Hi everyone! Allow me to introduce myself: Alain Deléglise, System Administrator at RadioKing. I wanted to talk to you about the infrastructure that allows you to broadcast your Radio, host Radio websites and the online listening platform.
What is infrastructure?
When we talk about “infrastructure” in the IT world, we mean the systems and hardware that make it possible for an application, software or website to work. So when we talk about RadioKing’s infrastructure, we are talking about servers, services and their configuration.
For example, the website www.radioking.com is hosted on several physical servers and in virtual machines. These are located in a Data Center, next to countless other servers. (Well, it actually is countable, but it gives you an idea of the extent of the whole thing).
That’s nice, but what’ is a “server”?
Great question !
A server is a computer, like the one you have at home, that is specifically designed to be in constant operation. It also has special specifications, such as power, processor and RAM. Servers are generally stronger than traditional computers, but are not made for the same purposes either. For example, it is almost impossible to run a video game on a server, but a server can perform large and complex calculations for an extended period of time without any problems.
In short, a server is a device that ensures that an application can be launched 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and provide a high quality service.
Have you probably already heard of the “cloud“? Well, the cloud is just a cluster of servers that allows you to host your files, photos or music, for example. In the IT world, we usually say “The cloud is just someone else’s computer” 🙂
The RadioKing website
In the case of our website www.radioking.com, we will use a number of technical terms, so I’ve prepared a short glossary to help you:
- Hypervisor: virtualization host, it is a server whose role is to host virtual machines.
- Virtual Machine: a virtual server.
- Load Balancer: an application whose role is to distribute the load (we are talking here about users’ requests to access the RadioKing website) to several web servers.
- Web Server: an application whose role is to serve files to users
- Database server: an application whose role is to maintain and provide access to a large amount of data. This data is stored, sorted and indexed accurately and therefore easily accessible by via a query.
- PHP: a programming language, PHP files are served by the web server.
- HTML: also a programming language, it’s used to create the structure of websites.
So, the RadioKing website, composed of PHP and HTML files, is hosted in virtual machines, on hypervisors. All user accesses (yes, you!) are processed by the load balancers and sent to the virtual machines.
The case of Radio Stations
We’re now going to expand our glossary to cover the main topic at RadioKing: radios!
- Automated broadcasting system: this is the software that allows you to broadcast your audio stream
- Broadcasting server: it is a server that hosts groups of PLCs
- Cloud provider: (remember the famous “cloud”) it is a service provider whose services we use to host virtual machines
- IceCast: an audio broadcasting software (streaming software)
About the DDoS attacks
As you are certainly aware, we were victims of malfunctions that massively disrupted our services at the end of November/beginning of December. We were subjected to “DDoS attacks” (Distributed Denial of Service). These are malicious people who use a network of “zombie” PCs infected with a virus and can control them from a central point (or several) called the C2C (Zombie PC management server).
The attacks were mitigated. However, as you may know it’s difficult, even for equipment designed for this purpose, to determine whether the traffic (connections to our services) is legitimate or from zombie PCs. We are convinced that RadioKing allows you to broadcast high quality radio and we hope that this will continue. We are constantly striving to improve our products and the way you use them.
Thank you for your understanding, patience and loyalty, even during difficult times. Don’t forget to subscribe to our status page to be alerted in case of issues or maintenance of our service. ?
See you soon for Part 2!Lancez votre propre webradio dès aujourd'hui !