Scalability in Cloud Computing: Tackling Explosive Growth

Growth is the primary goal of every business, but what happens when a company experiences more of it than they can actually handle all at once? This quickly became an overwhelming challenge for Participate (formerly VIF International Education).

The non-profit organization builds global education programs, ranging from professional development and curriculum to language immersion and cultural exchanges. The organization experienced a whopping 500 percent boost in user growth in the course of one year, but the infrastructure couldn’t handle such a demand. The organization’s intense growth also came with overwhelming bandwidth issues and capacity limitations that weakened the platform’s reliability.

They had to quickly act to handle rapid growth and ensure 99.5 percent uptime without burdening IT with additional maintenance.

Participate turned to VMware for an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution to provide a reliable and consistent user experience to its global community of teachers and students. IT gained the agility and scalability they needed to meet the organization’s needs for sustained growth. The solution also improved the user experience for teachers and customers.

“The site is just phenomenally faster,” says Mark Haney, the organization’s senior systems engineer. “That not only makes life easier for us, it makes the user experience better for our teachers.”

And high availability means less for IT to worry about.

“I don’t have to worry about a hard drive failing,” he says. “I don’t have to worry about a power outage. I don’t always have to be available 24/7. When I started here, the Learning Center server was going down every couple of days, often late at night. Now that those systems are running in the cloud, they’re about as stable as they can get. I have more time to focus on other things.”

To continue supporting growth, IT sees the potential of using the cloud computing solution for developers. In the video below, learn more about IT’s decision and the impact of the cloud on teachers and students.