White Night Melbourne

Aim

THE WORLD'S MOST LIVABLE CITY'S, LARGEST 12 HOUR ANNUAL EVENT POWERED BY MICRON21

The preparation for the White Night infrastructure began in early February 2014. Working closely with ACMN Marketing & Advertising, Micron21 aimed to provide concurrent access to greater than 1 million simultaneous visitors who at any one time require instant access to event information via online communication for the duration and lead up of the of the festival.

The White Night website, powered by Word Press, represented a single point of contact for every Victorian who required up to date timetable information for the 12 hour event. The website allowed the people of Melbourne to download maps and obtain information for numerous evenls being run over the course of the festival, ensuring constant communication was supplied to all those who required it throughout the night.

Our Solution

Build scalable infrastructure which would not fail or slow down under any circumstance, maintain a high level of concurrent visitors, whilst at the same time being cost-effective within a pay-for-usage model Supporting Word Press CMS.

Background

White Night Melbourne is a premium marque event that reimagines city through installations, lighting, exhibitions, performance, music and more In Melbourne’s streets, laneways, parklands, public spaces and cultural institutions. White Night is a State Government of Victoria initiative that is owned and managed by Visit Victoria. The first festival saw over 300,000 people pack into the Melbourne CBD and the organisers required a partner that understood the mission critical nature of the event especially dealing with large volumes of digital visitors in a concentrated period of time. Micron21 successfully managed the infrastructure for an event that catered for 550,000+ visitors on the street that night.

  • The White Night Server Stack within the Micron21 Datacentre Kilsyth
  • Real time monitoring of White Night within the Micron21 NOC
  • AlO AX 3200-12 hardware load balancing powering our MCCAS infrastructure
  • Force 10 l0gbit / 40gbit switching platform
  • Juniper SRX 3400 Hardware firewall cluster
  • Dell R620 Server powering the Micron21 Cloud

The Technology Used

Al Micron21 we control and own our global network, and Kilsyth-based Datacentre. We control every aspect of the datacentre including the physical security, highly-redundant power and cooling infrastructure all the way down to managing our DDoS-protected IP transit services for each customer via our network - AS38880.

Our entire infrastructure has been designed to scale, from our global routing platform, to our custom application stack of software and highly trained engineers.

At the heart of our network is the Brocade MLXe X routing platform, capability of running 1gbit, 1 0gbit, 40gbit and 1 00gbit interfaces today which allows Micron21 to scale its network transparently to meet any customer requirement today and tomorrow.

Our global Brocade MLXe X routing platform can provide 1.921bits of throughput which is at the center of success to providing the solution. Many Australia web hosting providers claim to be the best in Australia advertising plans to upgrade to 1 0gbil infrastructure whilst actually using older networking technology today based around 1 00mbil and 1 gbit equipment. Meanwhile Micron21 already runs 1 00gbil capable network technology!

In 2010 Micron21 decided to invest in the Brocade MLXe X platform which would scale to meet Micron21 customer’s needs for now and the future. We believe that digital marketing via the internet is the future for our customers, who demand and expect the very best hosting technology.

For high profile customers such as White Night, data integrity and on line security is equally important in maintaining continuous services by automatically mitigating on line security threats providing an always on and clean environment for legitimate traffic. The challenge is to not only providing high levels of throughput concurrently but to also do ii securely.

Our security services are designed to transparently provide on-demand security supporting large amounts of concurrent capacity based upon a cluster of Juniper SRX 3400 hardware firewalls.

The high-performance Juniper cluster deployed in a high availability configuration provides 30gbits of throughput along with our NSFOCUS ADS 6000 platform which provides real-time onsite DDoS protection, inspecting each and every packet for miscellaneous traffic to maintain around-the-clock protection.

This above combination of technology puts Micron21 as a leader and pioneer within Australia, pushing the boundaries of technology from the investment of state-of-the-art equipment to providing our customers a guaranteed platform which can be relied upon.

Load Balancing Architecture

Building network capacity to securely distribute content is only one half of the equation; funneling traffic to multiple server appliances is the other. To load balance the inbound and outbound requests, we relied upon A10 Networks Hardware AX 3200-12 load balancers. Each load balancer has multiple 10gbil interfaces with 20gibts of throughput and can communicate at over 6 million requests per second per device. Configured as a highavailability cluster the.

A 10 AX platform is extremely capable of loadbalancing traffic and their dedicated FPGA processors provide extremely powerful realtime caching which greatly reduces server load capacity, sometimes in excess of 80%.

The integration of the A10 Networks Hardware AX 3200-12 load balancers creates the horizontal scalability capacity within our MCCAS environment allowing for additional paralleled processing capacity to be added or removed seamlessly as per the required load.

During the White Night festival the FPGA processing capacity resulted in a load reduction of 80% on each front end server from the native optimized software application stack, which greatly reduced the number af front end servers which were required to distribute the load to the project target of more than 1 million visitors.

Dell Enterprise R610 and R620 Servers

Micron21 has chosen to work with Dell by utilizing both the PowerEdge R610 and PowerEdge R620 enterprise server platforms which provide a multi-socket 12 to 24 physical core environment within a scalable 1 RU form factor.

Software Stack

Having physical hardware is one thing; however having the engineering knowledge to build the software application stack is another. Our in house systems development team were the master minds of creating the high-capacity, high-speed environment suited for Word Press CMS using a combination offilesystemclustered Nginx Web servers, and clustered load-balanced MariaDB database servers which powered White Night.

The above combination ensured that all frontend Nginx servers automatically maintained a synchronised file system. Meanwhile the database engine MariaDB was automatically synchronised and load balanced between all database nodes to maintain concurrent scalability.

The combination of having a fully scalable network within infrastructure which can provide load balanced resources on a synchronised application stack was the key success in designing the solution for White Night, whilst at the same time we wanted to ensure system capacity and load never reached more than 20% providing plenty of headroom for additional load.

Network Equipment Policy

Micron21 standard policy is that every piece of network equipment has a minimum of 2 power supplies per physical device and each stream of power must be fed from fully independent and isolated power creating a minimum of 2N redundancy and where possible 3N.

Furthermore our standard networking hardware policy also states that all networking devices must be modular with all core device components being hotswappable and field replaceable so any section of our core network hardware can be maintained concurrently without affecting the flow of traffic for our customers.

Conclusion

The Micron21 Custom Cloud Application Stack (MCCAS) solution based on our Brocade 1 00gbit MLXe X routing platform together a 40gbit distributed core secured by our mission critical Juniper SRX 3400 firewall cluster and layered DDoS protection from multiple vendors provides a ultimate world class load balanced resource platform powered by A10 Networks within a Pay for what you use platform.

This platform is the perfect solution for supporting large amounts of spontaneous users for large events such as Event Hosting, TV and Radio Advertising, ECommerce, Government Applications, Online News, Sporting Events, Data Aggregation, Demand Driven Traffic Websites. These high profile services require mission critical, world class web hosting services which can be delivered directly via on site services by Micron21 or from any Megaport location around Australia.

“The service we received from Micron21 was simply outstanding. Without a mobile app this year, website availability was mission critical for the 550,000+ people attending White Night Melbourne 2014.”

“Micron21 took the time to understand our requirements and designed a hosting solution that gave us plenty of redundancy to handle any traffic demands on the night. They were flexible and adapted to changing demands in the final days, and provided on-site support and a dedicated team to manage the host servers and data usage reporting every hour from 9am on Saturday right through to 7am Sunday.”

“Micron21 are truly specialists in hosting for mission critical high profile public campaign websites.”

— Rae Bassett, Digital Marketing Director - White Night.

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