Race of Champions - The Visitors Are Coming.


Sagittarius every year handles the day to day operations for the Race Of Champions website and the Minute By Minute event management system. ROC like most event websites is a strange beast, the majority of the year it does very little traffic. But come event time, the level of traffic goes through the roof. As you might imagine the stress of having thousands of fans and racing professionals watching you is immense.

That said we have a long history of managing these types of site from our associations with Rizla Suzuki British Superbike and MotoGP teams, Harold Primat, and Liz Halliday among others.

The site is behind a dedicated redundant pair load balancer. This allows us to add in additional servers behind the scenes and nobody would notice. During most of the year the site runs off a single database and webserver. During the event the original server is used as a content management instance. The public are shown one of five newly created dedicated webservers.

Google Analytics and New Relic allow us to watch the load and performance in real time. The website itself is an Umbraco instance. Umbraco has been shown to perform well for these types of role. For instance it can handle 250,000 unique views per hour. It’s also been used for Redbull Stratos which was 22 million visits overall.

It was setup to use flexible load balancing which basically means we can run up a new server and not have to change the configuration of the site at all. You can find out more about it at this link

The assets on the website are run off a CDN and asset management system provided by Third Light.

We have in the past used systems like Akamai for asset caching but with Third Light, it takes care of the heavy lifting for us. In fact with a combination of GZIP compression, bundling (minification and compression of css/js), custom configuration of the .NET core among other things. We have achieved a performance rank of 85/100, the performance killers being external JavaScript such as sharing buttons and analytics scripts. So in fact the true performance rank of our system should be much higher.

The site is geared up to consider a half a second response for the html as its maximum. In reality we achieve a pretty much solid response of less than 200ms around 95% of the time. Looking at the real time stats at this moment 293 users are satisfied with site speed (98%), 5 tolerating and 1 frustrated.

Sucks to be that one guy huh! :-)

Today award-winning digital experience agency Sagittarius is proud to have been certified to ISO 27001 Information Security Management systems standard by business improvement company, BSI.

Leading brands demand first-class information security from their agency partners and the only real proof of this is achieving the ISO / IEC 27001 Certification. If you’re in sectors such as Financial Services, Healthcare, or even working with Government and Third Sector you’ll know that regulation and compliance are essential throughout your supply chain and that the top priority is guarding information and data.

Nick Towers, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Sagittarius said “We wanted to ensure that brands can come to us in the knowledge that we take data security, data protection and privacy very seriously. Our mantra is ‘remarkable’ and this applies to not just what we do but how we do it and ISO 27001 is an internationally recognised best practice framework for this. To achieve this in six months’ pay testimony to the hard work and commitment to security and privacy that prevails at Sagittarius and I’m very proud of the whole team who have made it their mission to exceed the high standards needed.”

Sagittarius wanted to meet the very highest standard and so decided to work with BSI whose mission is to ‘share knowledge, innovation and best practice to help people and organizations make excellence a habit’. 
Achieving ISO 27001 certification clearly demonstrates that the Information Security Management System at Sagittarius meets international best practice and demonstrates to our customers and partners that we handle information securely throughout the business. 

The agency accepted that by embracing the implementation process they were actively encouraging their team to delve into internal processes and rather than accepting these as ‘the norm’, firstly making sure they were all documented sufficiently. Then as part of that process, they challenged and questioned each process to pressure test validity and innovate and improve where necessary.  BSI then rigorously audited Sagittarius’ policies, processes, and approach to data security. Through the audit stages, BSI shared opportunities for improvement and have helped refine the Sagittarius InfoSec roadmap. 

Data is the most valuable asset any business can have and to achieve peak performance through a truly connected strategy and digital experience it’s imperative that data and information is shared with the agency partner. Trust plays a pivotal role and assurances of confidentiality can only be achieved through an ISO 27001 accredited organisation.
Initiatives like the GDPR have raised the bar on compliance and the associated fines for having gaps in governance leading to breaches are significant. At Sagittarius we operate a single source of truth using tools and systems such as Confluence and Jira to provide documentation quickly and accurately and this was complimented by the auditors. 

Nick goes on to say “We are delighted to create even more value for our clients and prioritise the things that matter to them and their customers. This ISO 27001 certification bolsters our class leading NPS score of 85 adding deeper quality to our services. It sets us apart from other agencies when brands are looking for a partner with deeper credentials. We wanted to take the next step and ensure that Information Security became baked into everyday processes and the way we function as a business. We set an ambitious timeline of achieving the ISO 27001 certification and to meet the highest possible standards through independent auditing and we’ve nailed it. We pride ourselves on ensuring the data of our clients, team and partners are handled in the most responsible manner.”

Gigi Robinson, Regional Product Manager – Information Security & Business Continuity, said: "Protecting information is becoming increasingly difficult for organizations. Achieving ISO 27001 demonstrates Sagittarius' commitment and proactive approach in ensuring their information management processes are robust, secure and resilient for the future. We are thrilled to have supported Sagittarius in achieving this certification which demonstrates to customers and suppliers an ability to handle information securely."

Additional Notes
ISO 27001 is an internationally recognized best practice framework for an information security management system (ISMS). Sagittarius has designed a set of adequate and proportionate security controls within the ISMS to help protect our internal and our clients’ information against cyber-attacks. We have used the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the NIS Regulation as part of our framework.  


Richard Brisley
Richard Brisley
Tech Lead
Richard is the longest standing member of the Sagittarius team, he works tirelessly to support the development and side-facing team with problem solving and pitches alike. His skills as a .NET programmer and database administrator have been paramount to the success of Sagittarius and our continued success. 

In 2016 and again in 2019 Richard was recognise in the BIMA 100 awards for his outstanding work in Tech, his passion for digital and his contribution to the industry. 

Richard Brisley

Richard Brisley

05 Jan 2016 - 5 minute read
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