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[2009-07-27] Network Solutions Payment Processing Failure - huge credit card data breach

Web Application Design and Development

Web Applications are a rapidly growing segment of the application market because they provide a level of flexibility and availability that until recently had been unattainable. With the new found ability to make web applications available offline, the last limitation of the web application has been removed. There are many important aspects to consider when designing and developing a web application; target platform - this can be which browsers will be supported, and which operating systems (especially if the application makes use of architectures like Flash or AIR), but also which type of device the application will be accessible from (mobile phones, netbooks and sub-notebooks, or full laptops and desktops); target audience - is the web app designed to be used by highly technical staff, trained sales or customer relations staff, or by the general public; availability - how tolerant of downtime are the users or business processes that rely on the system; and finally scalability - how rapidly will the number of users, and the size of the data sets increase, and how will the application deal with the additional load. Having a team that has built the network infrastructure and web application architectures for large applications, and has experience with the issues of scaling web based applications, is imperative to the success of your project.

Web Application Analysis and Reporting

Once your application has been developed and it has started to grow, issues with scalability and redundancy can become apparent. These growing pains are not always obvious at design time and their solutions are not always found in the application it self. Our expert team of network engineers and server administrators, all with programming backgrounds, can analyze your application and its infrastructure to produce a report on how the architecture of the application and the infrastructure that supports it can be adjusted to allow the application to scale to your needs. Traditional database replication provides only a minor scaling benefit, and requires the application to switch between the master and the slaves depending on the type and sensitivity of the query. This is where more advanced techniques become necessary and the value of the experience of our team becomes obvious. Once your application has reached the point that the database is constantly buzzing with activity, it becomes impractical to lock that database to take a consistent backup, again this is a situation that requires a specialized approach that calls for experienced administrators.

Web Application Implementation and Deployment

The final stage of a web application's development is deploying it in a production environment. There are many complexities to be examined when building the underlying infrastructure that will support the application, these infrastructure elements can also be responsible for providing parts of the security and redundancy that the application relies upon. Many applications have run into the situation where it is not the application it self that cannot scale, but the supporting network framework that has reached its limit. While adding more hardware may temporarily solve the congestion, without having a properly engineered solution for your specific application, it will eventually run into the same limitations yet again. A proper network architecture designed by experienced engineers offers a much longer term solution, giving you peace of mind and keeping your users happy.

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