SF.se is the website of SF Bio, Sweden’s largest cinema operator. During the autumn, SF Bio and Apica upgraded the site in order to cope with the Christmas rush for ticket reservations.
Load tests established the site’s response times and basic web performance. In order to achieve optimal web performance the site was complemented with the new service – Apica WebOverload ™ – a queue function that handles peak load beyond the site’s normal capacity.
“Few sites have such extreme visitor peaks as we do. This Christmas SF.se had 170,000 page views per hour or 1,713,601 page views per day (New Year’s Day), which is more than double that of an ordinary holiday. Many of the bookings were concentrated to a few hours before a show. One should also remember that, as a public website, with business-critical content, our web performance is always scrutinized.
Therefore, it has been a real challenge to find a stable solution. There has simply been no simple standard solutions for such problems. Now we are happy that we chose a thorough approach with load testing and careful configuration of the solution for optimal web performance.
The page view record, fast response times and high availability over Christmas despite tough conditions, shows the strength of Apica’s methods and services.” says Lowe Westlund, IT Director at SF Bio.
About the technical solution – Apica WebOverload ™
Apica WebOverLoad ™ delivers performance optimization of web sites, and it also protects the web site against potential web overload by a unique queuing function. Apica WebOverLoad ™ is delivered as a cloud service consisting of external “wait pages” where users beyond a preset limit, determined by load tests, can be queued until load on the main site goes back to manageable levels. As a consequence “throughput” of visitors on the web site is optimized and there is a consistent level of service. Apica’s solution runs on a separate high-capacity network and handles more than 50,000 concurrent users per minute. The service can be used with any public web site.
“Our strength is that we deliver Apica WebOverLoad ™ as a complete service to optimize and protect business-critical web sites. The service includes expert configuration of load balancers / NetScaler, various cache and session values, load testing of the maximum number of concurrent users and active web performance monitoring of sessions, and response times during operation.
The proof of the effectiveness of Apica’s performance service is that the Overload function, ie. redirect to the standby site, was activated only for very short periods during the Christmas holidays, despite doubled traffic. The Overload function acts as a safeguard to ensure maximum availability and prevent that the site goes down whatever the total load will be.” concludes Sven Hammar, CEO Apica.