IowaComputerGurus Optimizes DNN Platform Website to Handle 50,000+ Concurrent Users

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A performance optimization success story for a DNN Platform/Evoq Content based web application. Allowing for a 4,900% increase in traffic, improving page load times, and supporting more than 50,000 concurrent users in a few weeks time.

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We know the strengths of DNN, but we also know the limitations of the platform and related hosting environment. This is especially true in high load situations

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IowaComputerGurus, Inc. a full-service computer consulting firm, today announced that it successfully successfully scaled up a DNN Platform based application to accommodate a 4,900% increase in web traffic. IowaComputerGurus, .NET and DNN/Evoq experts, along with Point Click Technologies -- a full-service managed cloud hosting company -- were recently called upon to perform this challenging scale-up task for Budget Challenge and H&R Block.

Developed in 2005 by Dave and Palmira Buten, Budget Challenge is an application built on top of the DNN platform. The education simulation program is designed to teach high school students how to successfully manage their own personal finances. In the summer of 2014, Budget Challenge joined forces with H&R Block’s philanthropic Dollars and Sense program, which was developed with the aim of giving scholarships away to worthy students. As a result of their partnership with H&R Block, the managers at Budget Challenge needed to scale up their Web site – from an estimated 4,000 students in 2013 to an anticipated 200,000 in the 2014-2015 school year.

Although Budget Challenge had been satisfied with their existing website configuration, their previous hosting provider was unable to optimize to accommodate the expected 4,900% spike in traffic or the anticipated 50,000 concurrent users. Budget Challenge turned to PointClick and IowaComputerGurus to resolve the issue. “Once we understood that our partnership with H&R Block would become a reality, we knew we needed to use the services of companies like PointClick and IowaComputerGurus -- companies that could meet the challenges ahead within a very short time-frame," said Dave Buten, co-founder of Budget Challenge.

The experts at IowaComputerGurus and PointClick were able to resolve the scale-up issues faced by Budget Challenge by ensuring that the company’s DNN based website was correctly configured and that third-party modules and the servers were properly optimized for the load. “We know the strengths of DNN, but we also know the limitations of the platform and related hosting environment. This is especially true in high load situations -- if it is not coded or configured correctly, performance can be abysmal,” said Mitchel Sellers, CEO of IowaComputerGurus.

“With projects like these, it’s very important to select great partners to work with because the solution wasn’t so much that the client moved from one hosting infrastructure to another -- far from it. In fact, the original hosting partner probably had adequate resources to handle the load but lacked the consultative approach PointClick takes with every engagement. Our approach allows us to provide answers to application and performance issues where many other hosting providers may not look,” says Malik Khan, President and CEO of PointClick.

Ultimately, the two teams successfully set up a 100% cloud-based infrastructure that was load balanced across five Web nodes with a Microsoft SQL Server back-end and plenty of computer and network horsepower. “I’m not sure how we would have resolved the situation without them,” said Dave Buten. “PointClick and IowaComputerGurus were knowledgeable, flexible and extremely responsive on an around-the-clock basis. I hate to think where we’d be right now if it weren’t for the expertise that they both brought in helping us scale our problems.” Read the full case study on how the changes were made.

About IowaComputerGurus: IowaComputerGurus Inc. is a West Des Moines, Iowa-based computer consulting firm. They have become a leading provider of custom software solutions using Microsoft-based technologies. IowaComputerGurus specializes in the delivery of custom software solutions across the world with a strong emphasis on top notch customer support. The company is a Microsoft Silver Certified Partner and assists customers with a variety of Web technology needs -- from simple sites for smaller organizations, to PCI Level 1-compliant eCommerce solutions designed to handle millions of transactions annually. For more information, visit their Web site at

About PointClick: Established in 2007, PointClick Technologies is a managed cloud and hosting provider with a focus on CMS support, compliance and security. PointClick differentiates itself from other providers by focusing on the business requirements and business outcomes of its customers, rather than simply addressing infrastructure issues. Headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, the company hosts its servers at two data centers, both of which are SSAE 16 certified. For more information about PointClick Technologies, visit their Web site at

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Mitchel Sellers
since: 12/2008
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IowaComputerGurus Inc.
since: 06/2012
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