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TOBB Digital Content Management Platform

Oct 22, 2009

After sponsoring my diploma thesis project, TOBB also accepted me for '09 summer internship program. During this summer program, I was given the task to design a server cluster to serve ~5000 requests per second for their new digital content management platform (which was actually based on Joomla CMS). After doing a throughout requirements analysis, I proposed the load balancing cluster depicted on the image to the right. The rest of this article describes the details of this project in a very brief form. If you like, you can download the full project report below (in .pdf format), and get the full insight into the project design, development, and deployment process:

Obviously, the first order of business after requirements analysis, was to come up with proper cluster architecture and hardware. As two IP load-balancing routers were already available, it would be needed to decide on exact processing power and memory needed for serving an astonishing number of requests per second. If you like, you can read about the measurement methodologies used to calculate the actual GFLOPS of processing power needed, but the final decision was to use 20 server nodes each with quad-core processors with 8 GB of memory. There is also the networking side of the equation, which is too verbose to present here, but you can find the full details in the given project report.

Cluster server node configuration

As the server nodes are custom designed, so is the server cabinet. Using SolidWorks ’09, I did design the server cabinet so that it would be quite durable while not so heavy and perfectly well air-conditioned. As Ankara is a city flourishing with adequate metal working industry, it would be very easy to realize the 3D design of the cabinet within only days. Below is overall plan for the cabinet. Yet again, you can find the drawings for each sub-component in the full report.

Server cluster rack design (with SolidWorks)

Putting it all together, with network infrastructure in place as dealt in the report, crates a perfect server cluster for server up to 5000 hits per second on TOBB’s new digital content management platform. Below is the finished server cluster positioned inside its new cabinet, ready to serve.

As you can see to the right, there is the theme skeleton to be used with the newly implemented content management system software. Combined with the mighty server cluster, this new system is meant to serve as future platform to build upon. On my side of things, designing the whole hardware (including designing the cluster cabinets), network and implementing them within a summer was a huge success, considering that I could not get any outside help during the project life cycle. I hope that this new system will serve its purpose well and provides the company (even though non-profit) with something to be proud of.