Case Study: Movember Scales to Meet Global Demand with a Little Help from New Relic

Q: What’s the connection between mustaches and the fight against cancer?
A: The worldwide Movember movement.

Movember logoDuring November each year, more than one million men around the world grow mustaches in support of Movember — a non-profit organization that raises awareness for men’s health issues. Known as Mo Bros, participants start the month clean-shaven and spend the next 30 days growing, grooming and trimming their mustaches.

The Movember Foundation ran its first month-long fundraiser in Australia. And each year since, the campaign has expanded out further and further. In 2012, Movember runs official campaigns in 21 countries and maintains localized websites in multiple languages. Additionally, individuals living in any country without an official presence can organize a grassroots effort to participate in the campaign.

Gearing Up for the Month of Movember
For Movember’s IT team, the majority of their challenges arise from the seasonality of the traffic to their websites. In November 2011, Movember.com attracted more that 100 million page views and as many as 15,000 concurrent users. Those numbers are expected to jump dramatically in 2012. “We’re anticipating about 160 million page views this November and we’re hoping to push 30,000 concurrent visitors,” says CTO David Smith. “The peaks at the beginning for the month can be a little bit scary. In order to support those spikes in usage, we need to sustain an infrastructure that’s the equivalent of running a $10 billion eCommerce platform.”

For nine months out of the year, Movember’s massive infrastructure is on standby. That’s why the organization decided to deploy a managed private scale solution provided by Bulletproof Networks and also on the Amazon cloud. “We’re a nonprofit,” adds David, “so any cost ratios are extremely important to us. We work closely with technology partners who believe in what we’re doing, and who help us operate as efficiently as possible, often at reduced rates.”

Partnering for a Purpose
Movember began using New Relic in 2010. “In terms of features and usability, it’s clearly the best thing out there,” David says. “And I love the fact that when we approached New Relic in 2010 they immediately said, ‘You guys are one of our favorite charities. Let’s find a way to make this work.’ That really sealed the deal, because it’s very important that our technology partners are clearly in line with our mission and goals.”

Movember relies on New Relic throughout its annual testing phase to see how the site is responding under simulated load. “I’d much rather be proactive than reactive,” he says. “New Relic helps me do that because it shows me the data as the data unfolds. And if something is failing, the software lets us know right away. We evaluate the site both from a functional testing perspective and from a capacity testing perspective. We look for trends and anomalies. And New Relic is right at the forefront of that process.”

As the Movember movement swings in to high gear, New Relic helps the organization’s websites keep humming along and their users focused on growing the best ‘stache possible. “If people are having trouble registering or donating they may leave and not come back later,” says David. “New Relic helps keep Movember.com running at full steam all month long. More uptime means more registrations and donations. More donations mean that we can fund more research and men’s health initiatives. And that’s truly a win-win.”

Join the Movember Movement
Want to speed up your website and support life-saving research at the same time? Deploy New Relic during the month of Movember and we’ll donate $10 to the cause in your name. Find out more at newrelic.com/movember.

leigh@newrelic.com'

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