More than two hours ago, one of the biggest “social events” of Switzerland has started: 72 Stunden (72 hours). And the website, which plays an important part of the whole project, is powered by Flux CMS.
72 Stunden is a project by the SAJV, the Swiss umbrella organisation of all youth organizations. More than 500 groups with more than 20’000 members take part and are trying to solve an assignment during this 72 hours. More about the whole thing can be read on their webpage (in German, French and Italian). The Swiss radio stations constantly report about the project and almost all newspapers, therefore it gets quite some visibility (which was the whole idea of the project :))
The website is important, because all projects are listed there and the groups can make calls for help to get assistance, food, building material, etc. They can also upload pictures and there’s a blog and an open blog, too (with RSS feed).
With all those features and the visibility, we expect quite some traffic and had mainly 2 problems to solve. Pure traffic from pictures et al. and load on the server from the dynamic pages. For the traffic problem, we put a caching proxy in the hosting center of our uplink provider cyberlink, which is on two 100 mbit/s lines. That proxy also acts as a load balancer with the help of pound. It spreads the requests evenly to our two backend servers in our data center (by netzwirt.ch). pound also has some fail over mechanisms, so should one go down, it automatically switches that off. If the load really gets too high, we simply can add another server or two :)
For the administrators of the website, we put up a dedicated server which is only accessible to them. This way we can prevent a break down of the admin part should the public servers get overloaded and therefore new calls for help can still be done. The data from the admin server is replicated to the backend servers with MySQL replication and NFS mounts.
Until now everything works fine and responsive.