The inherited configuration
In this particular instance the server was a physical private ‘metal’ machine configured with WHM/cPanel and very few options to upgrade.
Although this made things easier for the previous developer, our system architects found this highly restrictive and difficult to customise without breaking WHM/cPanel.
Additionally this held back adoption of new development technologies as we waited for recent features to be implemented by cPanel.
As www.ironheart.co.uk grew in both complexity and customers the server began to slow down, especially during busy periods. During special sales it would be unable to support a relatively small number of customers eager to grab a bargain, the first 30 mins of sale time would be met with an unresponsive server and error pages leading to disappointed customers and potentially lost revenue.
Iron Heart pride themselves on offering excellent customer service and want each and every one of their customers to have an outstanding experience throughout the whole buying process, to let them down in this way was unacceptable.
As believers in not simply “throwing more hardware at the problem” we first ensured we were maximising every drop of performance from the existing server.
Once we had gone as far as we could to optimise the existing site code, implemented advanced caching routines, content delivery networks and database optimisation – there was no other choice but to increase server capacity.
Simply increasing capacity at the existing provider would also mean over provisioning and committing to a much higher monthly payment for a high specification server which is only required for a fraction of time.