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The largest migration process in the Polish Internet's history

NK successfully migrated all servers to the Telehouse.Poland’s facility. The process took 7 months and was one of the most advanced operations of that kind carried out to date on the Polish IT market. The migration did not cause any interruptions in the delivery of services offered by Nasza Klasa sp. z o.o.

Selection of the server room
Such a large-scale operation had to be thoroughly planned. The process started with the selection of the server room at the turn of September and October 2010. The NK’s IT people wanted to have the infrastructure maintained at a proven server room which could guarantee a high level of security and quality of services. The aspects considered when selecting the server room included: costs, safety, SLA for services (licence agreement), telecommunications neutrality, flexibility and reputation. Upon the analysis of options offered by the market, NK decided on making use of the service of the Telehouse.Poland’s facility owned by ATM.

Synthetic tests – how to ensure the operation of nk.pl during the migration?
The biggest challenge related to the migration was the assurance of an efficient operation of the nk.pl service. During the migration the portal was supported by two server rooms located at the distance of 300 km from each other (Poznań, Warszawa). In order to generate a single site of the portal’s website (e.g. the site of the user’s profile) multiple servers, such as databases or memcache servers (temporary User data in the server’s RAM memory), must communicate. Increasing the distance, and therefore the time of communication between the servers, might have caused the site too long to generate, which in turn could have led to the unavailability of nk.pl. Therefore, it was necessary to check which elements of the infrastructure had to be located in the same server room and could not be split during the migration process. It was also necessary to develop and test the method of data synchronisation in real time between the two distant server rooms. This knowledge was provided by synthetic tests which lasted from October 2010 until February 2011.

The NK infrastructure which had to be transported weighted 16 tons in total. Special trucks equipped with pneumatic suspension which provided additional amortisation during the ride on the Polish roads were selected for that purpose. The migration was supervised by 14 persons representing NK, under the management of Tomasz Białobrzeg, the company’s IT director. The disassembly phase started in late January. The physical migration of servers started in February. Not a single hard drive was damaged during the migration. Before and after the transport, each piece of equipment was tested before being re-installed. The implementation of new servers and disposal of the old infrastructure’s elements ended in May 2011.

”The migration of all servers hosting the live portal which is used daily by several million people is an unprecedented event on the Polish market. We managed to thoroughly plan and successfully complete the process. The service was continually available for Users, and the disassembly, transport and assembly of equipment did not cause any failures. In consequence, we have reduced the costs of maintenance of our infrastructure, our employees have gained an exceptional experience and the equipment is safe in one of the best server rooms in this part of Europe,” says Joanna Gajewska, the NK’s press officer.

”Nk.pl is one of the most popular sites on the Polish Internet and an unquestionable leader among social networking sites. We were fully committed both to the development of a special environment in our server room for that client and the entire support during the process of migrating the portal’s information and communications technology resources. We are ready to provide NK with a long-term availability of the colocation space, energy and fibre-optic lines,” says Maciej Klepacki, Marketing and Investor Relations Director of ATM S.A.

NK infrastructure in figures:

  • 1,292 servers processing even 20 Gb worth of data per second,
  • 100 km of cabling (a distance comparable to that between Warszawa and Płock),
  • energy consumption at the level of 180 MWh per month (comparable energy is consumed by 6 thousand refrigerators and up to 500 households).

Nk.pl (formerly Nasza-klasa.pl) is a leader in the market for social networking websites in Poland, performing the functions of a multi-layer communication platform. NK was founded by: Maciej Popowicz, Łukasz Adziński, Paweł Olchawa and Michał Bartoszkiewicz during the period of their studies. The portal has existed for 4 years and offers such tools as: profiles, photo galleries, comments, microblog, communicator, games, affinity groups or mobile applications. The regular Users of nk.pl amount to 13.5 million.

ATM S.A. is a public company operating in the information and communication technology industry, quoted at  the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Under the ATMAN brand the company provides for enterprises and other institutions telecommunications services based on its own fiber networks and data centers. Prime elements of ATM’s offer include: Internet access, broadband data transmission, colocation and hosting. The company provides telephony services and telecommunications outsourcing. Major consumers of the services are carriers, traditional media, Internet portals and enterprises from finance, manufacturing and retail market sectors.
The other companies of ATM S.A. capital group provide mainly services of ICT system integration and  specialize in designing and building data transmission networks combined with network monitoring and management systems, building data centers and complex information systems, development and implementation of application software.
More information at: www.atm.com.pl.

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