Online system upgrades

Online upgrades for a fashion shoe retailer

Situation:

The client, a nationwide reseller of ladies fashion shoes, needed to upgrade their online store to improve access time for customers, make the process of ordering easier and become more productive. The customer had a web site that had become so successful they were looking to upgrade and improve the existing system to allow for new business and more customers. The web site was developed by an external web design company. The server specifications, security and configurations were designed by Signal Networks, with hosting provided at a managed facility supported by Signal Networks. The client insisted that the servers must be live at all times and in the event of an outage then a failover server should take over to serve customer requests.

Requirements:

• No downtime with the move.
• Windows server with an SQL backend database.
• SQL database must be redundant.
• Server must be remotely accessible for administration and site upgrades.

Resolution:

Two servers were installed with Windows 2003 operating systems. The web site was configured to run on IIS 6 in load balanced mode to utilise the full potential of both servers and bandwidth.

One server was installed and configured, the server was then stress tested and security scanned by Signal Networks, after this the customer tested the site to make sure it functioned in the same way as the existing site. Once this was confirmed the DNS was switched over and the new server was live freeing up the old server to become the failover load balanced pairing.

The SQL server was then installed using a shared database configuration on the primary server. In the event of a failure the secondary server would then become the live database.

Two firewalls were secured and configured to provide fail over and redundancy. VPN tunnels were added back to the Head Office to provide stock management and image manipulation. The firewalls were also configured to allow secure remote access to the servers by the web design company.

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