Client case: Twenga
'We consume a total of 2000 Terabytes of data traffic per month'
Technical Director and co-founder of Twenga
- Dedicated Linux hosting
- Central location in Europe
- Good Internet connections
- Scale and growth potential
- Big Dell stocks
A dedicated, Linux-based hosting solution that uses LeaseWeb’s huge hosting network, with good connections via the world’s principal telecom carriers and Internet exchanges. The rapidly growing solution includes over 100 servers divided over several 19-inch racks at EvoSwitch, the CO2-neutral data center.
The hosting design was developed by Twenga’s engineers in collaboration with LeaseWeb. LeaseWeb supplies the server environment as well as the network infrastructure. LeaseWeb also provides 24x7 installation, management and knowledge-intensive support.
Twenga, a French Internet company, was looking for a hosting provider for its global product comparison site. The provider needed a certain scale and good Internet connections, which would be able to keep up with the company’s rapid growth. After comprehensive testing of the hosting network, Twenga teamed up with LeaseWeb.
Twenga is a global product comparison site that started up in 2006. The unbiased and comprehensive shopping search engine allows consumers to compare over 70 million products in 100,000 product categories on various e-commerce websites. At present, over 30,000 e-commerce websites are indexed by Twenga and their number is growing quickly. Twenga’s head office, with 70 employees, is based in Paris. The product comparison site has a presence in France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, Russia, Belgium, Switzerland and Brazil, with a growing number of localised websites in several languages.
ONLINE SHOPPING HOSTING
Twenga uses crawl and search technology developed in-house for the product comparison site. The crawler - called TwengaBot - collects product data from the e-commerce websites indexed by Twenga. Compared to many other product comparison sites, the search results are not influenced by commercial deals. As a result, Twenga offers consumers an objective shopping engine that allows them to compare products, prices, assessments and suppliers.
The number of visitors has been growing rapidly since the site started up in 2006. ‘We had more than 11 million unique visitors in March 2008,’ says Cédric Anes, Technical Director and co-founder of Twenga. "We expect to triple our Internet traffic within a year."
However, most of the Internet traffic is generated via Twenga’s crawler. "A good search engine that displays accurate results with the right products and prices needs a lot of capacity," says Anes. "At this moment the TwengaBot uses about 100 dedicated servers that together scan around 100 million web pages per day. But I expect to be needing at least 500 dedicated servers at the data center within two years." As a result, the Twenga crawler also needs a huge quantity of bandwidth. "We consume a total of 2000 Terabytes of data traffic per month. Three- quarters of that is generated by the crawler, but fortunately LeaseWeb operates a hosting network with a lot of bandwidth," laughs Anes.
Twenga wants to expand rapidly within Europe but also worldwide. The company recently launched a localised site in Brazil, for instance. This is why Twenga’s Management Board was looking for a hosting provider established in the Netherlands. "The Netherlands is centrally located from the geographical and the Internet perspective," says Anes. "Amsterdam is an important Internet node where the main telecom carriers come together. So we are very happy to have found a good hosting provider in the Netherlands."
LARGE HOSTING PROVIDER
The uptime of the hosting network is important to Twenga. "So we tested the connections in LeaseWeb’s network for about a month before signing up with them. We were impressed with the results," explains Anes. LeaseWeb is a large hosting provider, but Twenga also tested the networks of several smaller hosting providers before selecting LeaseWeb. "But we suffered a lot of spam attacks at those hosting providers," he adds. "The security of hosting networks is probably not monitored adequately everywhere. We do not have those problems with LeaseWeb at all."
CO2-NEUTRAL DATA CENTER
LeaseWeb has made 19-inch racks available to Twenga at EvoSwitch. The CO2-neutral data center can accommodate rapid growth. "Initially, our assessment primarily looked at the capacity and growth options of the hosting provider. But power consumption will become increasingly important to data centers. EvoSwitch goes one step further by being fully CO2-neutral. We appreciate that a lot."
Cédric Anes feels that Twenga has a good bond with LeaseWeb. "Our companies are comparable; we both grow extremely fast. I also like the fact that I have a permanent contact at LeaseWeb who needs just a few words to understand our wishes in relation to hosting products and services. If we want to add new servers quickly, the arrangements for that are rapidly made. If we want to make adjustments, they immediately get to work on that, as well. I am pleased that we can organise these things quickly and flexibly with each other."
The big quantity of servers that Twenga needs to crawl e-commerce websites makes virtualisation an interesting option. Hosting virtualisation will also facilitate the rapid growth of the company. "At this point our organisation does not possess a strong knowledge about virtualisation, but we are considering our options," says Anes. "We definitely also want to leverage LeaseWeb’s knowledge in the field of virtual hosting. LeaseWeb has a good relationship with VMware and I am very interested in the hosting solutions that LeaseWeb will be able to offer us in this respect in the future."