Rightmove Selects ControlCircle

ControlCircle has been selected by Rightmove plc, operators of the UK's no. 1 residential property portal, to provide comprehensive datacentre services along with Intelligent BGP Internet connectivity to ensure systems availability and resilience. is the UK's leading property website with 90% of estate agents in the country and all large new home developers listing and advertising their properties on the site. In 2007, 1,038,000 properties were displayed, up 236,000 on the previous year, with 4.9 billion page impressions served. This gives Rightmove 79% market share of the online property market based on pages viewed, with over 3 million people looking at the website each month. This has resulted in impressive financial performance for the company with revenue up 69% to 56.7 million for the year ending December 31, 2007, and profits increasing to 31.4 million, up 77% on the year before.

With the immense level of traffic to the site, ensuring systems availability and resilience has been crucial. Originally, Rightmove operated out of two datacentres to achieve the redundancy required with systems mirrored at each site.

To address this plus improve manageability while maintaining the systems availability required, Rightmove has shifted to a three data centre approach but locating just one system at each. While it does incur slightly higher datacentre space costs, Rightmove saves a quarter on physical hardware purchases as only three of everything is now bought.

Given this, ControlCircle has been chosen as Rightmove's primary datacentre services partner providing support in two of the three data centre sites.

ControlCircle is providing space, power, intelligent BGP connectivity (working with various carriers) and 'remote hands' engineer services as and when required. To date, Rightmove has taken sixteen racks with ControlCircle with datacentre space sourced from Interxion and VSNL, with the third datacentre run and managed by Telstra. As ControlCircle has invested in its own 20 gigabit Ethernet ring in London, all three datacentres are connected by this high speed link.

Written in Java, the Rightmove website is bespoke built and runs on Solaris-based Sun Microsystems' servers, using Oracle 10g databases. The company has also deployed a mix of high performance best of breed systems which include Juniper firewalls, F5's Big-IP application load balancers, Foundry Networks' BigIron RX-8 switches and network attached storage from NetApp.

While Rightmove has specified its own IT infrastructure, it has sought advice from and taken advantage of ControlCircle's buying power with hardware suppliers.

The approach to use best of breed suppliers and split key systems and locate them in three datacentres has proved very successful in terms of establishing the resilience required.

Rightmove's customers manage their data on its systems in two ways. Firstly, bulk upload of data from the customers sites is uploaded directly to Rightmove's servers at its three data centres using an automatic data feed. Secondly, the customers can log into Rightmove Plus a portal typically used by estate agents which allows properties to be added, changed or deleted as necessary along with pictures and plans submitted.

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