The client was looking to expand its existing catalog and mail order business to the Internet, as well as enhance the commerce offering with community services. They needed a robust, reliable, scalable, and affordable infrastructure on which to deploy their new commerce and community offering.
- We conducted an evaluation of existing third-party application environments in the context of the client's needs.
- We also considered the feature set we could create from scratch in the allotted time frame of about six months, as well as the cost associated with building our own.
- After reviewing the results of the evaluation, it became clear that we could deliver the features needed, including database connection pooling, session management, caching and automatic fail over, at a lower overall cost by writing our own application server. In fact, after taking into account per-CPU licensing fees that third-party application server vendors were charging, our solution was a fraction of the price.
- We started with selected, proven third-party technologies, including an Oracle database as the primary data store and a cluster of Apache web servers.
- We then designed a distributed, reliable, high performance infrastructure capable of handling current needs and scaling several times to accommodate future expansion.
- The implementation consisted of a custom application server, companion Apache module, and a set of libraries providing an API that the application developers could use to interact with the system.
- Years later, our solution continued to serve about a million pages per day with minimal hardware.
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