IAC/Electus Digital - Technology & Operations Audit

IAC/Electus Digital - Technology & Operations Audit

Electus Digital (CollegeHumor Media) was grappling with rapid growth in traffic, and turned to Quoin to assess the infrastructure and operations. Our principal consultant performed a hands-on evaluation of the platform, and provided detailed recommendations to improve robustness, availability, and performance.

IAC/Electus Digital - Technology & Operations Audit

Electus Digital (CollegeHumor Media) was grappling with rapid growth in traffic, and turned to Quoin to assess the infrastructure and operations. Our principal consultant performed a hands-on evaluation of the platform, and provided detailed recommendations to improve robustness, availability, and performance.
Founded in 1999, Electus Digital (CollegeHumor Media) is a leading online entertainment company targeting a core audience of young adults age 18-34. The organization is a subsidiary of IAC/InterActiveCorp. With their ever-growing collection of more than 150 brands and products, the IAC family of websites is one of the largest in the world. CHMedia sites attract over 15 million users monthly through its combination of comedic content (videos, pictures, articles and jokes). CHMedia pursues its mission via CollegeHumor.com, SportsPickle.com, TodaysBigThing.com, and Dorkly.com. CHMedia further extends their branding through several syndication partnerships, books, television programs, and live comedy. Unlike many online video portals, the flagship CollegeHumor.com site does not merely re-post, but actually produces its original comedy sketches in-house. This approach has proven its value, resulting in excess of 80 million views monthly, and helping CollegeHumor.com rank in the top five websites among college-age males. 

To support the needs of their current and future business objectives, CHMedia initiated a comprehensive audit of it's core technology platform. The company recognized the value in further leveraging its existing infrastructure, currently used to support its four primary websites. Quoin was engaged to perform a hands-on evaluation of the technology, architecture, deployment, and testing processes. A key aspect of our work was to assess overall performance and robustness of the collegehumor.com site, including the inhouse content management system used for the site. Our findings were reported to the CTO, who had set a goal of achieving 'four nines' availability for the flagship site.

Our initial analysis suggested that upgrades to documentation, process, infrastructure, and architecture would greatly reduce downtime and improve the overall performance of the CHMedia Web site assets. In addition, our findings included 47 specific recommendations on the following topics.
  • Performance
  • Code Branching
  • VMWare and Redundancy
  • Business Requirements Gathering, Planning, and Documentation
  • Application Currency
  • Performance
  • Stability
  • Code Correctness
  • Testing/QA
  • Security
  • Operations
  • Cost Management

Following this engagement, College Humor Media implemented many of our recommendations, and as result, achieved the goal of 99.99% availability of its site.