Hosting the 2011 BRIT AWARDS website

As the 2011 Brit Awards comes to a close I found myself reflecting on another exciting and successful year for the ceremony as a whole but also for us as their managed hosting partner.

This is the second year DediPower have hosted the Brit Awards but for the awards themselves it was a year of firsts. It was the first time the ceremony was held at the O2 Arena, the first time the riot police were called in (twice) and the first time in recent memory that the lifetime achievement award was dropped.

Tinie Tempah and Plan B both gave great performances and went home with awards, while Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling pipped the more obvious pop choices (Take That and Katy Perry) to take home the award for British album and best female solo artist respectively.

For us this year’s site has been significantly harder to host due to the much more dynamic nature of the website design and the huge increase in traffic caused by the new online voting for three categories which lead to a very similar traffic profile to a ddos attack when Mr. J Bieber and friends started posting links to their millions of followers on Facebook and Twitter. I saw 12,000 likes in 30 minutes on one post in particular which lead to a peak of ~100 connections per second to the dynamic backend.

Utilising our Content Delivery Network (CDN) for the image hosting also made for interesting viewing as our dashboard shows hits in real-time on an overlay of the globe painting a great picture of how truly global the audience for the Brits has become.

I am pleased to say the site coped well during the run up and vote period and remained online throughout the evening on show night, all in all the infrastructure we put together coped very well with a difficult traffic volume and profile.

Till next year…

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