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rackAID eliminates WhateverLife’s performance issues and cuts costs by 40%.

The Context

Web 2.0 applications, social networks and SaaS often start out as small projects. The key participants find they have many challenges. From creating code to finding funding, these startups have to work feverishly to keep the project moving forward. Then it happens. A media event, new partner or key investor tips the scales. The project is a success.

The team’s hard work is paying off, but the project’s IT infrastructure crumbles under the rapid growth. Service failures cripple productivity. Costs are on the rise. A critical decision emerges: Who can be trusted to manage the project’s IT infrastructure?

The Client


WhateverLife experienced these growth pains. Launched in 2005 by Ashley Qualls, WhateverLife is a creative outlet for teens and young adults. The site serves millions of files daily and has thousands of visitors every day. IT security, scalability and support are crucial to the site’s ongoing success.

The Problem

Like many projects, WhateverLife started as a hobby. As the site’s popularity grew, the founder turned to family and friends for help. In 2007, Ashley appeared on CNN, TheView and other media outlets. With this media blitz, the site’s activity exploded.

As the site grew, scalability issues emerged. Ashley’s team added more servers, but, slow performance and constant outages plagued the site. The increased hosting costs undermined the site’s profitability, and service problems drove users away.

Ashley realized her team excelled in content creation not IT infrastructure management. The team had done a great job in launching the site, but growing WhateverLife’s hosting infrastructure proved challenging. The site’s hosting provider offered little assistance in managing growth. As a result, WhateverLife had to find a new provider or be saddled with poor service reliability and ever increasing costs.

The Solution

rackAID began working with WhateverLife by performing a comprehensive assessment of their operations. The assessment revealed that the lack of internal IT management expertise resulted in poor utilization of IT resources. Additional hardware deployments failed to resolve core reliability and performance issues while continually increasing costs. To correct these issues, rackAID:

  • Optimized existing operations correcting mis-configured IT assets
  • Assisted the development team in identifying key areas for performance improvements
  • Developed a server migration plan to a new hosting infrastructure that would eliminate performance and reliability issues.

In addition, rackAID offered a comprehensive IT management plan and a disaster recovery solution, addressing two historically neglected areas.

The Results

Within days, rackAID corrected core configuration issues on the existing infrastructure. Performance gains were immediate, resulting in 20% increase in traffic. rackAID completed the IT infrastructure migration in three weeks with less than 15 minutes of downtime for the site. The results:

  • Increased site uptime to over 99.9% from less than 98%
  • 400% improvement in site speed
  • Simplified complicated network configurations
  • Simplified server configuration
  • Reduced costs by nearly 40%

The Benefits

With rackAID, WhateverLife’s development team could focus on what they do best. Within a few weeks of the migration, Whateverlife’s team pushed out a major site overhaul containing many long awaited features. This simply would not have been possible if they were struggling with IT infrastructure failures.

The IT infrastructure re-alignment resulted in nearly 40% reducing in hosting related fees while increasing capacity, improving performance and implementing disaster recovery. The new infrastructure cost-less, operates more reliability, and provides room for cost-effective growth.

In less than a month, WhateverLife was reaping the benefits that rackAID’s services deliver.

“Migrating to rackAID’s advanced hosting service has been the BEST business decision for WhateverLife. Nothing compares to the quick and committed service they offer. Their expertise allows us to focus on our expertise. The cost-savings are icing on the cake.” — Ashley Qualls, CEO