CNNGo has been publishing news and articles about travel, lifestyle and trends articles in cities all across Asia since 2009. Born as a central location linking to multiple online publications of the Turner Group, it currently caters to 8 cities (and counting) in 5 languages; Bangkok, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.
CNN brought Wiredcraft onboard in 2009, and has since then been relying on our expertise to improve the performance of their platform, streamline their development and deployment process, review their code and allow them to scale to over a half million page views per day with the standards of quality expected from the CNN brand.
Most of our expertise has been focused on backend improvements to allow their Drupal based platform to handle the peaks of traffic the site experience on a regular basis; we migrated the site from Drupal 6 to the Pressflow distribution, and switched from Apache & PHP in favor of NGINX & PHP-FPM. The caching strategy was greatly upgraded, relying on Varnish, memcached and Boost. Finally we introduced horizontal scaling, load-balancing the Web traffic on multiple Web servers and setting up Master/Slave replication on the database servers, and integrated Akamai's CDN solution to improve loading time to the (very) worldwide audience.
We very closely supervise all the layers of the infrastructure using Zabbix, an Open Source distributed monitoring solution; while we usually use Munin for simpler setups, we prefer Zabbix for complex backends. It not only help us track the health of the various machines and services that power CNNGo, but also provide us with invaluable data when it comes to identifying sources of failures and potential performance improvements.