Rackspace's Zend deal boosts comms firm's response

A communications firm with a strong focus on online channels is making use of Rackspace's partnership with Zend to better manage its online offering for customers.

The company, markettiers4dc, opted to move its production systems to Rackspace, and has made use of its technology partnership with PHP application server Zend to boost the responsiveness of its web-based channels. Together, Zend and Rackspace offer a full-supported enterprise level LAMP stack installed with Zend Platform.

On such online broadcast channels such as Webchats TV and Opinion Matters, streaming videos could seen as many as 10,000 users - but customers never know how strong the participation would be. Because of this, markettiers4dc needed a more responsive, scalable solution.

"The main issue we were facing was one of delivering fully scalable solutions for clients whose applications we develop where some have concurrent user bases in the tens for specific niche clients and others run into the tens of thousands for mass market use," said Kevin MacGregor, head of digital and technical services at markettiers4dc.

"Not knowing how successful a campaign was likely to be meant that we had to build a platform which would cope with either eventuality as well as everything in between," he added.

The contract with its previous hosting provider ended, so markettiers4dc turned to Rackspace last year. But just moving to a new platform wasn't enough. So over a few months, Rackspace rolled out a cluster solution with real-time database replication and failover.

Still, testing showed the code could be optimised to boost response times even more, MacGregor said, which is where the partnership with Zend came in.

"Working with the team at Rackspace we identified an additional application platform which could potentially give us a 20 to 30 per cent improvement in response times and we agreed to run an initial test to see if this was something that we could benefit from," he said. "[Our] first tests of our applications on the new [Zend] platform saw a staggering 350 per cent improvement in the speed of the applications."