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! :-)

want to speak to one of our experts?

Richard Brisley
Richard Brisley
Technical 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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