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Vote Compass rapidly launches load balanced cluster from Hibernation

In 2006 our Rotterdam based customer Hoppinger has developed the Kieskompas (Vote Compass) applicatie together with the Free University Amsterdam and the newspaper Trouw. Vote Compass is an online voting aid that is used by many people.

After answering a series of questions the application provides an insight in the opinion of the user versus the opinions of the different political parties. The solution is being deployed in an increasing number of elections. Vote Compass has now developed into an internationally popular application that has seen action from Sweden to Egypt.

For the upcoming Dutch parliamentary elections on the 12th of September a new version of the application has been deployed. This version of Vote Compass is getting a lot of attention from the different media and that is confirmed by the numbers. On the first day there they already clocked 70.000 visitors and this has subsequently increased to just below 300.000.

For every election an updated version of the software is deployed. To quickly create a load balanced cluster Hoppinger needs the previous cluster configuration in order to subsequently update it. On the other hand, the cluster only needs to be active a total of a couple of weeks a year so it is not efficient to keep the cluster online continuously.

Hibernation mode
The solution for this is our Hibernation option that allows inactive virtual servers to be stored for later use. The only cost is the cost of the harddisk storage. A VPS in Hibernation can be turned into a live virtual server extremely fast. The virtual servers for the Vote Compass were taken out of Hibernation late Tuesday afternoon and after a couple of minutes a heavy load balanced cluster was online. Then the application was brought up to date and the cluster settings where checked. The next day at 11:00 Vote Compass was comfortably launched and it has been performing extremely well trough the last busy days. Because of the Hibernation function and our daily contracts the cost of the plaform are very well controlled.

If need be, capacity can be added to the cluster quickly. This was needed at the time of the last French elections when Hoppinger and CloudVPS added application servers with lightning speed after the application got more visitors as expected.

Martijn Dragt, accountmanager at Hoppinger and responsible for the Vote Compass platform says:

"The CloudVPS infrastructuur is for us very effective for the hosting of Vote Compass. The Hibernation possibility saves our customer a lot of money while the flexible cloud plaform and custom advise are helping us to deal with usage peaks with ease."

Hoppinger - A Rotterdam internet bureau for strategy, webdesign, technique and optimalisatie, designs and builds websites with open source CMS's (Drupal, Wordpress) and web applications with open source frameworks (e.g. Symfony).

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