Mega festivals like Rock in Rio, Lollapalooza, or sports events such as the World Cup, Olympics, Copa Libertadores, or NBA share two characteristics: they evoke strong emotions and significantly increase online traffic, whether on digital streaming or ticket sales platforms.
For example, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar was followed by 5 billion users through various online platforms and devices across the media landscape, while the Super Bowl LVI had at least 99 million viewers.
In these moments, the performance, security, and scalability of your web applications are put to the test. Therefore, ensuring a smooth user experience, scalable and performant IT infrastructure with ultra-low latency, and protection against cybersecurity threats is a challenge for DevOps teams working behind the scenes of streaming platforms and companies sponsoring events.
Fortunately, today we have forth effective tools to ensure the reliability demanded by these contexts.
In this blog post, we present two solutions that, together, provide all the necessary tools to keep your applications performant and resilient even in the most challenging moments.
Load Balancer: distribute workloads for uninterrupted operations
Load balancing is a method of distributing network traffic among different servers and backend resources. By rerouting traffic, the load balancer maximizes performance and prevents server overloads.
There are various types of load balancers on the market; similarly, the levels of flexibility also vary among them. Flexibility here translates into the most efficient balancing method for your servers, which defines how the load will be distributed among the sources.
Azion's Load Balancer, for example, uses a set of distribution algorithms for proper load balancing for each scenario, composed of: IP Hash, Least Connections, and Round-Robin.
IP Hash is an algorithm that tracks user IP addresses and associates a specific origin to each one, so their requests are always directed to the same origin server, creating a constant assignment between origin and end device.
The Least Connections method monitors active connections on the origins in order to redirect the next request to the one with the fewest active connections at that moment.
As consecutive requests stop being redirected to slow origins and are handled by faster servers instead, the performance improves substantially.
Round-Robin is an algorithm that ensures a uniform distribution of traffic among rotating origins, without taking into account the response time of each origin, focusing on the number of requests.
Each origin receives a load proportional to the weight assigned to it in scaling parameters, resulting in consistent balancing even if some of the origins are slow or accumulate many parallel connections.
The characteristics of the load balancing algorithms listed above bring to light how flexibility can be crucial, as different situations require specific approaches, which organizations need to have at their disposal.
Application Acceleration: Improve Performance and User Experience
Complementing load balancing, Azion’s Application Acceleration has the ability to expand caching possibilities.
To this end, Application Acceleration enables protocol optimization in the transmission and application layers, which can be extended to applications and APIs, and also:
- Build advanced rules in the Rules Engine for request and response stages.
- Customize cache policies for dynamic content.
- Configure TTL (time to live) of cached data with values less than 60 seconds.
- Support and cache HTTP methods for edge applications.
The Advanced Cache Key function enables the creation of microcache rules (a method that speeds up the caching of dynamic content for shorter periods of time) based on cookies or query strings.
If necessary, you can use both options simultaneously to define the content segmentation of your applications. In addition, you can enable new options and configurations in the Rules Engine to customize business rules in your applications.
Load Balancer and Application Acceleration: The Ideal Combination for Faster, More Resilient Web Applications
The contrast between cases of canceled shows due to the ticket sales system breakdown and audience successes highlights the importance of resilience for web applications.
In a Black Friday landscape, for example, any interruption or minute of lower performance impacts revenue and drives traffic to competitor sites. And one way to prepare for these big events is to combine the functionalities of Load Balancer with Application Acceleration.
Load balancers distribute workloads closer to end users, ensuring that servers operate at maximum performance. Meanwhile, optimizations made via Application Acceleration reduce latency and Core Web Vitals metrics, such as Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and First Input Delay (FID).
Discover How Omelete Streamed a Global Event Without Interruptions for 150 Hours
Annually, Omelete, one of the largest geek culture websites in Brazil, hosts the CCXP (Comic Con Experience), the biggest pop culture event on the planet. In 2020, for the first time, CCXP went 100% digital.
Like the large events mentioned so far, CCXP involved complex challenges, such as delivering live content with high-definition videos to 193 countries over 150 uninterrupted hours.
To achieve this, Omelete configured its applications on Azion’s Edge Computing Platform with various cache rules via Application Acceleration, which were also applied to its APIs, and redirection without code construction.
Beyond 100% availability, Omelete provided a user experience 15 times better with the content delivery of CCXP Worlds, with over 10 TB of images loaded on the edge.
If you want to know more about how Azion can help manage traffic peaks and accelerate your applications during your events, get in touch with our experts right now.
 Fifa apresenta balanço sobre Copa do Mundo do Catar e apresenta novidades (G1) |  By 2026, could U.S. viewership of the World Cup exceed the Super Bowl? (San Diego Union Tribune) |  CCXP (Omelete&Co)