Business continuity for 24-hour operations
Server farms can be upgraded without interruption
13th June 2012, Global eGaming company bet365, has upgraded its data network to include Cisco Nexus® switching and, with it, Overlay Transport Virtualisation (OTV) technology. OTV will be used to help deliver the increased resilience needed to safeguard the company’s round-the-clock online services.
Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV) on the Nexus® 7000 is an industry-first technology that significantly simplifies extending Layer 2 applications across distributed datacentres. Users can now deploy Data Center Interconnect (DCI) between sites without changing or reconfiguring their existing network design.
The upgrade to OTV means that bet365 can have geographical separation of its operations, with server clusters split across more than one site. This helps ensure service continuity to its millions of customers and makes future upgrades possible without down-time.
OTV users can also deploy virtual computing resources and clusters across geographically distributed datacentres, delivering transparent workload mobility, business resiliency and superior computing resource efficiencies.
“The use of OTV complements our recent investment in a dedicated national fibre network. The exceptionally low latency network is fully exploited by OTV allowing us to have database cluster nodes housed in different locations, to upgrade and update them (and the interconnecting network) all in near real-time without service interruption,” said Neil Selby, Head of Networks and Security, bet365. “For instance, we could have half our servers in Manchester and half in Stoke, and as far as the network is concerned, they are in the same building.”
To help ensure continued service, even in the event of failure or catastrophe, the company has four separate datacentres, located at Stoke-on-Trent, Manchester, Heathrow and the City of London, with key computer equipment replicated against failure and capable of switching services and traffic between centres.
bet365 has lots of very acute peaks in traffic flow and, unlike some other businesses, is not able to smooth the traffic out through commercial incentives – bet365 has to deal with it as it happens. In a typical day, bet365 may have traffic averaging 1 - 2 gigabytes per second, but with regular peaks in excess of 10 gigabytes per second in microbursts typically caused by sporting activity.
“Our primary driver is to guarantee the best possible service to customers. Any new technology must cope with the real-time nature of the traffic, give us resilience, and the ability to scale in a more linear way and to scale across multiple sites,” said Selby.
bet365 specialises in In-Play sports betting, which enables users to bet on the outcome of events that take place while a sport is in progress, for example, the next point in a tennis match or the next corner in a football game.
The company has over 7 million registered users who place bets directly, through their PC or smartphone, on the bet365 website, at www.bet365.com. Up to the moment information and betting odds on more than 20,000 sporting events have to be published in near real-time to audiences of potentially millions of concurrent users.
“Our continued investment in our network (dedicated fibre WAN and Cisco Nexus switching) has given us the ability to fully leverage all of our UK sites to delivering both resilience and scalability. The addition of OTV furthers our commitment to offering the highest level of service to our customers,” said Selby.
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bet365 is a world leading eGaming company and a driving force in the development of Enterprise and Internet technology. Established in 2001 from a portakabin in Stoke-on-Trent, bet365 has grown into a global operation that employs over 1,700 people, is live in 17 languages and delivers an unrivalled online experience to over 7 million customers worldwide. Giving its development teams the freedom to innovate is key to bet365’s success. The company has worked hard to cultivate a culture of innovation where good ideas and a techno-entrepreneurial attitude are encouraged and rewarded. Today bet365 continues to push technological boundaries and break new ground in software innovation.
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