A Federal agency required a web-accessible multimedia database containing photos and text for millions of individuals, including links to facial recognition software. The previous contractor had 50 weeks on the project. David was contacted two weeks before the project was due for very public launch. Key challenges included:
- High Risk: Developing a complete application in 14 days from partial pseudo code, no test plans, and shifting requirements;
- High Scale: Scaling effectively from hundreds of queries per second at launch to thousands of queries per second in full production;
- High Security: Providing protection of personal date from hackers;
- Full Availability: Could not ever be out of service, for any reason.
David’s team successfully developed software, database, network, and hardware systems on the customer’s schedule, including these components:
- High Scale: Design allowed scaling from 500,000 to 10 million visitors per day within two months and without any interruption of service.
- High Performance:
- Interfaces were created for end-users, administrators, quality control agents, and reporting tools.
- Human visitors experienced a responsive website.
- Automated visitors could complete transactions in <5 seconds.
- After tuning, the database achieved performance approximately equivalent to a memory-only database at a fraction of the cost.
- High Reliability:
- Regression and load testing tools validated any system change.
- Review of system test data led to high customer confidence.
- Secure Environment:
- Multi-layer security strategy to prevent successful hacking attempts.
- System design prevented personal data from “leaking” as the result of bugs or attacks.
The multimedia database went live on schedule servicing millions of customers.
- Within two months, the system grew to include tens of millions of records with text and photographic data.
- The application was upgraded repeatedly to add new functions without a single minute of downtime.