XDA Developers is one of the world’s largest mobile software development communities, with over 5 million members from around the globe. This community consists primarily of Android enthusiasts, software developers and testers, who discuss, troubleshoot, develop and share software for Android phones and other operating systems. It takes a lot to keep such a site going smoothly. Today, XDA provides a rare peek ‘under-the-hood’, showing you how they run their website on LeaseWeb infrastructure.
Under The Hood at XDA Developers
Running a website as large as XDA isn’t an easy process – we depend on a web development team here in Philadelphia, plus the fantastic products and serviced offered by our host, LeaseWeb, to ensure the availability and speed of the site that every Android enthusiast knows and loves. Knowing that our visitors are more technical in nature than most, we thought that they might appreciate a look ‘under the hood’ at XDA to see what makes us run.
In our last blog, we wrote that the first step in creating a solid partner program and engage with the right partners is to define what a true partnership means: a partner is someone who will complement our abilities to accomplish what we cannot accomplish by ourselves, and vice versa. And that my success in achieving this, will be predicted by the success of my partner.
This is why we are now launching a worldwide Specialized Partner Program. LeaseWeb is looking for Solution Providers such as Managed Service Providers (MSP’s), System Integrators (SI’s), IT Consultants and Value Added Resellers (VARs) to help us reach markets we have not reached before in the SMB, Mid Market and enterprise segments. Solution Providers will be able to take LeaseWeb’s platform, benefit from our infrastructure and services and build additional services on top of it to create a coherent solution that matches the customer’s needs.
For me, the first step in creating a solid partner program and engage with the right partners is to define what a true partnership means to me.
I realize that a partner is someone who will complement my abilities to accomplish what I cannot accomplish by myself, and in some cases vice versa. And that my success in achieving this, will be predicted by the success of my partner.
So, to make sure my partner will succeed, it is crucial from the very beginning to understand what he needs from me to succeed. Then, we can build what will become a long-lasting relationship based on rational values and principles that will drive the manner in which we will eventually support our commitments to each other.
Ever since we launched LeaseWeb Private Cloud, powered by Apache CloudStack, we’ve been scrumming new functionality into the service. Our Private Cloud allows you to set up custom infrastructure, utilizing all kinds of cool features. As this can get quite complicated, we’ve started creating tutorial videos showing you how to do this. I’ve collected the first four (which cover the basics) in this blog. In a follow-up post I’ll showcase some more advanced configurations.
Let’s start with the basics, simply spinning up an instance:
When recently I wanted to add a little extra living space to my house, I called a construction company I had done business with before. Of course, I could have Googled ‘construction work’ and ‘DIY living room modification’, but I know my limitations.
My line of business is IT, and specifically hosting, cloud computing and partner business. And what I see happening at some IT-partners worries me.
More and more companies are well aware of the benefits of cloud computing. Naturally, they turn to their trusted IT-partner for advice, assistance and guidance.
What a year! Successfully launching a brand new CDN service from scratch in such a competitive environment has been a tremendous achievement. And now the LeaseWeb CDN team is looking forward to presenting you with yet more new features next year as we continuously improve it. We’re really excited to see how much we’ve accomplished in such a short period of time and it’s been a thrilling experience to be part the team that made it happen.
Here are just a few of the things we’ve achieved:
In today’s connected world APIs are a key element. Automation and integration is not possible without the use of APIs. APIs are used for communication between applications without user intervention. At LeaseWeb we are using a lot of different APIs to automate processes, for example when delivering newly ordered servers. Most of the APIs are for internal use, but some are also available for our customers; indirectly by using our Self Service Center or directly via our public API. You can reboot or reinstall your servers, change DNS records, change IP reverse lookup and more.
While visiting DLD Tel Aviv last week I had the pleasure of grabbing a coffee with our good friends Roy and Avi, founders of the Israeli company MoovingON.
Scalability comes at a price
We got into an interesting conversation about startups and how beginning with an elastic cloud platform makes sense for them because it allows easy scalability. So, as the business grows and traffic increases the platform expands elastically to accommodate.
Trouble is, the costs are also elastic and tend to start ballooning. But while the business is booming it’s difficult to change course or even find time to plan ahead. The root of the problem is the billing arrangements for every cloud service asset: not only CPU time but memory and disk capacity usage, cashing traffic usage and upstream/downstream traffic usage being charged by the gigabyte.
How, then, is it possible to scale a cloud solution while controlling unnecessary elastic usage – and so control costs too?
From 12-16 September, the annual International Broadcasting Conference (IBC) was held in the RAI (conference center) in Amsterdam.
LeaseWeb was present and it was a great opportunity to meet many of our customers in person, as most of them usually purchase their cloud, bare metal or CDN services from us online. Gathering their feedback, hearing directly about their growth and their projects and the traditional canal boat ride was really great. It was so encouraging for all our teams that we feel full of energy to innovate again and again. So thank you for the great time and for the trust placed in our CDN solution.
For IT teams tasked with managing web applications, optimizing performance often comes to mind. Consequently, the solution of using a CDN imposes itself naturally. A CDN is dedicated to optimize performance and offload the origin site, being deployed on global locations and overcoming inefficient internet protocol.
But the next question is: how does a CDN optimize its own performance and ensure it makes the best out of its hardware?
At LeaseWeb, our cloud hosting experience allowed us to build a strong expertise in complex hardware and network management. We’ve come across all kinds of systems and we extracted all this knowledge to select and build the best possible platform, exclusively dedicated on accelerating each byte that goes through our platform. All of these efforts combined resulted in our CDN offering:
- Faster web experience for a great end-user experience
- High availability, balancing resources within PoPs
- Scalability in order to handle peaks
- Security of the content on the origin site safeguarded 24/7
We employ the best Linux System Engineers money can buy, and these experts are able to do magic with Linux on commodity hardware. Well … its commodity hardware for us, but probably not for anyone else, as LeaseWeb is able to buy large quantities of cutting-edge servers specially built to order. We work closely with manufacturers, so we even request special firmware’s to be loaded into the hardware. Moreover, we use cutting-edge network equipment that we buy in enormous quantities, as we operate our own 4.0 Tbps network, and carefully select them based on their price/performance ratio.
Our load balancer technology is a typical example of our technical excellence. These Linux boxes are equipped with 40 Gbit network capacities, provided by two dual 10GE cards. With these cards, the server can easily handle over 3.5 million packets per second (PPS) and a throughput of over 18.5 Gbit per second. This effectively utilizes the network cards for more than 90 percent, at an average packet size of less than 1500 bytes.
Each load balancer is capable of forwarding HTTP (layer 7) traffic, while doing deep packet inspection (DPI) without slowing down the traffic. The load balancers look at the HTTP URL and the headers to decide where to forward the request. These machines have one CPU per dual interface network controller, and by adjusting the interrupt strategy and assignment to the various cores, we optimize the throughput, while making sure the latency is not affected.
To conclude, we are glad to say that we are currently operating the smartest CDN platform in the world, which is able to offer lightning-fast throughput at a fraction of the cost of other CDNs, with all the standard features included.
You should benefit from this as well. Visit our website now, and request a trial account so you can get started immediately. My developer colleagues in the CDN team and me are looking forward to be challenged, and can’t wait to hear your story.