The new proposed architecture that can be used to deploy the company’s website has been shown above. According to the figure it can be seen that the web-server has been hosted internally behind the company firewalls. Similarly, database servers will also be hosted internally. Though, a backup of the database server will be stored on a third party data center. The line in a dotted form shows that the data base server will be connected to database objects only at the time of disaster or at times when back-up is required. So, this kind of setup is a hybrid kind of architecture, where in both external (third party) servers are used and internal servers are used (one for mainstream usage and other for emergencies and disasters).
Also, the web server that will be used will be IIS (Windows), Operating system – Windows, Database- MySQL.
The reason for choosing this combination of operating system, webserver and database is that Windows based technologies have a good support system and a better customer service than other open source alternates.
Justification of the proposed system architecture:
The system architecture makes the best of both the worlds. It provides the system robustness with third party backups. These backups can be put to use when internal hosting collapses due to some or the other reason. Also, customized firewalls and server ownership can be enjoyed by the company because of internal hosting of webserver and database servers.
Discussion of alternatives:
For implementing the concerned website project, following alternatives could have been considered for system architecture:
1) Hosting webservers and data servers could have been put on a third party data-center. This can reduce the overhead of maintenance and security. But, is doesn’t give the company, a sense of total ownership over the information system infrastructure.
2) Hosting the webserver internally and data servers externally. This could have helped in deploying more information security (because dataserver was hosted in an external, guaranteed environment). But, it would have provided a higher response time resulting in bad customer experience.
3) The third alternative is the one which has been selected. It deploys both webservers and database servers internally. But, a backup has been maintained externally. This helps the company in gaining full control over the website system. But, at the times of disasters, an external backup can be deployed. Therefore, this architecture provides the best of all the alternatives.
In times of disaster following steps can be taken to cause no or minimal downtime:
1) The database objects should be connected to the backup data base server (external), as shown in the figure (by dotted lines).
2) Connection strings should be changed to the new database server.
3) Services should be resumed from the backup data base.
Transition to new architecture:
The transition from the current external hosting to an internal hosting (with the mentioned architecture) should be implemented with minimal downtime. Therefore, the transition can be done by following these steps:
1) Deploy the web application with ecommerce capabilities on the IIS webserver over windows operating system.
2) Create the schema and establish a MySQL database on the data servers.
3) Once the schema is created, dump a copy of live data from the already existing external hosting to the internal data servers.
4) Testing of internal system should be done and other security, firewall related features should be configured.
5) Internal hosting should be put live.
The whole process of designing, implementing and evaluating website system architecture can be broken down into the following tasks. Note that these tasks also contain some additional