To the clouds


e have completed integration with Amazon’s Web Services Cloud and we are now focussing on further optimisations to host WTP on Microsoft’s Azure platform. But why have we done this? Why is it so important, and what returns are we expecting to see?

Key features...

  • Amazon Web Services Platform
  • Microsoft Azure Platform
  • Content Distribution Networks (CDNs)
  • Elastic scaling
  • Reduced infrastructure costs

Every year, we plan our server capacity to support the estimated Q1 peak in online traffic, yet for the remaining three quarters, most of it does nothing, but still costs money to run. Furthermore, over the last 24 months we have seen several huge spikes in traffic as customers race to re-book holidays in the wake of the sudden and high profile collapse of a competitor.

It has always been a no-win situation; either waste money on too much hardware, or cut costs and run the risk of not being able to service your customers when they come en masse. At least that’s the way it used to be.

Cloud technologies are revolutionising how we design and host websites and travel technology. But moving websites and applications into the Cloud is about so much more than just moving to a cheaper hosting solution. By re-engineering WTP, we have 'baked in' core Cloud infrastructure such as distributed caching, message queues, Content Delivery Networks (CDN), Elastic Load Balancing and Auto Scaling. So what does this mean?

It means that WTP can deliver more resilient, scalable and cost effective websites. As of version 2.0, a WTP site will detect an increase in traffic and subsequent wait times and in response, it will provision additional servers and add them to the server farm, ensuring an always up and always responsive website. Not only that but when the load drops back down, WTP will free up surplus resources, immediately reducing the per-hour costs of operating the website. In addition, CDN-enabling WTP’s asset management module means that all image requests are fulfilled by one of the major delivery networks (Amazon, Microsoft etc.), further reducing the load on the WTP servers and delivering content to customers via massive bandwidth.