Payal Tandon
Co-founder, e-GMAT
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I am Payal, Co-Founder of e-GMAT.
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e-GMAT upgraded to Next-Generation fault tolerant Infrastructure

A 4 min read

Over the last year, the traffic on has more than doubled. In August alone, our students consumed more than 5 million minutes of video content, solved more than 1 million questions on our quizzing platforms, and created their personalized study plans using GMAT planner more than 10,000 times. Overall, we served over 60 TB of traffic from our servers in August 2018.

We have been humbled by this growth and accordingly have not only re-engineered but also upgraded our platform to ensure that you (our students) are able to study without interruptions. Below are the details of the upgrade:

  1. Re-engineered core applications to work in a redundant fault tolerant architecture.
  2. Architected secure delivery of video content using Content Delivery Networks.
  3. Upgraded hardware to take on 20X Surge and 5X baseline traffic.

1.     Every Major application within e-GMAT Platform

Your e-GMAT platform is a combination of 6 different applications – each of which is custom designed from scratch to deliver the most personalized learning to you. The six different platforms are:

  1. Our Public Website
  2. Our core LMS that includes HTML5 and MP4 video delivery engine.
  3. Fixed Quizzing Platform
  4. Custom Quizzing Platform – Scholaranium
  5. Shopping Cart
  6. Blogs

Applications #1 to #4 have been designed from grounds up by the e-GMAT team. The shopping cart (#5) and the Blogs (#6) are built upon corresponding open source projects. Each of these applications integrates with our identity management solution to ensure that you get uninterrupted access through a single login. The entire set up is very similar to that of google apps where with one single identity, you enjoy multiple services such as Gmail, google drive, google docs, YouTube etc.

2.     Architecting key Platforms to be redundant and fault tolerant

Over the last two months, we have re-engineered our core LMS as well as our quizzing platform to support a fault tolerant architecture. This means that we have multiple simultaneous servers running each application behind a load balancer. Each of these servers has also been upgraded to handle twice as much load as its predecessor.

The load balancer has been designed and tested for hot failover. This means that in the event that one of the servers degrades, the other server would transition the users without their quizzes being impacted. Your work will not get impacted, your quizzes will continue to work, and your lessons will work as if nothing happened.  This works even if one of the servers degrades over a span of 60 seconds.

“Your work will not get impacted, your quizzes will continue to work, and your lessons will work as if nothing has happened. This works even if one of the servers degrades over a span of 60 seconds.” – Abhinav Puri – CTO e-GMAT

3.     Capable of handling 20X Surge, 5X baseline traffic

In our internal testing, this hardware infrastructure was able to handle 10X our regular traffic without breaking a sweat for a period of 30 minutes.  Similarly, we were able to perform long-term load tests with 5X our traffic.

While some may call this investment excessive, we believe you deserve to study with a peace of mind that your study platform has been designed to be fault tolerant and is highly scalable.

4.     Upgrades without any downtime

At e-GMAT, we spend at least 2500 hours every month on enhancing our products and building technology. In the past, doing an update required a small downtime (15 minutes), which meant that we added updates once a quarter.

With this new fault-tolerant architecture, we have added the ability to add these enhancements in real-time as they are released by our QA team without impacting your learning. As a result, you will now see more frequent updates to both, content as well as our technology platform.

5.     CDN delivers fast Video everywhere

While e-GMAT videos (HTML5 of MP4) were always designed to be efficient, they are now housed in a content delivery network that uses geographically co-located servers to deliver these videos. This ensures that we offer the same level of experience whether you are in New York or in New Delhi.

6.     Change may come with minor disruptions

While we have tested these systems internally, change always brings some unforeseen challenges. Hence, while these upgrades will lead to a faster and rock-solid e-GMAT, small disruptions may occur over the next few days. We thank you for your understanding regarding the same.

In the end, we want to say that your emails, comments, and feedback continue to motivate us. Thank you for being an e-GMATer!!

The e-GMAT Customer Success Team!!


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