Case Study: Gulf News
Optimizing Web Performance for the Atex/Polopoly platform
By utilizing Apica’s partnership with Atex and the company’s expertise on the Polopoly platform, Apica has assisted Gulf News in implementing Web Performance enhancements.
The web site gulfnews.com was load tested and many Web Performance bottlenecks were identified and mostly eliminated. As a result, overall response time and maximum load capacity was significantly improved.
Gulf News perfectly illustrates the challenges of a content rich media site in the year 2010. The incredible amount of information available on Web 2.0 sources is the editor’s dream. BUT, the publishing of all of that information on the web site can easily become the IT manager’s nightmare.
Gulf News has a geographically distributed audience with readers not only across all of the countries in the Gulf region, but also a sizable global readership. The differences in bandwidth, devices and local Internet distribution make it even more important to be in control of Web Performance.
Faced with these challenges, Gulf News chose to turn to Web Performance company Apica, for a complete review, test and performance improvement project.
|Apica’s previous experience with the Polopoly platform was a key criterion for being awarded this work. Each Content Management System has its own particularities in settings and configuration options. In order to get the best possible Web Performance out of the CMS and the way it operates with the rest of the web platform, CMS-specific expertise is invaluable. Apica's experienced test staff has years of knowledge in tuning Polopoly installations and a head start in finding and eliminating performance problems that are Polopoly specific if they are present.|
Gulf News project goals
Ensure system performance would not impact on visitors on go live
To get a clear measurement of the site’s Web Performance and response times on search/traversing and page rendering
To get at clear measurement of the maximum number of concurrent users that the system can serve with sustained performance/response times
To verify the stability of applications close to peak load
To expose potential bugs that do not surface in cursory testing, such as memory management bugs, memory leaks, buffer overflows, etc
To produce recommendations on how Web Performance can be improved
The project was carried out in three steps:
First, baseline Web Performance was established.
Secondly, tuning and improvement efforts were carried out.
Finally, peak load capacity and response times were determined and recorded. These Web Performance limits and targets will now serve as guidelines and targets for Gulf News IT operations.
In particular, various cache (HTTP-acceleration) methods and settings were tested, and overall bandwidth need was revised.