Ancestry handles 75M searches daily with hyper-scale IT infrastructure
“It’s a critical part of our business process that the network be highly available.”
VP of IT at Ancestry.com
Like a family tree, Ancestry.com has many branches. It has grown from its roots as a genealogical publishing company to become the world’s largest online resource for family history, with more than 16 billion vital records and localized web site presences in North America, Australia and throughout Europe.
As it has developed, Ancestry.com has embraced innovation and the opportunity to explore new frontiers related to its mission to help people discover and share their family’s past. In 2012, for example, it launched its AncestryDNA testing service that helps users decode their genetic ethnicity and find additional family connections. Now, it’s looking to help members shape family futures, too, with sites like AncestryHealth. Currently in beta, AncestryHealth helps users trace medical histories along family lines to be better informed about possible risks, so that they can take positive actions to reduce them.
With so much going on, it is more than fitting that Ancestry.com sees itself as “a hyperscale web company,” according to VP of IT Deal Daly. It needs largescale infrastructure to support its huge customer base – more than 2 million subscribers across all of its websites – and the tremendous amount of content that they search and retrieve, he says. On average, more than 75 million searches are handled by Ancestry.com servers daily.
- Increased application and network performance
- Increased network agility/reliability
- Sustained expanding geographic footprint
- Reduced network service/management costs
Network evolution for a growing company
As Ancestry.com’s reach and services have expanded, its office footprint has grown, as well. In addition to the 1,000 employees it hosts at its Provo, Utah headquarters, the company also has marketing, data, infrastructure and development teams in offices in San Francisco, Silver Springs, London, Dublin, Sydney, Munich and Stockholm. All of them need highly available computing resources for collaborative activities – and so too will the staff members that will be coming onboard at more upcoming Ancestry.com locations around the world.
Is it any wonder that Daly has had to adapt Ancestry.com’s global network to keep pace with its consistent growth over the last few years? In search of an agile networking solution that could scale with Ancestry.com’s expanding geographic footprint and increasing processing needs, Daly made the decision to deploy a customized managed hybrid network from Masergy for all of the company’s sites across the globe.
“We had built in lots of point-to-point circuits and redundant circuits for protection of each individual site, relying on large carriers,” Daly says. “But over time that became slightly unwieldy. We wanted a different type of solution.”
Masergy’s MPLS fully-meshed private IP network service makes it possible for Ancestry.com offices to experience any-to-any connectivity featuring top application performance in a secure, scalable and easy-to-manage environment, characterized by six levels of site-to-site QoS. With its Intelligent Connectivity, Ancestry.com can run unlimited complex virtual network services over a single attachment circuit at no additional cost. Softwaredefined network control brings full visibility to and command over everything from bandwidth levels to port size.
“Masergy’s managed hybrid network solution is a more scalable, more adaptable network for us that works well for our employees and our sites,” says Daly. Critically, it’s more highly available than the previous approach taken by Ancestry.com.
A real partnership
With Masergy’s managed network solution and its unparalleled technical support, Ancestry.com’s network is agile; configurations and site locations can be changed as needed. And Ancestry.com sees almost no downtime at all, Daly says. “Failovers are completely transparent, so we have not had any outages.”
Indeed, the support that Masergy provides for its global network service has been hugely valuable in identifying circuit problems before Ancestry.com even is aware of it, Daly says. “With Masergy, the network is much more dynamic and real-time,” he adds. “That brings a lot to the table.”
Masergy’s vigilance over Ancestry.com’s network is essential considering just how many business-critical applications and processes run on the MPLS network. They encompass everything from Ancestry.com’s VoIP and messaging systems to its large-scale image data manufacturing applications. In the latter case, the company receives images from its customers who want to add these pictures to their family trees and it also purchases pictures from third parties. These are then indexed and become part of its researchable product.
“They have to be transported across the MPLS network from site to site and eventually get to our data center, where they then sit in our repository that our customers rely on,” says Daly. “So it is a critical part of our business process that the network be highly available.”
Taking the leap
Daly doesn’t deny it can be challenging for companies to consider evolving their traditional WAN environment to a modern network architecture, whether due to cost considerations or performance demands. But he’s convinced that it’s a journey worth taking – and one that should start with IT execs giving their teams the responsibility of investigating and identifying potential solutions. That’s what he did with his own networking staffers. Ultimately, Daly chose Masergy from among the options his staff presented based on Masergy having the best all-around package including: implementation, technology, cost, and service levels.
“I would advise corporate leaders and their staff to explore new options. The act of investigating other technologies and service providers is invigorating,” he says. “Be open to accepting the challenge, to allow your staff to be innovative and help drive the transformation in their own businesses.”
SD-WAN? We're here to answer all of your questions.
Call us now to arrange a consultation (866) 588-5885.
Or arrange for a consultation through our request form.
Dole protects global food quality with high-performance SD-network
Dole made global operations more reliable while reducing WAN costs by 45%. Read the full story.
BroadPath creates a radically different IT platform for work from home
BroadPath began optimizing contact centers for remote work long before it was popular. See how they deliver a highly reliable WFH business model.
IMC Companies provide supply chain transparency with technology built on a high-performance network
See how IMC uses Masergy to enable up-to-the-minute transparency into the precise movements of international container shipments.
Property management company gains cloud stability and IT productivity
Taking a cloud-first approach that would preserve service quality, this company bundled SD-WAN with collaboration and direct cloud connections.
Healthcare: How providers transform with help from Masergy
With telemedicine and more medical devices, healthcare IT is under more pressure. Here’s how healthcare companies use Masergy to enable digital care.
SD-WAN prepares healthcare provider for spikes in telemedicine
When telemedicine usage spiked to 100%, their network didn't even hiccup. Learn how this healthcare provider treats patients with 5x more bandwidth.
Smart manufacturing: How companies transform with help from Masergy
Smart manufacturing can be a complex IT paradigm shift. Here’s how three manufacturers use Masergy to move from concept to reality.
Legal firms build trust and service efficiencies with Masergy
Built on their reputations, legal firms must meet the demands of their digital clients. Here’s how several firms use Masergy to digitally transform.
ChoiceTel strengthens competitive SD-WAN opportunities and customer experience
ChoiceTel turned to Masergy for superior SD-WAN customer service and more business opportunities. Here’s how ChoiceTel describes the partnership.
Pentima expands sales reach to large, global enterprises with Managed SD-WAN
Wanting to target larger clients, Pentima knew their network offerings would need to evolve in key ways. Learn how Managed SD-WAN opened new doors.
The autonomous enterprise: Building your digital vision
Masergy's CTO, Chris MacFarland, teaches you how to reach the milestone of true autonomy. This article originally appeared in Forbes.
Moving to a virtual workforce? Four requirements and one key success factor
As a company that organizations around the world rely on for remote work solutions, Masergy shares these tips for building a work-from-home network.
Weber-Stephen lays the groundwork for digital transformation
For Weber-Stephen Products, whetting the appetite of BBQ lovers requires one key ingredient: innovation. Learn how an IT refresh supported security and cloud migration while keeping the IT team focused on digital advancements.
Teknion leverages SD-WAN to become an IoT disruptor
How Teknion has become a disruptive force in the furniture industry is a story of digital transformation. Explore how the CIO worked with Masergy to build an agile network, accelerate cloud migration, and empower IoT.
Protera wins with IT flexibility and unrivaled network connectivity
Learn how IT outsourcing provider Protera integrated Masergy’s connectivity services into its own solution offering, enabling its SAP-centric clients to seamlessly access applications, no matter where they reside--public, private cloud, or traditional data centers.
Ingenico increases bandwidth by 30% and cuts costs by 40%
Ingenico needed a partner that would enable their cloud-first strategy. Explore how Masergy’s Managed SD-WAN increased bandwidth by 30 percent while also decreasing costs.
PRGX offers new analytics services with a software-defined network
When financial service provider PRGX needed a global network to support a big data analytics service across 30 countries, they turned to Masergy’s software defined platform. Hear how they process nearly 8 petabytes of data significantly faster.
Amgen accelerates biotech production connecting 64 sites in 7 months — start to finish
Amgen relies on Masergy for reliable network services. Learn how their infrastructure provides seamless connections backed by visibility, analytics, and 100% service availability.
HOP enables M&A strategy and cuts IT support costs by 60%
When network downtime started spurring 20 help calls per day, HOP Energy turned to Masergy for a solution. See how fully-managed hybrid networking reduces costs by 60 percent, proactively addressing bottlenecks and ensuring redundancy.
Hudson makes commercial mortgage and real estate services seamless across the globe
After a painful experience with a Tier-1 carrier’s MPLS service, commercial mortgage servicer Hudson Advisors needed a remedy. Hear how Masergy resolved their network and application performance problems with reliable connectivity for its global footprint.
Wabtec advances transit innovation with global IT agility
When Wabtec’s network was struggling to keep pace with the demands of modernization in the railroad industry, executives asked Masergy for help. See how software defined networking digitally transformed their legacy system with agility and high performance.
Cornell delivers virtual classroom experiences without disruptions
Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School has a popular distance-learning program that requires flawless video conferencing. See how Masergy made the grade with a high-performance network, 24-7 support, and streamlined HD video on a pure IP/MPLS platform.
Continuum transforms design consultations with video collaboration anywhere anytime
Globally-recognized design firm Continuum needed to connect professionals around the globe with video conferencing. See how Masergy’s network delivered a video service plane for exceptional quality of service that keeps employees focused on business.
Hamilton backs international investment services with flawless video communications
Private equity firm Hamilton Lane needed a next-generation global network that could seamlessly connect its headquarters, data center and branch offices. Understand the Masergy network architecture and features that supports the company’s voice, video, and data needs.