Sitefinity Experts

Sitefinity Experts

Client Name Stampin' Up!

Location Riverton, UT

Category Sitefinity

CyberLancers was initially engaged by Progress Sitefinity to assist one of their customers who was having an issue with their website. CyberLancers had worked with Progess before on other projects and were known to be experts in helping out with difficult issues.
After a brief discovery phase with the client, CyberLancers was able to demonstrate their experience with the Sitefinity content management system and started work on a plan of attack.

Problem

Stampin' Up is a large online retailer with local demonstrators. Their customers look forward to new releases and when new products are released the number of visitors per second to the website increases exponentially.
During some of these releases as new content was being published, some of the web servers would start to experience outages which would cause increased demand on the other web servers. The problem had been isolated to new content being published while servers were under increased load.
CyberLancers was engaged to determine why the publishing of new content was causing problems only under heavy load, come up with a solution, and then determine a plan going forward on improvements to their deployment process.

Process

Initially CyberLancers was provided with the client's code in order to get familiar with how the website was setup and to determine if there were any issues within the code. After an examination of the code it was determined that the code was clean and that the website was setup properly. A few suspect areas were found but would need to be tested within a test environment to have access to a setup similar to production.
CyberLancers traveled to the client's location in order to work side-by-side with their developers. A war room was established and access was given to various team members to help with troubleshooting. An attempt was made to replicate the issue but was unsuccessful due to not being able to generate a sufficient amount of load on the website.
The tactics were changed to instead test various theories at a lower scale to determine their effects. The initial theory was that this was tied to a setting in the configuration files that determines how many times a recompile of pages can take place before the website is restarted. This had been a cause of problems with other clients and was suspected to be the issue here as well.
CyberLancers setup a small test environment and used various profiling tools to discover how changes to content on a Sitefinity page is affected by the configuration setting. Through these tests we were able to see that a content change produced a number of recompiles. When another visitor would request that page it would increase the number of recompiles. So under increased load the number of recompiles would be reached quickly and would cause the application to restart. While the application was restarting it would continue to receive requests which would cause the website to crash.
CyberLancers then performed additional testing and analysis to determine the affects of increasing the number of recompiles setting on the website. After sufficiently showing the client what the issue was, we were able to come up with some solutions for the client to move forward with.

Solution

With CyberLancers experience using the Sitefinity content management system they were able to quickly come up with a solution to provide to the client.
It was initially decided to increase the number of restarts configuration setting to a number that was sufficient for the amount of traffic they would receive. A new promotion was being launched within days of CyberLancers' visit so the solution would be able to be tested to see if it fixed the issue in production.
Another solution was developed to help with further large scale deployments in order to help reduce any downtime that might happen while code was being deployed and not just content changes. CyberLancers was able to use their experience working with other large e-commerce clients to help them create a deployment plan.
With these solutions in place, CyberLancers was notified the next week that the solution worked and they were able to publish new content without having the website go down. Stampin' Up was happy with the results that they received and with how quickly and efficiently a solution was created.