Web Infrastructure Features

How do you build a campus website for high performance, available to all, meeting basic and advanced needs?

A problem of scale. CU-Boulder receives:

  • 4,000,000 visitors each month
  • 30,000,000 web page views each month
  • and that's just the main university homepage
  • to say nothing of the over 600 other web servers on campus

Answer: a continuum of Web Resources:

  • Available services from top level custom sites to a common good environment, to a custome application for hosting for all, built on...
  • an underlying extensible continuum of technical services
  • Separate each service into unique pieces
  • Use stand alone servers for each piece

F5: Web Traffic Management

"steers web page requests to the correct underlying services

Examples: http://www.colorado.edu (sends to the new Drupal website)
http://www.colorado.edu/parking (sends to the orginal website on the legacy


Varnish Web Caching

Holds often used content in ready reserve

Improves web page performance by storing images and other media in fast RAM memory instead of slow disk


Web services Drupal

Provides a pre-made very flexible framework for building websites and systems of web services

Manages web content as users request pages (from "itself" or digs deeper into content)


MemCache database caching

Drupal makes heavy use of a database for managing content

MemCache caches database requests to let Drupal obtain content and render web pages faster


MySQL database

Stores Drupal configurations and content


An army of servers

The new www.colorado.edu web infrastructure will begin with a total of 15 separate servers

High performance (fast page loads)

High availability: the larger number of servers provided redundancy. A failure of any one server (or part of a server)should not bring the website down

Army of servers

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