Up to 400 flights take off and land at Stuttgart International Airport (STR) every day (as of 2019). Around 55 airlines serve more than 120 destinations all over the world. Manfred Rommel Airport is an employer for more than 11,000 people and one of the largest airports in Germany with around 13 million passengers per year.
As such, it is subject to many external factors that could affect smooth flight operations. The website of the state airport thus has to deliver high performance, stability and availability at all times - especially when a large volume of passengers is expected due to unforeseen restrictions in air traffic.
Due to its impact on real life, the flughafen-stuttgart.de website is mission critical for the client. When the Stuttgart Airport team approached byte5 in the spring of 2019, the Umbraco website was not very performant due to its monolithic architecture and would thus possibly have reached its limits in the future. The solution was obvious to the experts at byte5: a transformation to Microsoft Azure. In this way, the specialists brought the website into the age of the cloud within a few months.
The first step was a comprehensive code clean-up to ensure the high byte5 standard of code quality. flughafen-stuttgart.de runs on .NET, which the byte5 team extended with .NET Core. It secured the infrastructure by developing a sophisticated DevOps solution, which is on the one hand less maintenance-intensive and on the other hand much more cost-effective.
The declared goal was a modular software design. To achieve this, several microservices were implemented, each of which is individually scalable. The new microservices architecture also enabled the introduction of a customised DevOps toolchain: integrated CI/CD pipelines and release cycles enable fully automated adaptation of resources at any time, both vertically and horizontally. Three new environments - Prod, Staging, and Pre-Prod - also ensure stability. Azure Web Apps enable slot switching in the staging environment. In addition, installed mechanics such as Azure Cache for Redis significantly increase website speed, while Platform-as-a-Service significantly improves uptime.
The goal of the digital transformation was achieved: reliable high-performance and flexible automation processes. Deployments can now be played out easily thanks to the versionless Microsoft Cloud and the connected pipelines. The website is also characterised by its high resilience - since its implementation on Azure, there have been neither crashes nor downtimes. The cloud transformation by byte5 means significantly more efficient daily work for the team at Stuttgart Airport. Another success is the achieved cost saving of more than 50 percent per month.
We turned to byte5 as a multiple Microsoft Partner and long-term Umbraco Gold Partner. Their cloud transformation means an astounding reduction in costs for us while attaining the important website reliability we depend on as an airport.Florian Frech, IT Project Manager
Just a few months after the cloud transformation was completed, the COVID 19 crisis put the website's newfound resilience to the test. When the rapid developments in the Corona pandemic caused unprecedented traffic on flughafen-stuttgart.de in mid-March 2020, the byte5 development team immediately scaled up the site as needed.
Although the traffic suddenly multiplied at peak times, there were hardly any resource bottlenecks or downtimes thanks to the newly installed ad-hoc scaling processes. The website remained continuously performant. In this way, it was possible to prevent it from collapsing under the load of the crowds of visitors - who wanted to receive information about planned flights and possible restrictions in this exceptional situation.
byte5 continues to ensure the operation and hosting of the website on Azure for Stuttgart Airport. With Umbraco as a solid basis and Azure as a powerful engine, further sustainable modernisation projects, but also new developments, are in the pipeline.