The Harlem Globetrotters (HGT) are a legendary exhibition basketball team, known globally for their one-of-a-kind family entertainment and great basketball skills for the past 93 years. With more than 26,000 exhibition games in 122 countries and multiple world tours under their belt, the team combines athleticism, theater, and comedy in their style.
When the global superstars came to us looking for a strategic partner to help drive greater value, impact, and [scalable] experiences for their company and customers, we were excited to put our cloud expertise to work.
Our experience told us that the main challenge for a seasonally-driven, tour-based company like the Harlem Globetrotters is being able to efficiently expand and shrink their infrastructure as needed.
With HGT’s normal North American tour running from December to April, we knew there would be massive spikes and dips in the infrastructure needed to handle variances in web traffic between their peak tour dates and off-season.
With the intent of identifying opportunities for cost savings while increasing speed, reliability, and user experience, we collaborated with HGT’s internal technology team and dove into a systems audit of their infrastructure, technology stack, resource requirements and internal pain points.
In completing our audit, we found massive spikes and dips in HGT’s online traffic, based largely around HGT’s overall seasonal tours, individual city and state performances, and presence in the media as they continued to master world-record breaking stunts (you know, the usual).
As a result of our cloud audit, we knew HGT needed an agile infrastructure behind its application that could effortlessly scale up to handle high loads and scale down afterward - in real-time. We aligned with HGT as a strategic cloud partner, in effect migrating their infrastructure from Acquia to the Atlas Cloud.
In understanding HGT’s needs, Atlas Networks developed an ideal solution by creating an autonomous AWS environment that ensures web applications always have the right resources at the right time. To guarantee consistency, we chose to implement AWS’s Auto Scaling and Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) technology that creates new servers when required, and sheds them when they are no longer necessary- ensuring the site is always operating in alignment with its current, real-time needs. The platform utilizes highly customized provisioning scripts with CloudFormation and CodeDeploy, providing HGT with a flexible platform designed to support their evolving needs.
During peak traffic periods, when HGT’s servers were consuming more than 60% of their resources (CPU/Memory), its application stack would automatically scale up to distribute the load, effectively reducing the impact on each individual server - meeting demand without sacrificing performance. “Whether we’re hitting high engagement peaks or regular traffic in the offseason, the Atlas Cloud gives us the level of real-time elasticity that we need. The Atlas Cloud gives us the flexibility to explore new markets with very little risk, because we only pay for the resources we use.”