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Building a true worldwide web service

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  • Building a true worldwide web service

    Has anyone here built a truly world-wide web service? My biggest project (OERCA for those who know what I'm doing) serves customers around the world, and we're planning for continued growth both in customer numbers and customers' expectations. But, I haven't been able to learn enough, fast enough, to know where to head. It's just impossible (for me) to become expert enough in all aspects of this to get all the answers in hand to make decisions. Here's our situation:

    We're with Zebrahost, are and have been fine with that. But we have a single SQL database. Sure, we can add more servers, more instances, but in the end that SQL database resides in one location. Or, maybe there's a way around that? I don't know.

    So right now, we're tied to that database server, so we just add server instances or move to the IIS plugin but that still means distant servers to many (most) of our users. Combine that with "little" things in the way Alpha sometimes behaves with any and all crappy internet hubs across the globe and we get dissatisfaction.

    If I understand things well enough, we need to scale horizontally, e.g. help everyone have a local, native-like experience. The time I'm spending dealing with the problems we've created for ourselves with our current situation would be much better spent building stuff with the latest Alpha tools. I can't get there as I try to manage these things.

    Our team regularly travels the world so we have personal comparison of how the app works in many different places around the world. Our servers right now are in Singapore, and the Singapore experience is pretty darned good. But get to Dubai or the Bahamas (yes, very fast connection) and, not as good, a little funky sometimes in fact.

    Jason at Zebrahost wrote me a big description today of why Dropbox can get my user in Mexico a large file in 15 seconds, but it takes several minutes from our server in Singapore. This needs to end, we need to be addressing this.

    Other requirements:
    - I've gotten used to pretty good attention from Zebrahost. Good customer service is important.
    - Be able to upload and download large files fast
    - A port for websocket functionality
    - A VPN for some customers
    - Periodic Security analysis

    I'm probably (a) not asking the right questions and (b) not all the right questions and (c) both a and b.

    The constant learning of customers' needs, Alpha's features, and other daily demands (such as the two hours I spent on this stuff today and have little to show for it) leaves me short on the time to figure this stuff out.

    If anyone's implemented something like this, love to talk to ya. Or, if anyone can point the way and say "This is where you head" that that would be great too. I need more education than I've been able to figure out for myself. And, I'm posting here because I think and hope others can benefit from the discussion as well.

    Last edited by Steve Workings; 11-03-2015, 08:01 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Building a true worldwide web service

    This is what I'm looking at for our SQL Data. Ticks most of (if not all) the boxes Amazon AWS SQL
    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein, (attributed)
    US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)


    • #3
      Re: Building a true worldwide web service

      One way to address the problem may be to use a Content Delivery Network. This reduces latency and the increased speed provides an exceptional end user experience.
      We offer a CDN (Content Delivery Network) that comprises of 24 geographically diverse nodes that shorten the distance that data has to travel to reach the end user. This avoids network traffic jams, decreases latency and optimizes performance.

      Any web server capable of producing the Cache-Control headers will work with CDN. Perhaps Alpha's IIs module will offer this feature?

      CDN is billied at $0.12/BG utility billing
      Affordable Alpha Five, PHP, MySQL Hosting.
      Serving Webmasters since 2000.ZebraHost


      • #4
        Re: Building a true worldwide web service

        One item missing from the requirements list is a Load Balancer configured for WebSockets
        Affordable Alpha Five, PHP, MySQL Hosting.
        Serving Webmasters since 2000.ZebraHost


        • #5
          Re: Building a true worldwide web service

          Hi Steve,
          You may want to start looking at Microsoft Windows Azure infrastructure. Being an application that is being used worldwide, your needs simply outgrow your configuration.

          You need to be able to host your database mirrored within several servers in locations close to your users and this can be done with Windows Azure. I am not sure how AA will play with Azure, probably with the IIS plug it, it could be an easy configuration, but at least you need some sort of load balancing for your database based on the region the user is connecting.

          Any way you see this, it will require expert help in setting this up and mostly to make it play nicely with AA.
          Edhy Rijo
          (Computer Consultants)
          The makers of CardTracking.Net


          • #6
            Re: Building a true worldwide web service

            If i did understand right the problem is the single mysql database located in some server in somewhere and how to scale it.

            In PHP -development I did test Heroku and ClearDb (=mysql) a short time. I did test the normal single db-version.

            But ClearDB has also a master-master replication technology so you can have multiple master mysql databases and they can be in a different geolocations. They share the same data. But it is not a standard solution, the difference is how to manage autoincrement fields in mysql . But there are not so many solutions available so maybe you want to check also this one.


            • #7
              Re: Building a true worldwide web service

              One of the things Zebrahosts suggests is a CDN network. That uses "Edge Servers" to cache content, images, etc. and make it more readily available around the world. Cool, I get that, but:

              We also want to get around to (one of these days) much more development for mobile/tablet/offline. This means making more use of local cache and local storage. Seems like in the long run (except for the single data-source part) I might be better off putting time & money into the mobile/tablet/offline aspect of this. Yes? No? Any substantial difference between the two? It even seems to me that the local cache and storage would provide, usually, a better response for the user than a CDN.

              Both, of course, would be nice, but priorities here....