Client Case Study: Healthline
Industry: Healthcare Media
Mission: To be the most trusted ally to users in the pursuit of health and well being
Heathline Media is currently the biggest portfolio holder of health information websites. On a mission to be the most trusted ally to users in the pursuit of health and well being, Healthline has three different brands that cater to different user groups:
- Healthline.com, the company's primary website where users can find generic heatlh-related information
- MedicalNewsToday.com which is a more fact and science-based website that provides users with the latedt medical and health news.
- Greatist.com, an in vogue and informal website designed to target a slightly younger segment of the audience.
In 2016, Heathline Media bolstered its digital health reach to over 61 Million by acquiring MedicalNewsToday.com and sister website MediLexicon.
Shifting from Linode to AWS
In order to streamline and simplify the process of managing the cloud infrastructure for multiple websites, Heathline's plan was to consolidate all their cloud infrastructure belonging to different websites under a single umbrella - Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Pierre Grandin, the Lead Infrastructure Engineer at Healthline, shared that since the technical stack that MedicalNewsToday.com was running on was not something built by Healthline's team, the company's primary objective was to make the necessary changes to ensure that the stack fitted their approach from an infrastructure standpoint.
The challenge involved shifting Medical News Today's infrastructure from Linode to AWS without compromising user experience.
Healthline was also looking to change MedicalNewsToday's content distribution network (CDN). KeyCDN, the website's previous CDN was proving to be expensive. As a result, the company decided to opt for Amazon CloudFront which better suited their evolving needs.
"We take the issue of response time very seriously. We have to. Because the response times in various regions are paramount to maintaining our Google ranks.
So we absolutely had to make sure that this shift happens seamlessly and that we are getting performance at least equivalent to what we had with keyCDN. " Pierre Gradin
Having recognized TrackIt's expertise in AWS and specifically DevOps, Pierre and his team sought TrackIt's help to make the transition. The project involved shifting infrastructure from Linode to AWS, containerizing software, and upgrading the caching system.
Caching Layer with ElastiCache
Heathline and TrackIt encountered challenges with the caching architecture while working on the containerization. The previous caching layer that MedicalNewsToday.com had was pulling objects from the Content Management System (CMS), transforming them, and then storing them on each web server's local hard disk drives.
Data was loaded into local cache memory but it was essentially running on individual and isolated bare-metal servers. Despite performing adequately, scalability was limited.
"The challenge was that each and every web-server had to load these objects' memory. So performance was good, but scalability was bad. So instead we decided to switch to a Redis-based approach." Pierre Gradin
The new catching approach takes advantage of Amazon ElastiCache - an AWS version of Redis - and allows the Healthline team to push web page content to an S3 bucket.
The push action seamlessly triggers a lambda function that first transforms the data and then stores the result in Redis, making the data readily accessible by all containers.
TrackIt is an Amazon Web Services Advanced Consulting Partner specializing in cloud management, consulting, and software development solutions based in Marina del Rey, CA.
TrackIt specializes in Modern Software Development, DevOps, Infrastructure-As-Code, Serverless, CI/CD, and Containerization with specialized expertise in Media & Entertainment workflows, High-Performance Computing environments, and data storage.
TrackIt’s forté is cutting-edge software design with deep expertise in containerization, serverless architectures, and innovative pipeline development. The TrackIt team can help you architect, design, build and deploy a customized solution tailored to your exact requirements.
In addition to providing cloud management, consulting, and modern software development services, TrackIt also provides an open-source AWS cost management tool that allows users to optimize their costs and resources on AWS.
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