The French Tennis Federation (FFT) aims to promote tennis across France through support for tennis clubs, tournaments, and teams. Its website, www.fft.fr, provides useful information for members and the general public on how to find a local club, play in tournaments, move up in the rankings, and safely enjoy the sport throughout your life. The FFT also helps organise major international tournaments like the BNP Paribas Masters and French Open, hosting an online store and ticketing website. The ticketing website is flooded with traffic the first few days the tickets go on sale; some 95% of the seats are sold on the first day alone. But since it serves as the tournaments’ showcase to tennis fans around the world, the website must operate seamlessly with fast response times.
The FFT needed a system that could handle sharp spikes in website traffic during the first few days that tickets go on sale. Therefore it decided to host its static content on CDNetworks’ servers, to be sure that pages would load quickly for users anywhere in the world. This international aspect is vital since the French Open attracts numerous visitors from Russia, China, and the US. “Our content delivery network has to cover the entire planet, since the French Open is a favourite of tennis enthusiasts around the world.” said Franck Labat, Head of IT at FFT.
The FFT chose CDNetworks because of its solid reputation for effective, reliable service. And CDNetworks lived up to that reputation – the FFT’s websites haven’t had any bottlenecks since the content delivery network was set up.
To lighten the load on the FFT’s servers, static website content – such as the photos, java scripts, and PDFs on the FFT’s website and the script (which changes every year) and illustrations on the ticketing website – were migrated to CDNetworks’ content delivery network. This was done to ensure fast page load times for users anywhere in the world.
The FFT uses Drupal to manage its website content. But Drupal is perfectly compatible with CDNetworks’ system – the system’s settings and “time to live” just had to be configured so that the CDN looks for new content in Drupal at specified time intervals.
One of the main benefits for FFT’s IT department is that CDNetworks’ system is fully transparent. Once the CDN has been configured at the start of the season, they can simply sit back and let it run on its own. They just need to empty the cache before the tickets go on sale every year to test the latest version – and they’re good to go. The FFT is fully confident in CDNetworks’ capabilities, and is rest assured that tennis fans the world over can quickly get the tickets and information they need.