Santa Cruz, CA
Customer since: January 2014
The Body Glove Mavericks Invitational, arguably the world’s biggest and baddest big wave surf contest held annually near Half Moon Bay, California, live streams the one-day event to millions of viewers worldwide. Dependent on wave conditions, the contest can kick off any time between November and March every year. The Mavericks Invitational team, competitors, partners and global audience get only 48 hours notice.
Hosted at mavericksinvitational.com, a WordPress site on a shared hosting environment, the Mavericks site typically gets about 10 requests per second. But on event day, the site sees spikes of more than 10,000 requests per second as surf fans all over the world descend on mavericksinvitational.com to watch the best big wave competitors battle 40-foot waves, track scores and wave updates and purchase Mavericks Invitational swag.
As a small engineering team working on a live event where performance is key and timing is critical.
The Mavericks Invitational team sought a simple, efficient way to scale mavericksinvitational.com for a massive traffic increase over a 7-hour period. They needed a CDN that could serve dynamic content with a quick and easy integration to enable cache purges and configuration changes at the edge. Since the contest can kick off at any time,they also needed a support team that could respond at a moment’s notice (in this case, exactly 46 hours).
“Support was superb. During the event, Fastly’s customer engineers were monitoring the site, making us aware of issues as they came up and either resolving them directly or working with us to resolve them quickly.”
“In setting up the configuration, it was pretty awesome that Peter [Fastly Customer Engineer] pretty much stayed up all night with me and my team to fix some pretty hairy problems since we’re hosted on a shared Wordpress install server.” Tony Rose, Consulting CTO
Mavericks Invitational utilized the Fastly Wordpress plugin to quickly and easily integrate their site with Fastly and take advantage of Instant Purge capabilities. They cached both static and dynamic content, including wave updates and sponsor logos.
Leveraging Fastly’s APIs and global network, the Mavericks Invitational team was able to make purge calls for critical content updates within milliseconds and deploy configuration changes to ensure that popular jQuery modules were being cached correctly within seconds.
They used Fastly’s Origin Shielding feature to prevent explosive request spikes from overloading their origin server and crippling the site. Fastly support worked closely with their tech team to help them quickly achieve scale and maintain optimal performance throughout the event.
Mavericksinvitational.com successfully handled approximately 1 million peak viewers during the 7-hour duration of the contest. Their origin was shielded from the increase in requests, which at one point during the event reached 10,000 RPS. Because they were able to cache almost everything on the page, both static and dynamic, they achieved an average cache hit rate of 99.9%.
Caching dynamic content and utilizing Fastly’s instant purge feature permitted them to make quick, crucial changes and keep viewers up-to-date on wave conditions. Throughout the event, Fastly’s cache servers maintained a sub-millisecond Time-To-First-Byte, delivering a snappy experience for site visitors.
“I don’t know another CDN that would’ve worked like that. Knowing that Fastly and the team had the online content under control, we could focus our attention on running this event, keeping it safe and taking care of the competitors in 40- to 50-foot waves.” Jeff Clark, Contest Director