What they needed
Al Jazeera’s blog site was a stable but growing Drupal project until protests in Tunisia and Egypt caused a huge increase in traffic. A Drupal installation on a server with no performance related tuning suddenly needed to stay up under huge increases traffic, as Al Jazeera’s audience tried to keep up with rapidly unfolding events.
How we helped
Working under the requirement that the site not be down for more than 5 minutes at a time, Four Kitchens’ web chefs worked through the night to upgrade the Drupal installation to Pressflow, install the Varnish reverse proxy cache, and do what MySQL tuning could be done without incurring the downtime of dumping and recovering the database.
The Al Jazeera blogs site remained up through a week of rapidly unfolding events and record traffic. A successful transition to hosting better suited to the long term traffic could then be arranged.