U.K. property portal Rightmove has deployed replication software from BakBone to boost reliability in its data centers and cut the number of outages on its corporate Website. (See BakBone Makes Rightmove.)
Mike Scott, head of technology operations at Rightmove, told Byte and Switch that the firm's reputation rests on site availability. Launched in 2000, the Website publicizes more than 60 percent of the properties for sale in the U.K. and attracts over nine million visits each month, recording in excess of 2.6 billion page views per year.
But up until 18 months ago, Rightmove was running its systems out of a single, co-located data center in London, and was prone to major outages. This prompted the firm to spread its operations across three co-location sites in the London area, in an effort to improve disaster recovery.
"Until the [additional] sites were set up, we had occasional outages when the Internet feed went out at a single site. The longest we had was two hours," explained Scott, adding that the cause of the two-hour glitch was a failure on the co-location partner's systems. He would not divulge the partner's identity.
Scott deployed BakBone's NetVault Replicator software in late 2004, about the same time that the firm was shifting its 60 Sun Solaris Web servers to the multiple data centers. "We used it to improve reliability, resilience, and performance," he says, explaining that data is now constantly replicated among its three sites. "If there's a failure in one data center, we keep operating out of the other two."