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Case Study: The Spiral. European transmedia project powered by Drupal, Node.js and MongoDB

Knowledge level: 
Intermediate
Track: 
Sitebuilding
Language: 
English

In September 2012 the participative TV series The Spiral was broadcasted simultaneously in 8 European countries. The viewers of the TV series were requested to join the main characters in their search for 6 stolen paintings.
On the website www.thespiral.eu we introduced an online game and community focused on the creation of a collaborative work of art. By adding user generated content into the TV series, the online story became part of the fiction; making The Spiral a pioneer transmedia project.

This challenging project required a very specific approach and architecture that would offer high availability and could handle spike traffic. Next to that we required a technology that could handle the requirements of online gaming and community building. We found the combination of Drupal, Node.js and MongoDB to be a perfect match for this.
The website was delivered by PKA Wanabe (Emakina Group).

Cloud to the rescue? How I learned to stop worrying and love the cloud

Knowledge level: 
Intermediate
Track: 
Coding and Development
Language: 
English

As cloud based systems get cheaper and more robust, how can we take best advantage of them?

Our site, Demotix.com, needed to upgrade servers and storage. We were faced with an interesting problem: lots of files from all over the world. How best to serve, store and process them using several web servers without breaking the bank, performance or our site?

Our problem was split into two parts. Servers and Storage. For servers we assessed a few providers (Amazon and Rackspace). For storage we looked at NFS, Mountable block level storage (EBS), API based storage/CDN (S3, CloudFiles) and GlusterFS.

What the talk will cover :
- Our approach, research and conclusions on the servers / storage issue.
- Our testing of the above
- What worked and what you can copy to make your site faster and more scaleable.

What it will not cover :
- Software scaling : Varnish / Memcache / APC - etc, thats a whole talk on its own.
- Server setup (we use puppet btw).
- DB / SQL optimization etc.

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