Monday, January 9, 2012

Sharepoint 2010 as a Mission Critical System

Qasim Mehmood
Technical Manager, Portals and Collaboration
AAJ Technologies / Accelerating Business Performance

I was involved in an interesting problem in major public utility sector in US (electricity and gas). They faced huge accessibility and serviceability issues during the Hurricane Irene (earthquake and flood) in mid-2011.

This Client (Electricity Company) is using SharePoint 2010 as internet portal to general public and users can come and see different services like, bills, outage information, news, etc.

Client faced unanticipated traffic during Hurricane Irene. Site was unable to scale the magnitude of traffic effectively, creating substantial problems for the end users and business. Around 20 percent registered and 80 percent anonymous users visit the site and number of users keeps on increasing. Mobile users significantly increased during the current years as well so that is also a big factor.

Client now wishes to substantially increase their target peak traffic volume for the site to avoid such incidents in the future. Their infrastructure is scaled for 100K parallel users and daily 0.5 million users. During the Hurricane and Irene 4+ millions users visited the site every day with 200K parallel users and due to unanticipated traffic all infrastructure and servers were down or not responding well.

Different companies proposed different solutions like add 50 to 100 more front end servers which will increase huge infrastructure like administration and resources. Solution cost proposed in millions and client doesn’t want to put that much money for situations that may occur only once in 5 years, hence the huge infrastructure useless and sit idle in case of no disaster or emergency.

Proposed Solution

AAJ is specialized in solution design and proposed this dynamic solution which fits according to their need. It will cost them very minimal and it gives them an opportunity to redesign whole Organization Application Strategy for end users according to new mobile, iPhone and Tablets usage trends.

Solution Architecture Diagram

Proposed Solution has major 4 areas which need to address:

1. Mobile and Tablet Strategy
Understand Mobile user’s pattern and Develop iPhone and Tablet applications so users don’t need to visit website and application can serve their needs on their phones or tablets.

Dedicated applications for Tablet/iPhone apps devices to ensure that around 50 percent of the web user that prefers to visit website through their handheld have the access of the services they want but this doesn’t choke off the resources resulting any access problem for other users.

2. Disaster Response Application Engine
In emergency and disaster’s situation Disaster response application engine will take proactive actions like:
• Send News letters to registered users.
• SMS alerts for flood, Earthquake, outage and other emergency situations.

3. Users Management
There is a need to have separate service mechanism for registered and anonymous users. 20% registered users and 80% anonymous users are visiting the site.

4. On Demand Cloud Solution
With the current dedicated servers there will be backup on demand proprietary on demand cloud servers always ready to serve as the dedicated servers whenever required.
On demand cloud server’s solution will be scheduled and deployed in minutes to work only ‘when required’ and they will go down automatically ‘when not needed anymore’. Scaling your cloud servers is much simpler than ever; you can add RAM, Disk Space and Bandwidth, instantly without any delay.
To maintain the current state cloud server will be updated every 3 months which will ensure that when their service is required the data available on them is recent.

Cost Saving

All these solution areas involved minimal investment and strategy redesign in compare to adding 50 to 100 Servers in infrastructure. Cloud servers are used when they are required and you only pay for the time you have used them. This flexibility allows your system (website) to create and destroy servers as needed, and only pay for the time you need.

In this model you will just have to pay for the cost of service and not the hardware which may or may not be required.

AAJ Technologies Overview

AAJ Technologies ( is an IT systems integrator and solution provider focused on accelerating business performance for customers. We are a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and IBM Advanced Partner headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Our core services include:

• Business Intelligence (BI) and Dashboards
• Systems Integration and Business Process Automation
• Portals, Collaboration and Workflow (SharePoint 2010)
• Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
• eCommerce, CRM, B2B, and EDI
• Private and Hybrid Cloud Computing and Integration
• Custom Application Development
• Legacy Migration and Modernization
• Mobile Workforce, Fleet and Incident Management
• Enterprise Portfolio/Project Planning

AAJ Technologies;
Office 954-689-3984

Follow AAJ

Accelerating Business Performance


  1. Nice seeing this case study. Proportional expansion and the flexibility to scale out properly are some of the important attributes of an architecture design. Hope we will see more experiences shared here.

    Thank you.