RTBF.be

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"Our architecture is both higher performing and more agile thanks to MariaDB's expertise and support" - Thierry M., Operations Manager

High performance content management with MariaDB

RTBF.be: a Belgian multi-channel public broadcasting company

RTBF is Belgium’s public broadcasting company for the French community. The group was rebranded RTBF.be in 2010 to emphasize its interactive web portal as a central part of its services. Since then, RTBF.be has been in constant development to meet steady growth of usage and content as well as new requirements on the services. RTBF’s web portal features streaming video from five radio stations, audio from three TV-stations, interactive webcasts and hundreds of articles.

Challenge: Cost efficiently accommodate increased usage

RTBF works within a tight budget which was especially strained after the economic crisis in 2008. Out of RTBF’s 316 million euro budget, 70% is state funded and 30% comes from commercials - both vulnerable to the economic crisis. Cost efficiency is one of the clear benefits of choosing an open source database like MySQL® or MariaDB.

The multi-channel content management system by RTBF.be running MySQL had difficulties in accommodating increases in data flow and traffic. Improving performance was challenging due to RTBF’s architecture - the service needs access to the MySQL database and the search server Sphinx.

The management of RTBF.be decided to consult MariaDB to audit and improve the system. MariaDB optimised the configuration and then analysed the MySQL requests. Performa gains were immediate, though the analysis showed that rewriting a large number of requests was essential. However, given the complexity of some requests, rewriting would prove to be too time intensive and costly. A new solution was required.

Solution: High performing MariaDB and time efficient migration

To solve RTBF’s challenges, MariaDB's team worked closely with RTBF.be and implemented the solution and substantial benefits in just six days. An essential part of the solution was to migrate their entire Web infrastructure from MySQL to MariaDB 5.5.

Unlike MySQL, MariaDB has a native integration with Sphinx and doesn’t require any re-compilation of the source code. This simplifies queries, and avoids the tiresome rewriting phase; in the same way that MariaDB enables optimizing certain requests on the fly, without even rewriting.

In addition, MariaDB gives RTBF.be all of the benefits of 64-bit architecture by offering higher performance with better response times utilizing faster queries, content insertions and replication, as well as lower resource usage (CPU and disk) used by the server. This decrease in resource usage helps reduce hardware costs, as well as RTBF.be’s energy footprint. Moreover, it offers users a more flexible application, allowing for greater responsiveness in the information processing chain.

After the success of the project, RTBF.be’s project team has chosen to use MariaDB consultancy on a regular basis to ensure optimal operation of the system, and to execute the primary updates and improvements.

"The thorough understanding of the RTBF.be environment overall by MariaDB's team was a decisive factor in making them a close partner. The choice to migrate our MySQL databases to MariaDB was made together with MariaDB's consultant, who provided their support during the project’s implementation. Their support and expertise allowed us to benefit from architecture that is both more agile and higher performing. These capacities are essential for a multi-channel medium such as RTBF," said Thierry M., Operations Manager at RTBF.be.