Extreme surges in web traffic demand highly scalable environment

Since 1986, the Outback Bowl has hosted the prestigious college football event that matches the Big 10 and Southeast conferences. Played annually on New Year’s Day, the Outback Bowl is more than a football game — it’s an experience. Visitors from around the country descend upon the Tampa area for multiple days to enjoy its local beaches, theme parks and restaurants. These patrons rely on the Outback Bowl’s website to access this information and plan their stays. The website is further taxed by an overwhelming influx of hits when the teams are announced and on game day. With 90% of its online traffic occurring over the three-month period leading up to the event, the reliability of its website is crucial.

Amplifying efficiencies with colocation

The Outback Bowl turned to Flexential to provide a powerful and scalable IT solution that could handle its fluctuating website requirements. Flexential experts worked closely with the Outback Bowl IT team to understand their unique needs and challenges to ensure the solution they developed could deliver on those expectations and demands.

By implementing the Flexential cloud, the Outback Bowl achieved the agility and elasticity to easily adapt its bandwidth capacity to accommodate the extreme variations in its website traffic and support a flawless visitor experience.

The Outback Bowl also leverages the Flexential Recovery Cloud providing disaster-recovery-as-a-service that replicates the environment to a secondary location.

“When the Outback Bowl announces who is going to be playing, people repeatedly refresh the site. Failure of that site is not an option,” said Steve Hasselbach, senior solutions architect at Flexential. “We run the Outback Bowl site in the Flexential cloud and in a high-availability scenario.”

The cloud solution enables the Outback Bowl to scale based on demand, therefore enabling the Outback Bowl to better manage its IT costs. Additionally, the Flexential cloud allows the Outback Bowl’s IT team to focus on business-driving initiatives by relieving them from the strains of maintaining and updating their environment. Available 24/7, Flexential cloud experts assist with issues and proactively manage and monitor the cloud environment to ensure consistent performance and availability.

With continuous data replication, critical information is constantly copied via the Flexential Recovery Cloud to ensure the Outback Bowl’s environment can be quickly and reliably recovered within minutes of an outage. The extended journaling feature provides greater precision in choosing a recovery point to minimize data loss. The Recovery Cloud also features on-demand, non-disruptive testing to bolster the integrity of the Outback Bowl’s recovery process.

Bowl game delivers a high-performing, reliable online experience for fans

The Flexential cloud and disaster recovery services have optimized the accessibility of the Outback Bowl’s website, ensuring visitors can access information about the game, local attractions, travel accommodations and more.

“We get one shot a year, as we say, to make it right,” said Mike Schulze, director of communications and sponsorships at Outback Bowl. “If we mess that up we have to wait another year or so before we get to touch that fan again.”

By offering a heightened level of dependability, flexibility and performance, Flexential enables the Outback Bowl to provide a seamless browsing experience for Outback Bowl’s website visitors. Further, with disaster recovery support, Flexential provides the Outback Bowl with peace of mind knowing its applications and data are safe and its online presence is “always on.”

“Knowing that Flexential has our back and is there for us to make sure that our critical infrastructure is in place during the times that we need it is critical to us,” said Schulze.