Film site reduces upgrade times from days to minutes

Kinopoisk (http://www.kinopoisk.ru/), a Russian film website similar to IMDb, needed to implement a new server infrastructure that would simplify maintenance and scale to meet its future requirements. After testing a range of server technologies, the company chose to introduce 15 servers based on Ubuntu Server Edition. As a result, it has reduced the time it takes to perform upgrades from days to 15 minutes. It can also deploy and set up new servers more quickly, and has greater confidence that it has a server infrastructure on which it can depend.

Business challenge

As large websites grow in popularity, users must be able to continue to access the information they need around the clock – regardless of increasing traffic. If a website goes down, it can lose out on valuable repeat visits.

Russian film-search site Kinopoisk provides users with film news, trailers, reviews, cinema listings, movie charts and a channel for buying DVDs and posters. With over 100 million views per month, the website must be able to support more than 20 terabytes of traffic each month without crashing.

Ihalainen Nickolay, System Administrator, Kinopoisk, says: “The number of people visiting the Kinopoisk site continues to increase apace. We need to ensure that our technology infrastructure can scale to meet the needs of our fast-expanding user base.”

The company had experimented with different server technologies including Red Hat, Gentoo and Solaris. But it found that it couldn’t perform updates as quickly and efficiently as it needed to. It wanted to implement a new server infrastructure that was easy to deploy and quick to upgrade.

The Ubuntu Server solution

Kinopoisk decided to deploy 15 servers based on Ubuntu Server Edition. The servers run the company’s common workloads, such as email and file and print, as well as its business-critical web servers.

Nickolay says: “We implemented the new server infrastructure in less than three days. It was simple to install and set up. And we were able to write and run our own programming interfaces on Ubuntu very easily.

“Ubuntu Server Edition is much easier to manage than the other server platforms we’ve worked with. We don’t have to waste time performing manual upgrades, and improved reliability and availability give us confidence that our systems will stay up-and-running without interruption.”

Results

Upgrade times reduced from days to minutes

Having experienced a range of difficulties performing upgrades in the past, the Ubuntu Server solution has cut the time the company spends on systems maintenance from days to minutes.

Nickolay says : “The simplicity of Ubuntu Server Edition is particularly impressive. It’s much easier to install and deploy new servers with Ubuntu, and we’ve made dramatic savings in the time it takes us to perform vital upgrades. Upgrades in Gentoo could take us several days to complete. With Ubuntu, the same job takes us around 15 minutes.”

Frequent updates provide peace of mind

With upgrades taking days to complete in the past, Kinopoisk spent too much time worrying about the integrity of its server platform. With free updates as standard with Ubuntu Server Edition, the company can be confident that its new server infrastructure will stay up-to-date, secure and supported.

Nickolay says: “The Ubuntu Server solution gives us peace of mind that our server infrastructure will always be up-to-date. We receive frequent updates and can upgrade to each new release every six months. With a more reliable infrastructure in place, we have greater confidence that users will be able to find the information they’re looking for on our website 24/7.”