Parliamentary elections: an exciting time for journalists, a challenge for television broadcasters’ IT departments. All across the country, news desks provide minute-by-minute coverage of the reactions of politicians, parties and ordinary people to the election results. With live reports from campaign headquarters, voter interviews from Flensburg to Berchtesgaden, and initial projections at 6 pm, news organizations have to run like well-oiled machines. Breakdowns are unacceptable. That also goes for the website operated by the rbb public broadcasting corporation, which visitors tend to flood on election days or during breaking news events. In the past, bottlenecks used to bedevil rbb’s online presence. The servers and leased line just couldn’t handle the onslaught of visitors.
Add servers and bandwidth or move to the cloud? For rbb, the answer was clear: it embraced the cloud. Today, the broadcaster uses scalable IT resources from the Open Telekom Cloud, Deutsche Telekom’s public cloud service. The benefits are hard to beat: on-demand access to computing resources in the cloud. If website hits spike, the cloud automatically activates additional resources to absorb the deluge of traffic. Once visitor numbers normalize again, the add-on computing resources are deactivated. That means rbb doesn’t have to maintain costly servers for the occasional surge of visitors, but only pays for what it uses. The Open Telekom Cloud also satisfies Germany’s strict data security and data protection requirements – a must-have for rbb.
A webcache holds copies of rbb’s ten most important news sites: from rbb Online to Inforadio and Kulturradio all the way to Antenne Brandenburg or Radio Fritz. Every ten seconds, the system updates the cached copies. All Internet requests end up here. The webcache in the Open Telekom Cloud acts as a kind of shock absorber for excess traffic. That helps keep rbb’s websites online all the time, even during breaking news. The broadcaster only has to pay for outgoing data traffic and the computing and storage resources that it actually consumes. Even rbb’s page for “Little Sandman” bedtime stories is now hosted in the cloud, accessible to millions of families throughout Germany – so the Little Sandman never has to go to bed early.