New JotForm Hardware Architecture

We have recently switched to a new hardware architecture for our JotForm form builder service. I am pretty pleased with it because we were able to do it without any downtime or any problems for our users. As a result of this switch, JotForm now has much better high availability, speed and security. It was also a lot of fun to do it.

- We added a hardware load balancer in front of our web servers,
- Increased memory of each server to 4GBs,
- Added new hard drives with higher speeds and fault tolerance, (RAID1)
- Added a database hot spare that keeps a ready to go copy of the database using Mysql replication.

jotform hardware architecture

The biggest improvement is in the high availability. Before, we kept a hot backup of our server, but we still needed to manually switch servers when there was a hard disk failure. Luckily, we haven’t had that for more than a year since the last failure. It is not a question of “if”, but “when” the next hard disk failure would happen. Now, I can sleep better since failure on one box will not cause any downtime on our service. Load balancer instantly discovers the problem and stops sending the traffic to that box. Everything keeps working as if nothing has happened and we can simply replace the failed disk next day. Since we have Mysql replication and RAID1 hard disks, a server failure should also not cause any data loss. We have tested various failure possibilities and our new system kept working in each case as if nothing has happened. Of course, you can never be sure about these things, but we certainly have a much robust and strong system right now in place.

There are also improvements on our speed and responsiveness. Since the load is split in half and handled by two separate dedicated web servers, our form builder and forms function much faster. Our web servers now has 8GB of memory and double the processor power, especially the speed during the high load times has improved visibly.

Other important improvements are on the security. We have new security policies for our servers which I cannot really talk about on a public blog, but I think the biggest improvement is the additional layer of load balancers in front of everything else. In practice, hardware load balancers also serve as a kind of firewall. Keeping our backend server IPs hidden and only keeping web and ssl ports available to public. Extra security is always nice to have.

JotForm with its 130,000 form builder users receiving half a million submissions per month is now more ready for further growth. This makes us very happy as the development team. I am also happy to announce that we have started on the development of JotForm 3.0. The new version will have great new features and will make JotForm easier to use. We are planning to release the new version within 2009.

15 Responses to “New JotForm Hardware Architecture”

  1. Rudy says:

    this is great.
    can you tell us a little about the new features in JotForm 3.0 ?
    thanks a lot.

  2. Aytekin says:

    Hi Rudy,
    If you would like to see any new features, please feel free to let us know. We have an evolving list of things to do so, we would rather not make any promises at this point. Even we don’t know what will the next version will look like. We have some exciting stuff, we have some features that have been requested a lot on the forum and we will also work on improving existing features.

  3. Andrea says:

    We have been using your great site for applications to our programs with no problems at all. But I just cloned, edited, and renames a survey for a new application. For some reason even though it is email alert is enabled and our email addresses are entered to receive the alert for new submissions we are not getting the email alert for new submissions. Have you experienced this with others since the updates? Any suggestions for what I might be doing wrong?

  4. Aytekin says:

    Have you checked your spam filter? Also, is this happening with the original form you cloned the form from. Please email your questions and requests from the Contact link at the bottom of our site.

  5. -H says:

    Folks,

    Thanks for the great job with JotForm. I use it almost every day. One quick bug (not sure if you get notified with forum post updates). The emails on jotform has stopped working! Please have someone take a look at it?

    Thanks,
    -H

  6. grahan says:

    My forms stopped working on 27th – today – data hits the data base but no email notification is being sent out. Did not realise straight away and have lost three orders from this morning.

    Have logged three complaints and got nothing back. What is going on please?

  7. Aytekin says:

    Yes, sorry. I messed up our email server this morning. It should be working properly now.

    The e-mails should also come (little late) since they are not lost, they are still in the mail queue.

    Thanks for your patience.

  8. graham says:

    should add that it is not down to spam filters

  9. Greg says:

    I was thrilled to see the new file uploader but now, when testing, do not know where to retrieve the file. I assumed it would be attached with the form submission email or, perhaps online somewhere. Can you help? (I’ve asked this on the Forum but have not received a response.)

  10. Since the new update I cannot log in to my premium account, all forms I have created have shown up as ERROR form is disabled. The forms on your website are essential for our business. Please fix ASAP

  11. Shehroz says:

    Thanks alot to jot form team..i’m very much hurry for this 3.0 jot form…Good updates Keep it up!

  12. RIchard says:

    Great work guys. There are a lot of form services out there but I love yours because of its simplicity, ease of use, and design integration.

    Keep up the good work!

  13. Luca says:

    Did you think to migrate to amazon AWS ? Is quite fast, stable and scalable.

  14. Aytekin says:

    Hi Luca,
    Yes, I have considered Amazon Web Services. They were missing many of the features we would really need. They are getting better so we will certainly consider them in the future.

  15. Tom says:

    Great Hardware Architecture, we just found you through Techcrunch. And we like it!
    Keep up your speed! We will link it to our students!

    Thomas from http://www.spirofrog.de

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