/ Case studies / So Foot

How did virtualisation help accommodate spikes in online traffic throughout the football World Cup?

OVH and So Foot


HTTP request per second


visitors per day


13 million
records hosted

The background

In anticipation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, So Foot projected its daily traffic to exceed 1 million page views by 500,000 unique visitors. The infrastructure supporting all digital content had thus far been hosted on a single dedicated server. To accommodate the anticipated spikes, So Foot needed to implement a more robust and scalable infrastructure. SYSADMIN BADASS, the service provider, created a scalable and highly available cloud solution, which was then deployed on OVH’s infrastructure.

The challenge

So Foot’s executive team had little confidence the existing infrastructure could reliably handle the anticipated traffic spikes, and there wasn’t time to rewrite the application’s code. This meant the cloud solution had to be implemented on an application that was built to run on a single machine.

“The infrastructure handled the load from the first to last day of the World Cup.”
Nicolas Capeyron, Manager, SYSADMIN BADASS

The solution

Utilising OVH’s infrastructure, SYSADMIN BADASS architected a highly available configuration comprised of Public Cloud instances billed by the hour and deployed within minutes. This flexibility enabled So Foot to control costs while meeting user demand.

To efficiently route HTTP requests, an OVH IP Load Balancer was implemented at the top of the infrastructure to redirect requests to two OVH Dedicated Servers configured with HAProxy. Eight web servers — specifically, three OVH machines and five Public Cloud instances — were deployed to absorb the anticipated traffic. Additional machines were easily deployed when needed.

The website’s database of 13 million records and the back-office server used by 40 journalists worldwide were managed and hosted on OVH Dedicated Servers. To ensure reliability, the entire infrastructure was monitored by Munin and installed on a high-availability VPS Cloud. The database and the site’s static web content were backed-up and stored by OVH Backup Storage.

The result

Visits to SoFoot.com grew by 300 percent during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and the website remained 100 percent available. As a result, So Foot permanently adopted the solution deployed at OVH. SYSADMIN BADASS is testing the automatic deployment of additional instances to give So Foot a completely elastic and entirely self-managed infrastructure. In addition, So Foot has plans to launch an e-commerce website with the OVH PrestaShop Software as a Service solution.

SoFoot.com’s infrastructure won the OVH 2014 Infrastructure Award in the Cloud Project category at the 2014 OVH Summit.

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