaged resources to the further development of the website and dedicate more time and resources to improving the content for visitors.

The requirements of the B92 media house were as follows:

  • The system must be highly accessible and scalable

The system must be highly accessible (downtime is not tolerated) and scalable (horizontal scalability) to ensure a smooth flow of large amounts of data. There has to be the possibility of dynamic addition of resources depending on the current needs.

  • Clearly defined transfer of responsibilities

In accordance with the decision to outsource, Mainstream, as a trusted partner, assumes full responsibility for the availability and security of the IT system. A custom-made SLA (Service Level Agreement) defines the exact services, reporting system, restrictions, procedures, responsibilities, and the level of Mainstream’s involvement in the processes. 

  • Global site load balancing

Due to the large number of visitors, it is necessary to perform an intelligent traffic distribution using servers located in different locations.

  • Protected and secure data

All data must enjoy maximum protection and be available for recovery from any location in the event of any type of IT disaster.

 

Mainstream Fully Managed Web Hosting and Cloud Technology as an Ideal Solution

Considering the fact that every website is a living system that is constantly evolving, there needs to exist support from the system side for launching new features. The infrastructure must be of good quality in order to keep up with all the desired changes with minimal resource consumption.

After reviewing all the requirements defined by the media house B92, we concluded that the ideal solution would be Mainstream Fully Managed Web Hosting and cloud technology.

This service includes the implementation of the infrastructure and full maintenance of the hosted website, as well as the constant availability of our expert team for consultations regarding future upgrades of the system.

The B92 website relied on LAMP hosting, and we had a solution for balancing requests to MySQL databases, where a set of proxying and balancing was used.

This system uses a highly accessible DNS infrastructure that allows access to the website from the nearest location, thus achieving geolocation balancing. In addition, our solution provides protection from cyber-attacks, enables IT costs optimization and guarantees 99.99% uptime.

With this, all client’s requirements are fully met.

 

Solution Implementation Process

Our methodology involves several different stages, while the solution implementation process takes anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. In the specific case of the cooperation with B92, the project involved the following stages:

  • Segmentation of current needs, system architecture, plans based on which the sizing of the system can be completed
  • Booting the system on the Mainstream infrastructure and testing
  • Identification of potential system bottlenecks and their elimination
  • System migration (performed in zero downtime mode, without data loss or reduced availability)
  • Monitoring and support (24/7)

 

In communication with clients, the Mainstream expert team always makes recommendations for best practices, as well as suggestions for the optimization of existing segments of the website to incorporate new features.

 

The Efficiency of the Solution for the Specific Cases of B92

The B92 website benefits directly from cloud technology based on the pay-as-you-go and pay-as-you-grow principles, where resources are used as needed and dynamically allocated. On the other hand, server virtualization allows for the maximum utilization of hardware resources.

Data replication enables a significant reduction in the recovery time objective (RTO) after the IT disaster, as well as an optimally defined recovery point objective (RPO). If a storage system fails, all data is secure, and business continuity is ensured.

As a media house with a great reputation and a strong informative and entertaining program, over the years, B92 has built a powerful multimedia platform of which digital media are an important part. Thus, B92 must not provide anything short of an extraordinary experience to all the users who visit the website every day.

The Mainstream expert team is a proud partner of this media house; for years now, we have been taking care of the constant availability of all services with the support of over 2,500 virtual servers, and we offer storage space of incredible speed and quality while relying on the most technologically advanced equipment in Serbia.

 

Impressions of the Cooperation


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