Webydo moves to scalable cloud with Google Cloud Platform

A community-led solution for professional, code-free website design, Webydo has more than 85,000 designers worldwide. With Webydo, designers can create responsive HTML websites. Webydo joined with Emind cloud architects to construct a scalable infrastructure with Google Cloud Platform to facilitate the growing number of websites created on the platform.

Challenges and Solutions

Challenge: Performance and user experience

The demand for Webydo services has grown exponentially, generating a need for a durable infrastructure to host and manage millions of websites. Designers who use Webydo upload rich media such as videos, images, animation, widgets and many other elements. Scaling for large capacity on-demand isn’t easy, especially when dealing with highly detailed, complex cloud environments. Migrating from the company’s VMWare-based private cloud to Google Cloud Platform lets the service perform at scale and according to demand.

Solution: Scalable architecture

Webydo’s Google Cloud Platform operations provide effortless scaling, ensuring that both designers and clients enjoy rapid desktop-like response times, with all of the added benefits of a cloud environment available from any screen, any time.

The Webydo system is deployed in a distributed architecture, making the most of the Cloud Platform infrastructure worldwide. Emind’s architects streamlined the architecture by decoupling layers that scale linearly, and creating stateless layers that auto-scale according to real-time demand. This loosened the bond between the Webydo sites and their underlying computing resources. Generating a dynamic configuration by integrating Nginx, Lua and Redis provides better server performance. Content was moved from internal storage arrays to Google Cloud Storage, which provides highly available and enhanced performance. The content is served through Nginx servers, which handle user requests, caching and other tiny business logic functions.

The newly integrated web server means that application forms can be submitted in a scalable fashion. Back-end queues are used for asynchronous processing of the application workflow, consisting of database storage and email notifications. Additionally, each application server uses an asynchronous uploading agent that publishes the website’s assets through the Google Cloud Storage API.

“Webydo’s new scalable deployment with Google Cloud Platform ensures that each website created by Webydo’s designer community benefits from the best performance in the industry, even as the platform continues growing from 100,000 websites to beyond 10 million websites,” says Shmulik Grizim, Webydo cofounder and CEO. “With Google Cloud Platform, Webydo’s designers are ready to conquer the market and shape a better web for us all.”

“With Google Cloud Platform, Webydo’s designers are ready to conquer the market and shape a better web for us all.”

Shmulik Grizim cofounder and CEO, Webydo

Challenge: Web-scale security

Attacks to the system can cause unplanned outages, so protection is crucial. A public mega-website, by nature, deals with great security risks, such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Specific measures must be taken to safeguard against security vulnerabilities. Moreover, data leakage must be prevented to maintain users’ privacy and avoid unauthorized transfer of the websites’ assets.

Solution: Transparency and comprehensive network protection

Emind ensures data security through a number of tactics. Visualizing the details of each environment greatly reduces leakage risks. This is done through a Nagios-based central monitoring system, which provides a visual, real-time map of the online operation. The system also contains a log server, which continuously analyzes access logs and generates anomaly-based alerts.

In addition, Google Compute Engine’s flexible firewall simplifies the creation of complex network configurations by tagging instances, routing rules or firewall rules. Emind’s experts use this out-of-the-box, private networking capability with a secure OpenVPN access server to produce an isolated, secure environment for Webydo within the public cloud.

“ Leveraging Google Cloud Platform’s great scalability and flexibility, our experts migrated the Webydo environment in a matter of weeks.”

Lahav SavirCEO, Emind

Challenge: Business Continuity

Designers depend on the Webydo platform to build their businesses. This mission-critical aspect of the web service must be reliable and available at all times. Maintaining and enhancing existing disaster recovery (DR) mechanisms is essential, as is creating a robust backup strategy for the rapidly growing data and digital assets.

Solution: High availability and continuous monitoring

Disaster recovery and backup

Emind set up a number of failsafe actions to ensure that Webydo’s system remains up and running and isn’t affected by hardships. First, by leveraging the Google Cloud Platform’s global presence, the system is deployed across two regions, preventing failures. The Windows-based application servers and website services are balanced across zones, and the web and application servers are set to active/active mode. Also, the system uses the Google Cloud Platform VM Instance Migration feature for seamless migration or to restart a degraded performance instance.

For additional safety, Emind periodically backs up the Redis cluster and MSSQL databases to Google Cloud Storage. The data is then spread over multiple regions, which complements Webydo’s globally distributed content. The system also uses Google Cloud Platform’s Object Versioning, which archives data used to protect against accidental deletions or salvage older versions of data.

Challenge: Strict cost controls

Webydo’s migration from a private-cloud VMWare environment to the infinite, on-demand cloud alters the IT-operations cost models. The cost advantages of the public cloud can be maximized if properly controlled.

Solution: Continuing costs optimization and control

Emind’s architects planned the capacity and cost analysis of the cloud-based deployments with the help of Webydo’s estimated demand prediction. The outcome was a fixed plan and forecast based on the proven cost savings of the architectural changes, which was far less than the private-cloud-hosted annual cost forecast. Emind’s use of Google Cloud Platform provided the constant transparency that the Webydo team needed to ensure that capacity meets demand at all times.

The new scalable architecture also lets the team easily relocate workloads from Windows to Linux-based platforms, which are far more economical in the cloud. The data from the storage hardware was then transferred to Google Cloud Storage. The storage migration delivered immediate cost savings. It is important to note that performance wasn’t affected during the entire process.

Benefits

Partnering with Emind enhanced Webydo’s operations and scalability through Google Cloud Platform. As a result, Webydo’s online platform is more robust, secure, efficient and scalable than ever before.

The old co-located environment lacked the scalability to handle the large amount of web form submissions. Dividing the system into layers generated a simpler environment that facilitates total management. In addition, the new deployment enables global distribution of services as well as such comprehensive features as the innovative DDoS protection.

Webydo expects to save approximately 84 percent on their current storage costs. Moving the storage, network and compute workloads from the co-location-based VMWare environment to the Google Cloud Platform reduced inclusive annual costs by 37 percent. Having no upfront investment makes the cloud even more attractive and suitable for a fast-growing company. With complete transparency and automatic handling of demand, the platform can cope with extreme growth, satisfying Webydo’s rapidly expanding designer community and their clients.

“Emind’s cloud architects worked with Google and Webydo to find the optimal and most efficient road to the cloud,” says Lahav Savir, Emind CEO. “Leveraging Google Cloud Platform’s great scalability and flexibility, our experts migrated the Webydo environment in a matter of weeks, while maintaining efficiency, scalability and performance that a great online platform such as Webydo requires.”

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