Last week OnApp announced that hosting provider Stone.is successfully deployed OnApp CDN to host websites for Tomorrowland, an electronic dance music festival that took place on July 26–28 at De Schorre in Boom, Belgium.
Stone.is used 46 locations from OnApp’s federated CDN to create a global hosting platform for Tomorrowland’s customer information, ticket pre-registration and ticket activation websites.
By using OnApp’s federated CDN, Stone.is was able to support 4.6 million web pages with a peak of 1.4 million page views in just one hour on the ticket sales day with zero downtime. A total of one million fans from 214 countries pre-registered for the 180,000 Tomorrowland tickets.
DailyHostNews had a quick Q & A with Stein Van Stichel, CEO, Stone.is and Kosten Metreweli, CCO, OnApp on how OnApp’s federated CDN and Stone.is’s website optimization services ensured Tomorrowland’s global coverage while maintaining a fast, local experience for fans around the world with zero website downtime.
Q: How did OnApp and Stone.is work in tandem to ensure secure transactions on the ticket sales day?
Stein: The ticket sale itself was handled by the payment processor Paylogic. In order to join the ticket sale customers had to do a preregistration (handled by Stone & OnApp) – this ensured a buffer for the ticketing system and provided Paylogic the needed information on what crowd they had to expect on their ticketing gateways.
On pre-registration day, 500,000 people registered for access to the ticketing gateway within one hour. OnApp provided a list of partners in the federation that could provide the needed SLAs and that list was extensively tested by stone.is.
After the sale, tickets had to be activated on the Tomorrowland website, and are linked to each individual customer. This procedure helps Tomorrowland trace and flag potential ticket abuse. That’s how we helped out, to provide end users with the ability to check and secure their ticket purchase.
Q: How were the 46 locations used strategically chosen from OnApp’s federated CDN to ensure global coverage and fast local experience?
Kosten: Tomorrowland has been running for a few years, so they have a pretty good understanding of their audience profile and the countries they needed to cover.
It’s a huge event with visitors from 214 countries, and one of the main reasons they went with stone.is and OnApp is because of the number of locations we could give them presence in, through the OnApp federation.
Stein: We worked with OnApp to identify the PoPs already available in the federation that offered the right performance profile, and added to that capacity from other OnApp clouds to give them the global scale they needed. Tomorrowland has used other CDNs for previous festivals, including Amazon, and one of the biggest problems has been a lack of coverage in Asia-Pacific and Australia.
OnApp gave us plenty of capacity in every region, and in all we used 46 PoPs to handle the event. We also load-tested the PoP selection to make sure they could handle the projected capacity per region.
Q: What made OnApp an ideal choice for Stone.is, both from technology/resources and financial POV?
Stein: We’re a pretty successful hosting provider in our local markets, but when you’re faced with a truly global event, it’s hard for any provider to find the capacity you need to handle high traffic volumes from multiple regions in a very short timescale. But that’s the power of the OnApp federation. We could host the core web application on our clouds in Brussels and Antwerp, and get immediate access to any of the federation locations we needed to keep the Tomorrowland site fast and stable, wherever their visitors came from.
OnApp had support teams on standby as well, to fix any issues with the PoPs we were using, though in fact the whole CDN performed perfectly.
Of course every customer wants their service to be as efficient as possible, and the OnApp federation is very cost-effective. Other CDNs force you to take crazy contracts with long tie-ins, and force you to commit to a certain level of bandwidth. The OnApp federation gives you capacity that’s more affordable and much more flexible, because you only pay for what you use.
This flexibility offered is an added factor for global events like this, where last minute changes, band announcements or even links to the website on social media can create huge unexpected traffic spikes. With our solution and OnApp CDN, Tomorrowland can make announcements and their systems scale automatically with the load.