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Radiopaedia needed a new operations provider for their world-class site.

Radiopaedia signed up for reinteractive’s OpsCare® service for the peace of mind in knowing that their site was always up and functional. This 24/7 ongoing hosting and maintenance package ensures applications are fully supported, monitored and maintained on the server side. The client still maintains full access to the code base.

I've been really impressed with the OpsCare service reinteractive has offered to date, particularly in regard to the recent cutover from our previous supplier.
Assoc. Prof. Frank Gaillard, Founder and CEO, Radiopaedia

What We Did & How We Did It

About Radiopaedia: Radiopaedia is an extensive, open-edit radiology resource, compiled by radiologists and radiology residents/registrars and fellows from across the globe. Their site provides an indispensable learning resource for medical professionals internationally.

Founded in 2005 by Australian neuroradiologist, Associate Professor Frank Gaillard, it has since become a worldwide collaboration. It is the largest freely available radiology resource in the world with more than 32,000 patient cases and over 12,600 collaborative articles on radiology related topics.

Radiopaedia has become a key resource for sharing valuable information with developing nations, who face limited resources and skilled support.

The Challenge: Radiopaedia needed a new hosting/operations provider after their existing provider ceased servicing third-party applications following a merger. The founder and CEO of Radiopaedia, Assoc. Prof. Frank Gaillard, looked at several options. He needed more than a mere hosting provider; he needed a partner who would work along the same shared values for a collaborative solution. Providing not only responsive hosting, but also improving the functionality of the application, to deliver an even better resource for the world’s medical professionals.

Radiopaedia provides the following components for free:

  1. Articles: collaborative efforts to provide a single atomic page on any and all topics relevant to the practice of radiology.
  2. Cases: pages that present a case to the community. These belong to the contributing user although they can be viewed by the community and added to articles, tutorials or quizzes.

Also offered are video-on-demand courses for a modest fee, as well as live courses that can be attended in person. Online training courses are offered for free to 122 low to middle-income countries, ensuring there is no barrier to helping medical professionals stay up-to-date with needed continuing education.

I’ve been really impressed with the OpsCare service reinteractive has offered to date, particularly in regard to the recent cutover from our previous supplier. There seems to be excellent technical knowledge of both Ruby apps and of how it integrates with AWS services. Seeing the results of load testing, the subsequent tweaks to the server setup resulted in a painless cutover. We had a few hiccups, but the end result was that when we actually pulled the switch, it all went very smoothly. There was far less interruptions to service or downtime than I was expecting.
Assoc. Prof. Frank Gaillard, Founder and CEO

Moving to reinteractive

The challenge was to find a provider able to deliver top level managed hosting services for an image-rich website, allowing it to remain affordable and responsive while serving up to 4 million visitors a month.

First was the requirement to scale for large and unpredictable spikes of traffic. Whenever a new article or case is published, the site receives a high volume of visitors. These article releases can occur at any time, so the hosting solution has to manage a large volume of traffic, on demand, with no downtime or noticeable slowing. This is where AWS shines and is the perfect option for rapid scaling of server resources to provide a seamless experience for users.

The second priority was caching of assets. The site is image-heavy, with both videos and images an intrinsic feature. Their previous solution needed an overhaul to improve performance and reduce costs. reinteractive’s Ops engineers initially added Amazon Elastic File System (EFS), and further improved it with custom solutions under the reinteractive OpsCareⓇ service, which allowed for a shared cache between the multiple web instances on persistent and virtually infinite storage.

Third was cost control. Radiopaedia aims to make knowledge available for free, and that requires keeping costs low. By being able to match right-size EC2 instances to the workload, shut down unused capacity during periods of lower load, and rely on S3 as a persistent storage backend, the operational expenditure is kept affordable.

The support from the operations people at reinteractive has been outstanding and they have been a pleasure to work with. I would have no hesitation in recommending reinteractive for the standard Ops and CodeCare® packages.
Assoc. Prof. Frank Gaillard, Founder and CEO

Why OpsCare built on AWS?

reinteractive’s OpsCare® service for Ruby on Rails Apps, built on AWS, was designed to meet the demands of development clients for a complete service, from development of their app through to hosting and managing it, led by an experienced software partner they can trust.

OpsCare provides a fully managed hosting environment, while also allowing our clients to access their code at all times and to deploy updates and features 24/7 without our intervention. The package includes the set-up and maintenance of the infrastructure, the tooling and monitoring set-up, any development or updates necessary to ensure compatibility between the app and our infrastructure and pushing the managed stack live.

The OpsCare stack is unlike many other solutions by providing developers the tools they need for day-to-day tasks like deploying new features and keeping the app up-to-date while also guaranteeing uptime and automatic roll-backs for failed builds or deployments.

MONITORING & MANAGEMENT: OpsCare utilises AWS CloudFormation‎, AWS Lambda, AWS Key Management Service and Amazon CloudWatch extensively, with custom CloudWatch metrics. Clients can rest easy knowing that the OpsCare team wear the pagers and take care of the app and hosting. Clients can ask “hey, I need a new environment” and our team will get back to them with a done.

TOOLING: The OpsCare stack provides developers with a command line deployment tool for both staging and production environments. The tooling also prebakes all deployments, so production servers are not touched until the new environment is ready and rollbacks are simple (or even automatic for a failed build).

SECURITY: All critical security patches are applied to the application’s infrastructure by the OpsCare team, saving clients the worry of keeping up-to-date on the latest security threats.

UPTIME: OpsCare monitors the uptime of an application using popular industry monitoring tools including Pingdom, CloudWatch and VictorOps. If a site goes down, our team is immediately notified. The goal is for our team to be notified of a fault - and fix it - before it becomes the client’s problem.

We also set ourselves apart by having Ruby on Rails Developers in our Operations team - so they are able to find out why crashes occur and can ensure they get addressed rapidly.

LOAD: As part of OpsCare, we monitor the load on individual parts of the infrastructure; such as the load balancers, servers and database. Included in this are load times, speed of database operations and other performance areas. We monitor an application’s performance, using, an application Performance Profiling tool for Ruby applications, and receive alerts if there are any unexpected load increases.

Additionally, we take hourly snapshots of the database which allows it to be rolled back to an earlier state, should the need arise.

BACKUPS: A daily complete database backup, which is kept for 90 days and stored in an “offsite” AWS S3 bucket, is also available in the event of a catastrophic failure or malicious actor impacting production systems.

Finally, all set up is done through infrastructure-as-code, allowing us to offer rapid disaster recovery including a complete rebuild on demand.

OpsCare Service

OpsCare clients also have access to senior developers for code maintenance, upgrades and further development should they require it.

Radiopaedia’s OpsCare solution: Assoc. Prof. Gaillard found reinteractive’s OpsCare service attractive because of its Australian-based operations, which also meant the ability to protect their intellectual assets, afforded by Australian legislation.

From an operations point of view, the set up of reinteractive’s OpsCare stack was ideal and recommended by his former hosting/ops provider.

While OpsCare is a package, each application has unique requirements. For Radiopaedia, the following AWS tools were used to tailor their stack:

EC2 instances configured for auto-scaling on Cloud Watch metrics to accomodate for the irregular traffic pattern.

  • PostgreSQL AWS RDS Database
  • AWS ElastiCache Memcached Service
  • AWS ElastiCache Redis Service
  • Amazon Elastic File System
  • AWS S3 for file storage
  • AWS Simple Email Service
  • Route53 management of up to 10 domains
  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) and IAM Roles for access management.

Attention is now firmly concentrated on building out new features for the site achieving Radiopaedia’s mission to “create the best radiology reference the world has ever seen and to make it available for free, forever, for all.”

reinteractive redesigned and optimally rebuilt ‘REDII’ (Recognise Every Day), the bespoke Ruby on Rails application for employee recognition by Red Balloon.

The team at reinteractive redesigned and optimally rebuilt ‘REDII’, delivering the project on time and on budget; hosted on a scalable cloud infrastructure, delivering a further saving on running costs.

The difference with reinteractive is the talent pool - Mikel has captured the best talent in the country. The consultants are top resources; self motivated, passionate and upfront.
Simon Farrell, CTO, Redii

reinteractive Services

We build stable, well-tested software, built with Ruby on Rails and Javascript. reinteractive provides a complete solution from project scoping, to UX, design, web and mobile development, through to hosting and maintenance. All driven by our seamless, agile project management processes.

We are experts at large, complex and customised solutions. Bring us your ideas, wish list, integration problem or technical need and we will solve it.

AppWorkshop - Consultation & Project Scoping

We work hard to find the right digital solution for you. Through our AppWorkshop we work with you to identify opportunities and engage in expert planning for business-critical applications. The aim is to get your application delivered and operating as fast as possible, with the viewpoint of incrementally adding features as the site matures and grows.

Learn more about AppWorkshop - Consultation & Project Scoping

Our Guarantee to You

If you are not completely happy with the result of your bespoke development project when we are done, we will give you $10,000 worth of our development time, at no charge, to make it right.

Our OpsCare® and CodeCare® services also have their own simple one month refund and guarantee which you can read in our Terms of Use.

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