Project Overview

EnergyNow is an online energy news and data media service dedicated to providing essential up to-date information on the Canadian oil & gas industry. The website was running long before my involvement, and I was mainly brought on to oversee the devops portion of the site. My main responsibilities included providing regular maintenance and updates, implementing a scalable infrastructure and developing simple news bots to retrieve, parse and display news content from authorised third-party news sources.

Enhancing Website Performance

When I took over managing the website, there were a lot of performance issues due to an inadequate server setup. For instance during peak times (mostly weekday early mornings) there would be countless alerts received about the server red lining due to the thousands of concurrent visitors. This had been going on for months and months. It started to get worse and was ultimately affecting user experience . The few hundred visitors who got the site at first in the morning would have no issues but those that came after would experience lag in load times; sometimes the site would even crash. After gathering the metrics of the site performance and doing extensive research into proper server setups with load balancing and  leveraging CDNs I went inquiring various vendors to provide me with their possible solutions. One that stood out to me was Google Cloud Platform and how the setup was fairly simple. This whole process took about 4 months to implement and I can proudly say that all the performance issues have been dealt with.

Developing News Crawlers

The other important portion of the site that needed to be built was the aggregation of the news articles from authorized third-party sources. This whole process needed to be automated and optimized to minimize server load. I used bash, PHP CLI and Cron jobs to automate the process and deliver the articles in proper text format back to the site.

Other Accomplishments

  • I improved on the existing development process by leveraging better solutions from local development environment to staging and production with the help of a Continuous delivery system.
  • Provided technical advice to owners on the future expansions and improvements of the site.
  • Provided regular maintenance, backups, reports and security monitoring to website.

Disclosure: Completed under contract with biginteractive_logo

Technologies Used:

Bash Scripting
Google Cloud Platform